LONDON - America's newest villain is a 20-year-old oceanography student from Nice.
It's this Yannick Agnel. The tall drink of water who went by Ryan Lochte like a torpedo Sunday night, stealing the 4x100-meter freestyle relay gold away from the Yanks like a pickpocket in a subway car.
"Magical," Agnel told the French press afterward. "Simply magical."
Not in the New World, pal. Michael Phelps had a strong second leg, Lochte a subpar last one. Both left unfulfilled, because everyone knows U.S. relays with Phelps and Lochte do not come to the Olympics for silver medals. And they are never supposed to be passed at the end.
"I haven't swum the 100 meters in a long time," Lochte said. "I think I overswam the last 50 meters."
Fine, but what about the guy who did the catching up? The French Flipper?
Agnel ruined another night for Phelps and took a little of the glow off Lochte after his big Saturday show, going a full second faster on the anchor leg.
"We went out without pressure," he told the home media. "We did what we know how to do."
In Paris, they probably felt like taking a celebratory plunge into the Seine. Four years ago in this event, Jason Lezak caught the French team on the last couple of strokes and preserved Phelps' march toward eight gold medals.
The French word for revenge, by the way, is revanche.
"So is 'pissed off' legal to say?" American swim coach Eddie Reese asked.
Go right ahead, and everyone knows who to blame. Monsieur Speedboat.
Inspecting Agnel's Olympics biography, we find that he loves to read books, and that his career began when a neighbor spotted him swimming in the family pool and suggested his parents get him to a club.
Also, he sings in the locker room before races to distract his opponents.
So let the U.S. mood-killer explain the last part of the race.
"I could tell he was losing it, so the last 10 meters, I gave it my all," Agnel said of Lochte. "At the end I turned and saw the faces of my teammates and I started shouting. I knew."
So did Reese, who had his eye on this troublemaker all along.
"He's always scared me, because he looks so good in the water. And he's 6-6, 6-7 (actually 6-8, according to his bio)," Reese said. "He is a 200 (meters) man. He never gets tired.
"I didn't like it, but I give him credit. He was awesome."
It meant the first silver medal in Phelps' life. He didn't seem that thrilled.
Mike Lopresti, USA TODAY