AUSTRALIA has missed out on a medal after finishing fourth in the men's 4x100m relay final, as a fast-finishing France stormed home to claim gold from a stunned United States.
Australia's decision to lead out with original anchor James Magnussen appeared to backfire as the Australian star clocked a sluggish time of 48.03 seconds to put his team under immediate pressure.
Magnussen's time left Australia chasing the United States for the remainder of the race, as early plans to defend a sizeable lead rapidly fell by the wayside.
Placed third going into the final leg, 21-year-old anchor James Roberts was ultimately caught by Russia's Danila Izotov, who powered home to claim bronze for his nation.
In the battle for gold, United States led for most of the race only for French anchor Yannick Agnel to finish with an exhilarating flurry in front of American star Ryan Lochte, as France claimed gold with a combined time of 3:09:93.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.