Caeleb Dressel of the United States won his first individual gold medal of the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in the men’s 100-meter freestyle on Wednesday night.
Dressel exploded at the start and led the entire race, finishing in 47.02 seconds and fending off a desperate final stretch by Australia’s Kyle Chalmers, who finished just 0.06 seconds behind for silver, and Kliment Kolesnikov of Russia for bronze.
Dressel thanked his family, who were unable to attend the games in Tokyo due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in a tearful post-race interview.
“It’s a really tough year, it’s really hard, so to have the results show up … it really came together, so I’m happy,” he told a reporter after the race.
Robert Finke put on a furious comeback to win gold in the first-ever Olympic men’s 800-meter freestyle.
The 21-year-old Finke, participating in his first Olympic Games posted a time of 7 minutes and 41.87 seconds, narrowly overtaking Italy’s Gregorio Paltrinieri and Mykhailo Romanchuk of Ukraine.
Finke was in fifth place for much of the race, biding his time before exploding off the final turn to jump to the head of the pack in the final 50 meters.
“I just wanted to get my hand on the wall, I’m just so happy I was able to switch into another gear,” he told a reporter after the race. “Our coaches have been training us on that so often and I’m just so grateful for them and training me to be able to do it.”
China’s women’s 4×200 relay team upset favorites Australia with a new world record of 7 minutes and 40.33 seconds as Katie Ledecky surged the United States team to silver with an individual 1 minute and 53.76 seconds, the fastest leg time of any competitor in the race, Australia won bronze as all three teams surpassed the previous world record.
Regan Smith and Hali Flickinger of the United States won silver and bronze in the women’s 200-meter butterfly, respectively, while Zhang Yufffei of China won gold with a time of 2 minutes and 3.86 seconds, the fastest time in the event in 12 years.
Nic Fink of the United States finished fifth in the men’s 200-meter breaststroke, as Izaac Stubblety-Cook of Australia won gold with an Olympic record time of 2 minutes and 6.38 seconds, Arno Kamminga of the Netherlands took silver, and Matti Mattsson of Finland took bronze.