Only 17-year-old Lydia Jacoby from Alaska couldn’t believe her gold win over the 100m breaststroke.
As she looked at the scoreboard at the Tokyo Aquatics Center, her eyes and mouth opened wide in disbelief, defeated world record holder Lily King congratulated her compatriot with a hug. “It was crazy,” said Jacoby, the first Alaskan swimmer on a US Olympic swimming team.
“A lot of big-name swimmers come from big, strong clubs, but coming from a small club and a country with a small population shows you can do it no matter where you come from,” she said.
A few hours before two-time world champion Florian Willbrook appears in Tokyo, Tom Dean celebrated the gold medal in freestyle, and Kylie McKeown won in record time. For swimmers in the freestyle Isabel Goose and Annika Braun, the 200-meter semifinals ended. With anticipation, they both turned their gazes to their joint appearance the next day. The goal there is to reach the finals.
Prior to that, Great Britain’s Dean and Duncan Scott fought a major sporting battle for gold in a world record run by Paul Biederman. Dean defeated his compatriot in 1:44.22 minutes by four hundredths of a second.
Olympic debutante Goose was ‘fun’
Australian McKeown (20) set an Olympic record over 100 meters in her gold sprint in 57.47 seconds, losing her world record by just two hundred seconds.
For the first time since 1992, no American swimmer has ever won an Olympics on the track. Two Russians got gold and silver. Evgeny Railo beat compatriot Kliment Kolesnikov, and bronze went to world record holder Ryan Murphy (USA).
Olympic debutante Gus is still far from having such successes. The 19-year-old can be satisfied so far. The semi-final in eleventh place in 1:57.07 minutes didn’t change anything. “It was fun again,” she said. Gus had convinced the day before in the 400m freestyle final that he was the sixth and best European player. Like the Magdeburg native, Annika Braun (ranked 14) was eliminated.
In the evening, the medal winner Willbrook wants to move on to other areas. At about 1:40 p.m., the 23-year-old jumps the 800-meter freestyle from the starting block.
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