Swimming: Night of individual firsts in Rio pool
Send a link to a friend
[August 11, 2016]
By Alan Baldwin
RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - First time
Olympic winners, including Australian teen Kyle Chalmers in the 100
meters freestyle, plundered three of the four golds in the Rio pool
on Wednesday but there was no getting past Katie Ledecky.
On a night of novelty, with Mireia Belmonte becoming Spain's first
women's Olympic swimming gold medalist and Dmitry Balandin winning
Kazakhstan's first medal and title in the sport at a Games,
freestyle phenomenon Ledecky provided consistency.
Swimming the anchor leg of the 4x200m freestyle relay, the American
reeled in the Australian women and brought home her third gold of
the Rio Games.
It also gave Missy Franklin, the now-struggling 2012 sensation, a
first gold of the Games after she swam in the heats but not the
"I think I was prepared for any circumstance, whether we were ahead
or behind. I just knew that these three girls were going to put me
in a good position to finish it out and I knew I could do it,"
"It's so easy to get up and swim fast when you're swimming for three
Olympic debutant Chalmers swam fast for himself, eclipsing
better-fancied team mate Cameron McEvoy to take his first individual
Olympic gold medal after claiming bronze in Sunday's 4x100m
Trailing seventh at the turn, Chalmers powered through the field in
the last 50 meters to become the first Australian man to win the
event since Mike Wenden at the Mexico City Games in 1968.
The victory also made him Australia's youngest swimming Olympic
champion since Ian Thorpe won gold at the 2000 Sydney Games aged 17.
"I have definitely flown under the radar," said the Australian of a
win that took him by surprise.
"I flew under the radio at the trials, I stayed away from the media
and just did my own thing.
"Coming into this, I didn't think it was possible," he added of the
UNDER THE RADAR
Belgium's Pieter Timmers won the silver medal and defending champion
Nathan Adrian of the United States the bronze.
[to top of second column]
Kyle Chalmers (AUS) of Australia poses with his gold medal.
Balandin said he had also flown in 'under the radar.'
"I think the whole of Kazakhstan is celebrating right now," he said
of his 200m breaststroke win.
Belmonte won the 200m butterfly after an individual medley bronze on
Saturday. She won two silvers in 2012 in the 200m butterfly and 800m
In the heats for Thursday's women's 100m freestyle final,
Australia's Campbell sisters Bronte and Cate will swim against each
other after winning gold together in the 4x100m relay.
Michael Phelps was also back in action in the heats for the 200m
individual medley, after winning two golds on Tuesday to take his
career haul to 21.
Phelps, 31, is bidding to become the first swimmer to win the same
event at four consecutive Olympics.
He and old rival and U.S. team mate Ryan Lochte were the fastest
Lochte, who has 12 Olympic medals to Phelps' 25, is swimming the 200
IM as his sole individual event in Rio.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Patrick Johnston)
[© 2016 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2016 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.