August 1, 2021
By Simon Evans
TOKYO (Reuters) -Caeleb Dressel of the United States powered to victory in the men’s 50m freestyle to claim his third individual gold medal at the Tokyo Games on Sunday, while Australia’s Emma McKeon also completed the sprint double with victory in the women’s 50m.
There was more gold joy for the United States when Robert Finke completed the distance double, producing another late push to win the 1,500m to add to his 800m gold.
Australia’s ‘Awesome Foursome’ delivered gold in the women’s 4×100 medley relay, Cate Campbell’s superb final leg pushing the United States into silver.
Dressel, the 100m free and butterfly champion, completed his sprint double with a huge margin of 0.48 seconds over France’s Florent Manaudou, the London gold medal winner and silver medallist in Rio. Bruno Fratus of Brazil took the bronze medal.
Dressel, who also picked up a gold medal as part of Team USA’s 4×100 freestyle relay triumph, led from the front with another display of speed and power.
McKeon’s freestyle victory gave her a sixth medal in Tokyo — no Australian athlete had ever won more than five at a single Games. World record holder Sarah Sjoestroem of Sweden took silver and Rio 50m champion Pernille Blume of Denmark bronze.
McKeon then became the first female swimmer of any nationality to win seven medals at a Games when she swam the butterfly leg in the medley relay.
The Australians were second all the way to the final turn when Campbell pulled away from Abbey Weitzeil to secure the ninth gold medal for the country in the pool — eight of which have come from the women’s squad.
Finke delivered a repeat performance of his success in the 800m with another perfectly timed late sprint to grab his second gold. His last 50 metres was almost two seconds faster than German Florian Wellbrock, who had led going into the final turn.
Wellbrock opened up a lead at the 300 mark and held it until the final length but then Finke put in a stunning surge to grab victory with Ukraine’s Mykhailo Romanchuk taking silver and the German bronze.
(Reporting by Simon Evans, Additional reporting by Martin Petty; Editing by Peter Rutherford)