Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Surprise wins, record broken in swimming spectaculars



Surprise wins, record broken in swimming spectaculars

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Gold medallists (from left) Australia’s Bronte Campbell, Meg Harris, Emma Mckeon and Cate Campbell pose on the podium after the final of the women’s 4x100m freestyle relay swimming event during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre in Tokyo on Sunday. AFP

Surprise wins, record broken in swimming spectaculars

Japan's Yui Ohashi dethroned Hungarian 400m medley queen Katinka Hosszu Sunday as Tunisia won a rare swimming gold medal and Australia’s all-conquering women’s 4x100m relay team smashed their own world record.

Veteran Hosszu won three golds and a silver at Rio in 2016, shattering the 400m medley world mark to cement her place as one of the world’s top swimmers.

But she qualified only seventh fastest for the final at the Tokyo Aquatic Centre and, racing in lane one, was no match for an electric Ohashi who stunned the field to clinch the title.

The 25-year-old, who was only sixth fastest in the world this year coming into the event, turned in a sizzling breaststroke leg to take charge, touching in 4mins 32.08 secs.

US pair Emma Weyant (4:32.76) and Hali Flickinger (4:34.90) took silver and bronze with Hosszu, in her fifth Olympics, fading to fifth.

“I swam believing in myself. I really did not think of winning the gold,” said a disbelieving Ohashi. “A lot of people supported me so that I could exert all my strength. I really appreciate it. I had an enjoyable race. It is still like a dream.”

Nicknamed the “Iron Lady”, Hosszu can still get herself on the Olympic podium again, having a gruelling Tokyo schedule that also includes the 200m medley, 200m backstroke and 200m butterfly.

Tunisian teenager Ahmed Hafnaoui also pulled off a major upset to win the men’s 400m freestyle.

In the absence of defending champion Mack Horton, who failed to qualify, and China’s Sun Yang, the 2012 London champion who is serving a doping ban, the 18-year-old capitalised.

He raced a storming final 50m to touch in 3:43.36 and overhaul Australian Jack McLoughlin (3:43.52) and US swimmer Kieran Smith (3:43.94).

It was a major breakthrough for the young gun, who has little pedigree on the world stage.

“I just can’t believe that, it’s amazing. I felt better in the water this morning than yesterday and that’s it. I’m the Olympic champion now,” he said.

“I just put my head in the water and that’s it. I just can’t believe it. It’s a dream come true.”

It was Tunisia’s first ever Olympic medal in the event and just their third gold in swimming after Ous Mellouli made podiums in 2008 and 2012.

Dominant

Gold medal glory for the Australian relay squad was never in doubt after they qualified for the final nearly two seconds clear of The Netherlands.

Since taking nearly a full second off a super-suited world record in 2014, they have been dominant, winning the two previous Olympic golds, the 2019 world championships while setting two more world records in 2016 and 2018.

And they added to their glorious haul Sunday.

Emma McKeon swum the fifth fastest relay split in history over leg three to pull them clear after Bronte Campbell and Meg Harris gave them a decent start.

Sprint veteran Cate Campbell then brought the team home in 3:29.69 secs to better their own mark set three years ago.

Meanwhile, Rio Olympic runner-up Chase Kalisz went one better to claim gold in the men’s 400m individual medley for the United States.

He led by a body-length after 300m and came home strongly in 4mins 09.42secs ahead of second-placed compatriot Jay Litherland (4:10.28) and Australia’s Brendon Smith (4:10.38)

“It means the world. This is the last thing I really wanted to accomplish in my swimming career,” said Kalisz, who made the most of defending champion Kosuke Hagino opting not to swim the event on home soil.

“It was a dream of mine since as long as I can remember.”

Adam Peaty’s drive to become the first British swimmer to successfully defend an Olympic title was ramped up a notch when he hit the wall in 57.63 to lead the men into the 100m breaststroke final on Monday.

Dutchman Arno Kamminga was second quickest in 58.19.

MOST VIEWED

  • Ice cream, noodles flagged over carcinogen

    The General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia (GDCE) has identified three types of instant noodles and ice cream trademarks originating from Thailand, Vietnam and France that are suspected to contain ethylene oxide, which poses a cancer risk to consumers. The general department has

  • Exclusive interview with Josep Borrell Fontelles, High Representative of the EU

    CAMBODIA is hosting the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and Related Meetings this week with top officials from the US, China, and Russia and other countries in the region slated to attend and to meet with face-to-face with their counterparts on the sidelines. In

  • Rise in Thai air routes to Siem Reap fuels travel hopes

    Local tourism industry players are eager for regional airline Bangkok Airways Pcl’s resumption of direct flight services between the Thai capital and Siem Reap town on August 1 – home of Cambodia’s awe-inspiring Angkor Archaeological Park – which is expected to boost the growth rate of

  • ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ meet commences, Taiwan issue possibly on table

    The 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and related meetings hosted by Cambodia kicks off in Phnom Penh on August 3, with progress, challenges, and the way forward for the ASEAN Community-building on the table. Issues on Taiwan, sparked by the visit of US House Speaker

  • NBC eyes KHQR payments in Laos, Vietnam

    The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) is working with Lao and Vietnamese authorities to expand the use of KHQR code cross-border payment systems to promote trade and investment as well as increase the scope of regional economic linkages, and in particular, facilitate remittances from overseas

  • Recap of this year’s ASEAN FM meet and look ahead

    This year’s edition of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) hosted by Cambodia comes against the backdrop of heightened global tensions and increasing rivalry between major powers that have been compared to the animosity of the Cold War era. The following is The Post’