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US and Chinese Swimmers Highlight Thursday’s Gold Medal Races at Tokyo Olympics

US and Chinese Swimmers Highlight Thursday’s Gold Medal Races at Tokyo Olympics

U.S. swimmers added two more gold medals to their collection at the Tokyo Olympics Thursday.

Three days removed from helping the U.S. win gold in the 4×100-meter freestyle relay, Caeleb Dressel set a new Olympic record of 47.02 seconds in the men’s 100-meter freestyle race at the Tokyo Aquatic Center to win his first individual gold medal,  beating Australian Kyle Chalmers by sixth-hundredths (0.60) of a second. Kliment Kolesnikov of the Russian Olympic Committee came in third to take the bronze medal.

Dressel’s 21-year-old teammate Bobby Finke won the gold medal in the first-ever men’s 800-meter freestyle race, outdueling silver medalist Gregorio Paltrinieri of Italy with a time of 7:41.87 (seven minutes, 41.87 seconds), with Ukraine’s Mykhailo Romanchuk winning the bronze.

On the women’s side, China set a new world record of 7:40.33 (seven minutes, 40.33 seconds) to win the 4×200-meter freestyle relay race. The United States finished just four-hundredths (0.40) of a second to edge out Australia for the silver medal, due to Katie Ledecky’s strong performance in the final lap. 

In other races, Izaac Stubblety-Cook added to Australia’s tally of gold medals when he beat Amo Kamminga of the Netherlands in the men’s 200-meter breaststroke, setting a new Olympic record of 2:06.38 (two minutes, six .38 seconds). The bronze medal went to Matti Mattsson of Finland, the first for that country at Tokyo.  

And another Olympic record was set in the women’s 200-meter butterfly final by China’s Yufei Zhang, who won gold with a time of 2:03.86 (two minutes, three.86 seconds.)  U.S. swimmers Regan Smith and Hali Flicking finished in first and second, respectively.

Meanwhile, pole vaulters Sam Kendricks of the United States and Argentina’s Germán Chiaraviglio have become the latest athletes forced to withdraw from the Tokyo Games after both men tested positive for COVID-19.  

Shortly after Kendricks went into isolation, Australian Olympics officials announced every member of its track and field team had gone into isolation as a “precautionary measure” after coming into contact with a member of the U.S. track and field team without naming the person.  

The team was eventually given the “all clear” to emerge from isolation and resume their normal activities later Tuesday.  

Tokyo recorded 3,865 new COVID-19 cases Thursday, overtaking the record 3,177 new cases just on Wednesday. Olympic organizers say at least 198 new cases have been linked to the Games.   

Some information for this report came from the Associated Press, Reuters, AFP. 

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