USA’s Dressel and China’s Zhang set new Olympic records

Caeleb Dressel has secured his first-ever individual gold and becomes a four-time gold medallist; China’s Zhang Yufei wins 200m butterfly final; Team GB’s James Wilby missed out on a medal in the men’s 200m breaststroke final

Last Updated: 29/07/21 6:29am

Caeleb Dressel celebrates his second gold of the Tokyo Olympics
Caeleb Dressel celebrates his second gold of the Tokyo Olympics

American Caeleb Dressel set an Olympic record to win gold by a fingertip in the men’s 100m freestyle to claim his second gold medal at the Tokyo Games.

Dressel set the pace down the first 50m, with Australian Kyle Chalmers and Russian Kliment Kolesnikov close behind, and then fended off a thrilling late charge from the Australian to cling on for the gold in 47.02 seconds.

Chalmers turned third at the halfway mark and was pulling back stroke for stroke but left his fightback too late, taking the silver just six hundredths behind, with Kolesnikov winning bronze with a time of 47.44secs.

The Olympic gold was Dressel’s fourth overall but his first in an individual event.

“I wasn’t worried about anything at all,” he said when asked about the close contest.

“It means a lot. I knew the weight was on my shoulders.”

Caeleb Dressel of the United States reacts after winning the men's 100m freestyle final
Caeleb Dressel of the United States reacts after winning the men’s 100m freestyle final

It was the American’s second gold in Tokyo after the 4×100 freestyle relay win earlier this week and the victory in the individual event was even sweeter for the 24-year-old.

“It is different and I know that now,” he said.

“I didn’t want to admit it. But it’s up to yourself, there’s no one to bail you out.”

China's Zhang Yufei excelled in the women's 200m butterfly fnal
China’s Zhang Yufei excelled in the women’s 200m butterfly fnal

Zhang Yufei wrapped herself in a Chinese flag and beamed with joy after setting an Olympic record to win gold in the 200m butterfly on Thursday.

The 23-year-old, who finished runner-up to Canada’s Margaret MacNeil in the 100m, touched the wall in 2 minutes 03.86 seconds to win China’s first swimming gold of the Games.

Waving her arms and cheering after the win, a teary-eyed Zhang soaked up the moment, beaming at her team-mates in the stands after exiting the pool as they chanted her name.

Zhang Yufei of China poses with the gold medal after winning the women's 200m butterfly final
Zhang Yufei of China poses with the gold medal after winning the women’s 200m butterfly final

Zhang, dubbed China’s “Butterfly Queen”, is part of the country’s new generation of rising stars emerging from the shadow of Olympic and world champion Sun Yang, who has been banned from competing for four years due to doping violations.

Zhang, who finished sixth in the Rio final, could not stop smiling as she received her medal on the podium then rushed to pick up a large Chinese flag that had been thrown down onto the pool deck.

James Wilby finished sixth in the men's 200m breaststroke final
James Wilby finished sixth in the men’s 200m breaststroke final

GB’s Wilby tearful after missing out on medal in 200m breaststroke

Team GB’s James Wilby broke down in tears as he paid a touching tribute to his NHS nurse mother Fiona, disappointed he could not reward the sacrifices she has made with a medal in what could prove to be his last Olympic race.

The 27-year-old qualified second fastest for the men’s 200 metres breaststroke final in which he sat third at halfway before fading and finishing sixth.

A time of two minutes and 8.19 seconds was 1.81secs behind Australia’s Zac Stubblety-Cook, who set a new Olympic record en route claiming gold, with Holland’s Arno Kamminga second and Finland’s Matti Mattsson collecting bronze.

While there was understandable disappointment for Wilby, he was unable to stop himself from crying when asked whether his mother’s work vaccinating people amid the coronavirus pandemic over the last few months in their home city of York put his result into some perspective.

“Oh God, now you’re going to get me emotional,” he said.

“My mum’s been…damn you! There was always someone that was going to get it, it was either going to be one of my team-mates or one of you guys.

“My mum’s been putting in such a shift for me over the last 27 years and that’s probably the main disappointment which is I know I’ve made her proud, but I haven’t quite won the medal I would liked to have won for her.

“She’s been working as a nurse, giving out vaccines recently, to an extent which makes me so proud of her and for what’s she done for me and my brother over the last quite a few years.

“I’m really, really happy with what she’s done. She’s the role model in all this, I hope she enjoyed watching that.”

Source : Sky Sports