Published: Mon, August 15, 2016
Sport | By Billy Aguilar

Rio Olympics 2016: Simone Manuel anchors 4x100 medley relay for gold

Rio Olympics 2016: Simone Manuel anchors 4x100 medley relay for gold

Much of the pre-race focus was on whether Australia's Cate Campbell, the world record-holder in the event, and her sister Bronte could finish one-two against Sweden's Sarah Sjostrom, already a 100 butterfly champion and second to Katie Ledecky of the the 200 freestyle at these Games.

It was the second time that the women's 100 freestyle had ended in such a fashion - the 1984 Los Angeles Games saw a tie between Americans Nancy Hogshead and Carrie Steinseifer in 55.92 seconds. "It is for some of the African-Americans who have come before me", she added, referencing former Olympians Maritza Correia and Cullen Jones. "It was for people that came before me and inspired me to stay in the sport", said the athlete. But it carried a special resonance as she became the first African-American woman to win gold in an individual Olympic swimming event.

"The gold medal means so much, but also to the team because we had such an awesome energy in the call room", she told reporters after anchoring Denmark to a bronze medal in the 4x100 medley relay about 45 minutes after the 50 freestyle. If the present is anything to go by, the future looks very bright for Toronto-born Oleksiak. "I just met her at this meet, and two youngins sprinting, I think it's good for the sport and breaks the stereotypes of sprinting". After preparation that took a lifetime, Manuel thus became a role model in less than a minute.

The winning time was also an American record for Manuel and a world junior record for Oleksaik.

"This medal is not just for me". After her win, she mentioned police brutality in the US and said she hoped her victory helps mend the nation's racial divide in some way.

During the 2012 London Olympics, Netherland's Ranomi Kromowidjojo set an Olympic record in the Women's 50m freestyle, posting a blazing time of 24.05.

Adam Pretty  Getty Images Sport  Getty Images
Adam Pretty Getty Images Sport Getty Images

On the track, Jamaica continued its dominance in the women's 100 meters as Elaine Thompson won the gold medal. Penny's performance in the women's 100-metre freestyle swimming event earned her the top spot on the podium. "Hopefully, we'll come back to the Olympics in four years with more than just one female, maybe 10 or 20".

"All I can say is all glory to God", Manuel said through tears in a post-race interview.

Cracks had first appeared after he won a record eight gold medals at the Beijing Games. But she enjoyed it so much, she immersed herself fully by age 9.

"It means a lot, especially with what is going on in the world today, some of the issues of police brutality".

"We would have to watch her if it was bath time because she would always try to sneak off to get in the bathtub with him because she loved the water", her mother said.

Shortly after her match, Harrison announced her retirement from the sport, though she may be looking at joining a professional circuit like the UFC. Simone Biles, who's been the inevitable favorite for so long, cinched the gold medal she wanted for so long.

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