Swimming: Australia's Horton wins men's 400m freestyle

Sat Aug 6, 2016 11:12pm EDT
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By Mark Trevelyan

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Australian Mack Horton won the men's Olympic 400 meters freestyle on Saturday, edging out defending champion Sun Yang of China as Australia set out to erase the memory of their disappointing swimming performance in London four years ago.

Gabriele Detti of Italy took bronze.

Horton, 20, was content to shadow Britain's James Guy and Conor Dwyer of the United States for much of the race but forged ahead after 300 meters, made the final turn in the lead and held off Sun in the last 50 meters.

The 20-year-old is taking part in his first Olympics and will also compete in the 1,500 freestyle and 4x200 relay.

"It hasn't really sunk in yet. I have a couple more races this week so I need to relax a little bit and focus on those, but it's very exciting," he told reporters.

It was a dream start for Australia, a traditional swimming power who faltered badly in London, winning just one gold medal in the women's 4x100 freestyle relay.

Dwyer, fastest in the morning heats, came fourth, with American Connor Jaeger fifth and Guy, the world silver medalist last year, fading to sixth.

London champion Sun was in tears after the race.   Continued...

Aug 6, 2016; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Gabriele Detti (ITA), left, Mack Horton (AUS), middle, and Yang Sun (CHN) after the men's 400m freestyle final during the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games at Olympic Aquatics Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports