Swimming: Night of individual firsts in Rio pool
By Alan Baldwin
RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - First time Olympic winners, including Australian teen Kyle Chalmers in the 100 meters freestyle, plundered three of the four golds in the Rio pool on Wednesday but there was no getting past Katie Ledecky.
On a night of novelty, with Mireia Belmonte becoming Spain's first women's Olympic swimming gold medalist and Dmitry Balandin winning Kazakhstan's first medal and title in the sport at a Games, freestyle phenomenon Ledecky provided consistency.
Swimming the anchor leg of the 4x200m freestyle relay, the American reeled in the Australian women and brought home her third gold of the Rio Games.
It also gave Missy Franklin, the now-struggling 2012 sensation, a first gold of the Games after she swam in the heats but not the final.
"I think I was prepared for any circumstance, whether we were ahead or behind. I just knew that these three girls were going to put me in a good position to finish it out and I knew I could do it," Ledecky said.
"It's so easy to get up and swim fast when you're swimming for three other people."
Olympic debutant Chalmers swam fast for himself, eclipsing better-fancied team mate Cameron McEvoy to take his first individual Olympic gold medal after claiming bronze in Sunday's 4x100m freestyle.
Trailing seventh at the turn, Chalmers powered through the field in the last 50 meters to become the first Australian man to win the event since Mike Wenden at the Mexico City Games in 1968. Continued...