Manuel and Oleksiak tie for 100m free gold

Fri Aug 12, 2016 7:30am EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Canadian Penny Oleksiak and Simone Manuel of the United States were inseparable at the finish and even more united in joy after a stunning 100 meters freestyle dead-heat rewarded both with Olympic gold on Thursday.

Both women, one 16 and the other 20 and very much part of a new wave in swimming, touched the wall in 52.70 seconds as the crowd gasped at the times flashing up on the scoreboard.

Sweden's Sarah Sjostrom, the Olympic 100m butterfly champion who took the bronze in 52.99, was astonished.

"I think that was a big shock for everyone in the final. Everyone had to watch the result many times before we understood what happened ... the biggest surprise so far in this competition," Sjostrom said.

It was the second time 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.

That was the first double gold in Olympic swimming and it came after the timing was reduced from a thousandth of a second to a hundredth following a controversial dead-heat in the 1972 men's 400 individual medley.

Then, Sweden's Gunnar Larsson was awarded the gold ahead of Tim McKee of the U.S.

At the 2000 Sydney Games, another 21.98 second dead-heat saw Anthony Ervin of the United States and team mate Gary Hall Jr each awarded the 50m freestyle gold.   Continued...

Simone Manuel and Penelope Oleksiak celebrate winning joint gold medals and also jointly breaking an Olympic record.  REUTERS/Dominic Ebenbichler