DiRado bows out with backstroke gold

Sat Aug 13, 2016 12:57am EDT
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By Mark Trevelyan

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Maya DiRado of the United States won the women's 200 meters backstroke in her final race before quitting swimming on Friday, coming from behind to deny Katinka Hosszu a fourth gold medal at the Rio Olympics.

The American reeled in the 'Iron Lady' from Hungary in the last 50 meters, the pair swimming neck and neck in adjacent lanes before DiRado touched first to win by six-hundredths of a second.

Canada's Hilary Caldwell won bronze.

For DiRado, who is leaving the sport to take up a job in management consultancy, it was the perfect way to exit after a week in which she has now won two gold medals, one silver and one bronze.

"It's indescribable. That is just pure joy and surprise and excitement," she said. "That was my last race ever and I just won a gold medal."

She spent part of the day emailing her new employers to take care of the formalities before starting work on Sept. 9, but far from being a distraction it served to help her.

"I read through, like, how to do expense reports, which was nice to kind of take my mind off the final tonight."

Hosszu blamed her loss on a poor final touch but said she was pleased with her week's work, having won three golds after leaving with no medals at all from three previous Olympics.   Continued...

Gold medallist Maya DiRado of USA poses with silver medallist Katinka Hosszu of Hungary and bronze medallist Hilary Caldwell of Canada.    REUTERS/Dominic Ebenbichler