Swimming: Ervin wins gold 16 years after his first

Sat Aug 13, 2016 12:59am EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Anthony Ervin of the United States reclaimed the mantle of fastest man in the water on Friday by taking the Olympic 50 meters freestyle gold medal 16 years after he first won it, and by the slimmest of margins.

"I kind of laughed. It's almost absurd I was able to do it again," said Ervin of his immediate reaction to seeing his name with the number one against it.

France's Florent Manaudou, the defending champion, finished second and just 0.01 seconds behind the 35-year-old veteran, who won in 21.40 seconds in a splash and dash down the pool.

Nathan Adrian of the United States took the bronze in the shortest and fastest race on the program. He also finished third in the 100 freestyle on Wednesday.

"It was a very disappointing race. I flagged at the end. I did exactly the opposite of what I did four years ago," said Manaudou.

"Tonight I was hungry and I really wanted to win. Unfortunately, I wasn't the best today. I was the best in the heats but tonight he was better.

"I felt after 15 meters that the race wasn't going well, that I was too deep in the water and I couldn't get any speed. It's hard to come back after that."

The entire field was separated by just 0.68 seconds, with Ben Proud of Britain finishing fourth.   Continued...

Anthony Ervin of USA celebrates with his gold meda while holding his national flag.      REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth