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July 27, 2021

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Zhang settles for silver in 100m butterfly

Zhang Yufei of China claimed the silver medal in 55.64 seconds, only 0.05 seconds after gold medalist Margaret Macneil of Canada, in the women’s 100-meter butterfly final yesterday.

“I am very happy. I learned a lot. I was very nervous this morning because this year has been my first world-class level (competition) and there was all the competitors here. Usually I compete at 200m. The 100m is not my favorite but I just tried,” said Zhang.

Emma McKeon took the bronze for Australia in 55.72 seconds. The top four all swam sub-56 seconds, with Torri Huske finishing fourth with 55.73.

Macneil, the 2019 world titlist, continued the story of the world champion winning the event in the past four Olympics Games.

“It’s crazy. I still don’t think I’ve realized the whole world champion thing, so this will take a while to get used to,” Macneil said about the Olympic champion.

Macneil became the third Canadian woman to win gold in swimming at the Olympic Games. The gold was also the first gold medal for Canada in butterfly events at the Olympic Games. The previous two medals were silver, for one in the men’s 100m butterfly in 1972 and another in the women’s 100m butterfly in 2016.

Li Bingjie snatched the bronze for China in women’s 400m freestyle, after Australia’s Ariarne Titmus and American Katie Ledecky.

Twenty-year-old Ariarne Titmus posted 3:56.69 to top this season’s world rankings in this event. Ledecky had 3:57.36. Li bettered her Asian record with 4:01.08.

“It was certainly a tough race and I delivered. I couldn’t do much better than that. It was my second-best swim ever (over 400m freestyle). I felt like I fought tooth and nail and that’s all you can ask for,” said Ledecky.

Australia has not won a medal in the women’s 400m freestyle at the Olympic Games since Hayley Lewis took bronze in 1992.

“It is the biggest thing you can pull off in your sporting career, so I’m over the moon. I’m trying to contain it as much as I can. I have a big program ahead of me, but I can enjoy this afterwards,” Titmus said.

In the men’s 100m breaststroke, Adam Peaty defended his title for Britain in 57.37. Arno Kamminga of the Netherlands won the silver in 58 seconds and Italy’s Nicolo Martinenghi took bronze.


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