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The First Tokyo Olympics Medals For The U.S. Go To 2 Men’s Swimmers

Chase Kalisz of the U.S. celebrates after winning the final of the men’s 400m individual medley swimming event during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on Sunday.

Attila Kisbenedek/AFP via Getty Images


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Attila Kisbenedek/AFP via Getty Images

The First Tokyo Olympics Medals For The U.S. Go To 2 Men's Swimmers

Chase Kalisz of the U.S. celebrates after winning the final of the men’s 400m individual medley swimming event during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on Sunday.

Attila Kisbenedek/AFP via Getty Images

The first U.S. medals of the Olympics went to two swimmers in the men’s 400 meter individual medley race.

27-year-old Chase Kalisz was nearly a full body length ahead of his closest competitor at the end of the race, with a time of 4:09.42. U.S. swimmer Jay Litherland took silver, 0.86 seconds behind him. Brendon Smith of Australia won bronze.

This Olympics is the first one since 1972 where the U.S. did not win a medal on the first day they were awarded.

U.S. swimming legend Michael Phelps has held the world record in this event for 13 years. His winning time, 4:03.84, is more than five and a half seconds faster than the time that won today’s gold medal.

Minutes after Kalisz’s win, U.S. swimmer Kieran Smith took bronze in the 400 meter freestyle. Tunisia’s Ahmed Hafnaoui, who had the slowest qualifying time of the finalists, pulled off a major upset and won the race.

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