Mack Horton Edges Sun Yang for 400 Freestyle Gold in Rio

Photo Courtesy: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports


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James Guy of Great Britain led at the 100 meter mark of the men’s 400 freestyle final and held on through the halfway mark. The field moved up by the 300 mark and swam nearly four across with 50 meters to go.

Australia’s Mack Horton and China’s Sun Yang charged ahead in the final 50 meters. Horton got to the wall first, upsetting Yang’s bid for back to back gold. Horton touched in 3:41.55 to Sun’s 3:41.68.

After the race, Horton was nearly in disbelief at his mammoth effort, but he credited his quiet confidence for helping him come through.

“It hasn’t really sunk in yet,” Horton said. “I think to win a gold medal at an international meet like that, you have to be confident. Anybody in that pool can win, it’s just who believes they can do it the most. I believed that I could do it the most.”

Horton, in what he claimed was his “100th” interview since winning his gold medal, did not want to get too excited so early since it is just day one of what figures to be a long meet.

“It’s still day one, seven days to go,” Horton said. “There’s a lot of work for me to do and a lot of work for the swim team to do the rest of the week.”

Italy’s Gabriele Detti claimed bronze in 3:43.89.

American Conor Dwyer finished just outside of a medal with a fourth place 3:44.01 while his teammate Connor Jaeger was fifth in 3:44.16.

Guy faded to a 3:44.68 for sixth. Australia’s David McKeon was seventh in 3:45.28 and France’s Jordan Pothain touched eighth in 3:49.07.