“I just really wanted to get my hand on the wall,” Finke, 21, said after the race Thursday. “I’m just so happy I was able to switch into another gear.” Thursday’s race was the Olympic debut for the event, which Finke finished in 7:41.87. That time set an American record.
U.S. swimmer Bobby Finke comes from behind to win Olympic gold in 800-meter free The leader for most of the race, which is around a half-mile in length, was Italy’s Gregorio Paltrinieri. He came in second and won silver.
Paltrinieri, the 2016 Olympic champion in the 1500, got out to a massive early lead, leading Finke by over two seconds at the 300-meter mark. That gap was down to just over a second at the 500, and under a second at the 600, but then back at nearly 1.5 seconds at the 700 — but it wouldn’t prove enough to hold off Finke. Phil Helsel is a reporter for NBC News.
He was the lone American in the final. He’s set to return to the pool later this week to represent the U.S. in the 1500. Mykhailo Romanchuk of Ukraine won the bronze.
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