Swimming at Tokyo 2020: Dean, Jacoby spring a surprise

Dean, who had contracted the coronavirus twice last year, was content to remain second before making a move in the final lap and emerging on top.

Tom Dean in action at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre on Tuesday.   -  GETTY IMAGES

The form book took another beating as little-known Briton Tom Dean took the men’s 200m freestyle at the Tokyo Aquatic Centre on Tuesday. 

The 21-year-old, a mechanical engineering student at the University of Bath who had represented his country in the 200m individual medley at the 2019 World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea, showed no sign of nerves as he rallied to win in a time of 1:44.22.

Dean's team-mate Duncan Scott and Lithuanian Danas Rapsys were the favourites for the race. However, it was South Korean Sunwoo Kwang who led the pack for the first three laps.

READ| Tokyo Olympics: Britain's Dean comes back from Covid to win 200m freestyle gold

Dean, who had contracted the coronavirus twice last year, was content to remain second before making a move in the final lap and emerging on top. Scott ensured a 1-2 for Great Britain with a late rally.

This was the first time since London 1908 that Great Britain won two medals in the same event. Scott, who took the silver at 1:44.26, pushed Brazilian Fernando Scheffer (1:44.66) to the third spot. 

Russian Evgeny Rylov, with a strong finish, claimed the men’s 100m backstroke title with a new European record of 51.98. Rylov had won the silver in Rio 2016.

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The 24-year-old was placed second behind team-mate Kliment Kolesnikov in the initial stages of the two-lapper before surging ahead. 

Kolesnikov made it a 1-2 for Russia, finishing in 52s flat. American Ryan Murphy was a distant third in 52.19.

The Australian campaign received boost as Kaylee McKeown, making her Olympic debut, powered to victory in the women’s 100m backstroke, clocking 57.47, a new Games. 

The 20-year-old, who finished fifth in Gwangju, was lying third before moving to the top. McKeown proved that her world-record effort of 57.45 in the Australian trials was no flash in the pan.

McKeown was expected to be given a tough fight by Canadian Kylie Masse and American Regan Smith. Though the two did their best, they were not able to stop the Australian based in Brisbane. Masse took the silver in 57.72 and Smith the bronze at 58.05.

The United States grabbed the other gold of the day, as Games debutant and the precocious Jacoby shocked South African Tatjana Schoenmaker, and favourite and senior teammate, Lily King, in the women’s 100m breaststroke.

The 17-year-old from Alaska, the first swimmer from her State to make it to the Games, crowned herself with glory clocking 1:04.95.

King, the reigning World champion, world-record holder and the winner of this event in Rio 2016, saw her 53-race streak end. The 24-year-old was nowhere near the picture as Jacoby inched ahead at the start of the final 50m and stayed there till the finish.

Schoenmaker bagged the silver in 1;05.22, pushing King (1:05.54) to the third spot. 

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