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Monday, September 27, 2021
Robert Finke of the United States celebrates winning the men's 800-meters freestyle final at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Thursday, July 29, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
Robert Finke of the United States celebrates winning the men's 800-meters freestyle final at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Thursday, July 29, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Gator swimmer Bobby Finke took home a gold medal Wednesday in the 800-meter freestyle, his first Olympic medal and the second men’s individual swimming gold for the United States in Tokyo this summer. 

He set a new American record with his 7:41.87 time. 

The USA representative held steady in fifth place throughout the race until the final 50 meters, when he surged ahead of Italy’s Gregorio Paltriniera, who dominated the waters for the majority of the race. 

“I honestly wanted to get my hand on the wall,” he told NBC after the race.

Finke finished the race .24 seconds ahead of Paltriniera. His final 50-meter split of 26.39 was more than a second and a half faster than the Italian, and he was the only competitor to break the 28-second barrier on the final stretch.

The schedule for remaining events can be found here

Contact Faith Buckley at fbuckley@alligator.org. Follow her on Twitter @_faithbuckley.

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Faith Buckley

Faith Buckley is a first-year journalism student at UF and The Alligator's swimming and diving beat writer. She is specializing in sports media to one day hopefully work as an NHL commentator.


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