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Monday, September 27, 2021
Robert Finke, of United States, celebrates after winning the gold medal in the men's 1500-meter freestyle final at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 1, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Robert Finke, of United States, celebrates after winning the gold medal in the men's 1500-meter freestyle final at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 1, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Bobby Finke added to his hardware once again.

The UF senior hauled in his second 2020 Olympic gold medal Saturday in the 1500-meter freestyle. He raced a 14.39.65 time and out swam Ukraine’s Mykhailo Romanchuk by 1.01 seconds. 

Finke appeared to be fated for bronze at first. 

The Gator swam behind Florian Wellbrock and Gregorio Paltrinieri throughout the first 350 meters and gained control of third place at the 600-meter mark. He held a constant 1.61m/s. 

He slowed down to 1.63m/s at the 850-meter mark and maintained the respectable pace for the remaining lengths. 

Finke continued to hold tight with Wellbrock and Mykhailo Romanchuk as he sat comfortably in third place for 900 meters. 

He then did the unpredictable. 

The elite swimmer used all his force and surpassed both Wellbrock and Romanchuk the final 50 meters of the race. Finke finished the final length in an astounding 25.7 seconds.

Finke became the first US swimmer to win Olympic gold in the 1500-meter freestyle in 37 years. 

“I had to try and race the others,” Finke told NBC. “I was just trying to hold on and get my hand on the wall.”

He beat his semifinal qualifying time of 14:47.20 by 7.75 seconds.

The star swimmer earned his first Wednesday gold medal in the 800-meter freestyle with a 7:41.87 time. 

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The remaining 2020 Olympic swimming 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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