Bobby Finke stuns again, wins gold in 1500m

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TOKYO — Bobby Finke, the surprise American champion of the 800-meter freestyle at the Olympics earlier this week, completed a stunning distance double here on Sunday.

Finke also won the 1500 with a similarly remarkable final-leg kick. After almost a mile of swimming, he sprinted to the wall and out-touched Germany’s Florian Wellbrock. His final time of 14:39.65 beat Ukraine’s Mykhailo Romanchuk and Wellbrock by over a second.

As he had on Thursday, Finke lingered slightly off the pace for much of the race. He spent the middle laps in third, behind Wellbrock and Romanchuk, just ahead of Gregorio Paltrinieri. The race became a battle between those four, in the middle four lanes, with the outside lanes out of the picture. For minutes, they swam stroke for stroke, Finke roughly a half-second behind Wellbrock.

Finke pulled level with Romanchuk in second with 100 meters to go. Finke then turned it on. He swam his second-to-last 50 in 28.6, his fastest by nearly a half second. He then swam the final 50 in 25.78, as his American teammates cheered from the stands. After touching first, he raised his arms to them, a two-time Olympic champ.

When told his time on the final 50, Finke said, “I thought I was coming home a lot slower than the 800. Oh my god.”

With Katie Ledecky also winning both the 800 and the 1500 on the women’s side, the U.S. swept the four longest races at these Games, the first time they’ve all been on the Olympic program.

Best of Tokyo 2020 Day 9 slideshow embed
Best of Tokyo 2020 Day 9 slideshow embed

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