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Wang steals show to become first 200m medley champion since Phelps

Wang was the top seed for the 200m after an impressive showing in the semi-final.

Wang Shun celebrates after the men's 200m individual medley final.
Wang Shun celebrates after the men's 200m individual medley final.
Image: Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

CHINA’S WANG SHUN claimed the men’s 200m individual medley gold medal Friday, becoming the event’s first new Olympic champion since 2000 after the retirement of four-time winner Michael Phelps.

Wang touched in 1min 55.00secs ahead of Britain’s Duncan Scott (1:55.28) and Switzerland’s Jeremy Desplanches (1:56.17).

American Michael Andrew boasted this year’s fastest time coming into Tokyo but could only manage fifth while there was more disappointment for Japan’s defending world champion Daiya Seto, who came fourth.

Seto was one of the clear favourites to win the 400m individual medley earlier this week but failed even to make the final.

Wang was the top seed for the 200m after an impressive showing in the semi-final, and his pedigree goes further back after he won bronze both at Rio 2016 and at the 2017 world championships.

Scott pushed Wang close, finishing less than half-a-second behind the Chinese to smash the British record and collect his third medal in Japan, after taking silver in the 200m freestyle and gold in the 4x200m relay.

“It was always going to be tight and exciting,” said Scott. “I know I’m going to come back strong. I’m really happy with the swim, it just wasn’t there. I’ve got to hold my head up high with that.” 

© – AFP, 2021

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