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Australia’s Horton hangs on for 400 meter freestyle gold

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China’s Sun Yang arrived in Rio looking to defend his gold medal in the 400 meter freestyle. But yang fell just short of a repeat in the event, with Australia’s Mack Horton holding off the reigning Olympic champion to win Australia’s first gold medal of the Rio Olympics. Horton, who posted the second-fastest time of the qualifying heats, finished the final with a time of 3:41.51 with Yang just 17 one-hundredths of a second behind at 3:41.68.

Winning the bronze medal was Gabriele Detti of Italy, who finished with a time of 3:43.49. He’s the first Italian to medal in this event since Massimiliano Rossolino won the silver medal in Sydney in 2000, and in total three Italians have won a medal in the 400 meter freestyle (Novella Calligaris, 1972). The United States failed to medal in this event, with Conor Dwyer finishing fourth with a time of 3:44.01 and Connor Jaeger settling for fifth place with a time of 3:44.16.

Dwyer posted the fastest qualifying time, earning the spots in lane four as a result, but he was unable to carry that performance over into the final.

Horton’s gold medal is the first in this event for an Australian swimmer since Ian Thorpe won gold in 2004, and his win is the latest development in a rivalry between he and Yang. More importantly the gold could be the start of a resurgence for Australia after they experienced significant disappointment in London four years ago. Australia’s lone swimming gold medal in London came in the women’s 4×100 meter freestyle relay.

David Rudisha escapes car crash ‘well and unhurt’

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David Rudisha, a two-time Olympic champion and world record holder at 800m, is “well and unhurt” after a car accident in his native Kenya, according to his Facebook account.

Kenyan media reported that one of Rudisha’s tires burst on Saturday night, leading his car to collide with a bus, and he was treated for minor injuries at a hospital.

Rudisha, 30, last raced July 4, 2017, missing extended time with a quad muscle strain and back problems. His manager said last week that Rudisha will miss next month’s world championships.

Rudisha owns the three fastest times in history, including the world record 1:40.91 set in an epic 2012 Olympic final.

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Tokyo Paralympic medals unveiled with historic Braille design, indentations

Tokyo Paralympic Medals
Tokyo 2020
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The Tokyo Paralympic medals, which like the Olympic medals are created in part with metals from recycled cell phones and other small electronics, were unveiled on Sunday, one year out from the Opening Ceremony.

In a first for the Paralympics, each medal has one to three indentation(s) on its side to distinguish its color by touch — one for gold, two silver and three for bronze. Braille letters also spell out “Tokyo 2020” on each medal’s face.

For Rio, different amounts of tiny steel balls were put inside the medals based on their color, so that when shaken they would make distinct sounds. Visually impaired athletes could shake the medals next to their ears to determine the color.

More on the design from Tokyo 2020:

The design is centered around the motif of a traditional Japanese fan, depicting the Paralympic Games as the source of a fresh new wind refreshing the world as well as a shared experience connecting diverse hearts and minds. The kaname, or pivot point, holds all parts of the fan together; here it represents Para athletes bringing people together regardless of nationality or ethnicity. Motifs on the leaves of the fan depict the vitality of people’s hearts and symbolize Japan’s captivating and life-giving natural environment in the form of rocks, flowers, wood, leaves, and water. These are applied with a variety of techniques, producing a textured surface that makes the medals compelling to touch.

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Tokyo Paralympic Medals

Tokyo Paralympic Medals