An overview shows Emma McKeon, Chelsea Hodges, Kaylee McKeown and Cate Campbell celebrate winning to take gold in the final at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre on Sunday. AFP
Gulf Today Report
Australia's Emma McKeon became the first female swimmer to win seven medals at a single Olympic Games on Sunday after completing the sprint double with victory in the 50m freestyle and then winning another gold in the women's 4x100 medley relay.
Australia won nine, their most swimming golds at a Games, and Britain left with four golds as part of a record haul of eight total medals.
Emma McKeon, who has pocketed four golds in Tokyo, swam the butterfly leg as part of Australia's 'Awesome Foursome' in the medley relay, with Cate Campbell's superb final leg pushing the United States into silver.
That saw McKeon join Michael Phelps, Mark Spitz and Matt Biondi as the only swimmers to win seven medals at a Games. Russian gymnast Maria Gorokhovskaya, in 1952, is the only woman to have won seven in any other sport.
Phelps holds the record in swimming with eight medals won in both Athens in 2004 and Beijing four years later.
"I look at the athletes who have come before me and been so impressed with what they have done and been inspired by what they have done, but I’ve never really looked at the stats of medal counts," McKeon said. "It is an honour because I know I’ve worked so hard for it."
Team mate Campbell was full of praise for McKeon's performances in Tokyo.
Members of Team Australia celebrate after race. Reuters
"Full credit to Emma ... I think that we just need to acknowledge what an incredible job she has done,” Campbell said.
“She walks away from these Games with four gold medals now and I honestly could not be happier for her. She is such an important part of this team and I think that needs to be recognised."
McKeon outsprinted the field in the 50m freestyle, with Swede Sarah Sjoestroem taking silver and Rio 50m champion Pernille Blume of Denmark bronze, and was then quickly back in the pool for the medley relay.
The Australians were second all the way to the final turn when Campbell pulled away from Abbey Weitzeil to secure the ninth gold medal for the country in the Tokyo pool — eight of which have come from the women's squad.
The Abes' success gave Japan its third and fourth gold medal of the day after Yuto Horigome took skateboarding's first Olympic title and swimmer Yui Ohashi was the surprise winner of the women's 400m individual competition.
Keleti, who celebrates her birthday on Jan.9, is also Hungary's most successful gymnast, and one of the most decorated Jewish athletes in history. While she now has dementia that affects her short-term memory, her feisty spirit remains intact.
China won the mixed doubles the previous day and had hopes of pulling off a golden badminton sweep in Tokyo, after a spotty performance at the Rio Games in Brazil. In 2012, at London Games, China won all 5 badminton gold medals.
In Tokyo, athletes got a surreal glimpse of everyday Tokyo life on Sunday when the closing ceremony was briefly transformed into a park with grass, buskers and BMX riders in a valediction after weeks spent under the regime of a pandemic Games.
Competing against an international field packed with world stars, UAE gymnast Lamia Tariq Malallah made the country proud once again after finishing on the podium in the 6th International Emirates Cup.
The ground was a sorry soggy sight when officials called off play for the day and a message on the giant screen, for the fans, read "please keep your physical tickets safe!." The action will begin on Monday...
Both teams now qualified for the second edition of the ANOC World Beach Games, which will take place in Bali, Indonesia, on Aug.5-12, 2023.