UM's Maggie MacNeil wins Canada's 1st gold at the pool in 100 fly

By Paul Newberry
Associated Press

Tokyo — University of Michigan senior Maggie MacNeil has captured Canada’s first gold medal at the pool with a victory in the women’s 100-meter butterfly.

The reigning world champion touched first in 55.59 seconds, edging out Zhang Yufei of China (55.64) for the top spot. Emma McKeon of Australia took the bronze in 55.72, beating American teenager Torri Huske by one-hundredth of a second.

Margaret MacNeil, right, of Canada, is congratulated by Sarah Sjoestroem of Sweden after winning the final of the women's 100-meter butterfly at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Monday, July 26, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan.

Huske went out fast, as is her style, and appeared to be close to the front with about 10 meters to go. But she faded on her final strokes and just missed a spot on the podium.

The U.S. team was denied a medal for the first time in the swimming competition.

Defending champion and world-record holder Sarah Sjöström of Sweden was seventh.

The morning’s biggest races were still to come.

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American star Katie Ledecky was set to face off against Australian rival Ariarne Titmus in the women’s 400 freestyle, Caeleb Dressel was beginning his quest for six gold medals starting with the men’s 4x100 free relay and Adam Peaty of Britain was heavily favored to defend his Olympic title in the 100 breaststroke.

The powerhouse American team got off to a rousing start at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre, capturing six of 12 medals on the opening day of finals. That was more than they ever won on the first day during Michael Phelps’ stellar career, which encompassed the last five Olympics.

Phelps retired from competition after the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games and is doing commentary for American broadcaster NBC at these Olympics.

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