Australia’s Zac Stubblety-Cook swam a blistering race to claim the men’s 200m breaststroke gold medal on Thursday in a new Olympic record time of 2min 06.38sec.
Arno Kamminga went out hard but was overpowered by Stubblety-Cook in the final 50m with the Dutch ace second in 2:07.01. Finland’s Matti Mattsson was third in 2:07.13.
World record holder and two-time world champion Anton Chupkov could only manage fourth, capping an unhappy Games for the Russian, who missed out on making the 100m breaststroke final.
Reigning Olympic champion Dmitriy Balandin of Kazakhstan failed to make the final.
“It’s an honour. I’m just lost for words right now and it’s still sinking in," said the Australian winner.
“That was an experienced field but as I stepped through the heat and semi it was quite exciting to know that I had a little bit more to give. I was happy enough just to be here."
Stubblety-Cook recorded the second-fastest time ever last month at the Australian trials to signal his intent and he timed his race perfectly.
Kamminga turned at the halfway mark in the lead followed by Mattsson but the Australian was always in touch and put his foot down hard in the final 50m to earn the title.