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July 27, 2021, 11:41 p.m. EDT

Katy Ladecky wins her first gold medal of Tokyo Olympics in inaugural 1,500m

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By Associated Press

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Italy’s Federica Pellegrini of Italy finished seventh in her fifth and final Olympics. She won the gold in 2008 and is still the world-record holder.

The Americans also picked up a couple of medals in the women’s 200 individual medley — but not the one they wanted.

Japan’s Yui Ohashi completed her IM sweep by beating Americans Alex Walsh and Kate Douglass, adding to her victory in the 400.

The winning time was 2:08.52. Walsh claimed the silver in 2:08.65, while the bronze went to Douglass in 2:09.04.

Defending Olympic champion and world record-holder Katinka Hosszu of Hungary finished seventh. She was the oldest swimmer in the final at age 32.

There were  no surprises  in the men’s 200 butterfly, with Kristof Milak of Hungary romping to a dominating — but rather nerve-wracking — victory.

Milak won the the gold by about two body lengths despite having to hastily change suits before the race, which cost him a chance to break his own world record.

Milak said that he realized about 10 minutes before walking on deck that his suit was damaged. He told Hungarian reporters that he totally lost focus, though it was hard to tell from his performance in the pool.

He held up the suit in the mixed zone, putting a finger through the tear before tossing it on a table in disgust.

Milak still touched in an Olympic record of 1:51.25 — more than a half-second off his 2019 world record (1:50.73) but some 2 1/2 seconds ahead of the silver medalist.

Japan’s Tomoru Honda finished in 1:53.73, while the bronze went to Italy’s Federico Burdisso (1:54.45).

South African star Chad le Clos finished fifth. He won the 200 fly at the 2012 London Olympics, upsetting Michael Phelps, but was no match for the Hungarian star.

Caeleb Dressel breezed through the semifinals of the 100 free, his first of three individual events. The American star posted the second-fastest time (47.23), just behind Russia’s Kliment Kolesnikov (47.11).

“That’s about what I expected,” Dressel said. “It’s going to be a fast final.”

He shook off the view that he’s a lock for the gold.

“I’ve never been a fan of favorites,” Dressel said. “It’s going to be a really fun race. Really looking forward to it. I mean, there’s quite honestly eight guys in contention, so it’s going to be exciting for everyone to watch. You guys (in the media) should be jealous I get to take part in it.”

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