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Kalisz Takes Gold as Bulldogs Earn Five Medals

428 days ago
Photo: Getty Images

The following was originally published on georgiadogs.com.

TOKYO - With an opening 1-2 finish in the men's 400-meter individual medley final, the University of Georgia swimming program made its presence known Saturday on the first day of competition at the 2020 Summer Olympic Games. During the session at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre, Georgia alums earned five medals, with China's six medals only outpacing the Bulldogs' program to this point.

Alums Chase Kalisz and Jay Litherland earned the first two medals for the United States Olympic team in Tokyo, finishing first (4:09.42) and second (4:10.28) in the 400 IM. Kalisz became the first Georgia men's swimmer to earn an individual gold medal, taking control in the breaststroke leg for a decisive victory. Litherland surged in the freestyle leg, coming back from sixth place with a 27.96 split in the final 50 meters.

Georgia's dominance in the 400 IM continued later in the session as alum Hali Flickinger earned the bronze medal with a time of 4:34.90. Flickinger led the field through two strokes and used a 30.45 split in the final 50 meters to reach the podium for her first career Olympic medal.

In the closing women's 400-meter freestyle final, Athens Bulldog Swim Club (ABSC) pro group member Natalie Hinds' third leg of 53.15 helped the Americans earn the bronze medal. With their outings in the morning prelims, Georgia alums Allison Schmitt and Olivia Smoliga added to their career hauls with bronze medals.

In other action, ABSC pro swimmer Andrew Wilson advanced to Sunday's 100-meter breaststroke final, placing eighth with a time of 59.18. Wilson will be joined on Sunday's schedule by Bulldog alum Javier Acevedo, who will be competing for Canada in the men's 400-meter freestyle relay.

With five medals won on Saturday, the University of Georgia swimming and diving program has now won 36 overall medals under the tutelage of Tom Cousins Head Coach Jack Bauerle.