Not even modern technology could separate America's Simone Manuel and Canada's Penny Oleksiak in the final of the women's 100m freestyle. The pair both won gold, but their win was more significant than just a medal.
Simone Manuel and Penny Oleksiak could not be seperated in the women's 100m freestyle final as they tied for gold with a time of 52.70 seconds - a new Olympic record. World record holder Cate Campbell of Australia was forced to watch on after finishing sixth.
This is America's first gold medal in the women's 100m freestyle since the 1984 Games in Los Angeles, when, coincedently, the event also finished with the gold medal being shared.
“I would like there to be a day when there are more of us and it’s not ‘Simone the black swimmer,’” said Manuel, who became the first woman of African-American descent to win a gold in an Olympic swimming event.
“This medal is not just for me,” Manuel added. “It’s for some of the African-Americans who have come before me and have been inspirations and mentors to me. I hope that I can be an inspiration for others.”
Not to be outdone, Oleksiak became the first gold medalist in Olympic history to be born in the 21st century as she swept up her fouth medal of the Games.
The 16-year-old also has a silver in the 100m butterfly and two relay bronze medals in Rio to her name. If the present is anything to go by, the future looks very bright for Toronto-born Oleksiak.
lsb/jh (Reuters, AP)