Bobby Finke Comes From Behind To Snag First Gold For The US In Men’s 1500m In 37 Years

ODD ANDERSEN/AFP via Getty Images

Virginia Kruta Associate Editor
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American swimmer Bobby Finke delivered a blistering final lap Sunday to win gold in the men’s 1500m freestyle — the first for the U.S. in that event in 37 years.

After keeping pace with the rest of the field for nearly a full mile in the water, Finke put on a sudden burst of speed to clinch it in the last 50 meters. (RELATED: Katie Ledecky Dominates First Ever Women’s 1500M, Leading Team USA To A 1-2 Finish)

But what was truly incredible about Finke’s come-from-behind finish was that he had done the exact same thing just days earlier to win the first gold ever for the United States in the men’s 800m freestyle as well.

A split-screen look at both races together showed just how Finke switched gears in that final lap, pouring on a burst of speed to get home at the end of the longest races of the games.

Finke’s closing speed earned him praise from White House press secretary Jen Psaki and teammate Katie Ledecky —who swept the 800m and 1500m races in the women’s competitions.

When he spoke to reporters after the race, Finke could not hide the shocked look on his face when the reporter presented him with his own time in the final 50 meters of his swim.

“I thought I was coming home a lot slower than the 800,” Finke said.