Bobby Finke of the United States won the first men’s 800-meter freestyle in an Olympics, coming from behind in the last lap to beat Italy’s Gregorio Paltrinieri.
Finke, a 21-year-old from the University of Florida, was competing in his first Olympics, and this was his only event.
It was expected to be a wide-open slog, with Mykhailo Romanchuk of Ukraine a slight favorite.
Paltrinieri arrived with one of the 10 best times in history. He had struggled in Tokyo and was relegated to an outside lane for the final, but he jumped out to the early lead, and held it through most of the race.
The pack pulled closer with each lap, and Finke surged in the final 50 meters to catch Paltrinieri, who held on for silver.
Finke finished in 7 minutes 41.87 seconds, a quarter-second ahead of Paltrinieri. Romanchuk captured the bronze.
The men’s 800 meters was added to the Olympics for the first time this year, along with the women’s 1,500.