Japan’s Yui Ohashi wins women’s Olympic 200m individual medley

Sports Tokyo 2020

Tokyo, Japan | AFP

Japan’s unheralded Yui Ohashi stormed to the Olympic women’s 200m individual medley title on Wednesday, making it a Tokyo double after her earlier triumph in the 400m medley.

Ohashi produced a strong finishing freestyle leg to touch the wall in 2min 08.52sec, with Alex Walsh second in 2:08.65 and fellow American Kate Douglass third in 2:09.04.

Defending champion and world record-holder Katinka Hosszu came seventh.

After winning the 400m medley Ohashi credited a wave of hometown support in helping her realise her dream. And she tapped into it again on Wednesday.

She was second behind earlier pace setter Yu Yiting after the butterfly and backstroke legs, but timed her race perfectly with a powerful breaststroke swim before bringing it home in style.

She has now dethroned veteran Hosszu twice, with the Hungarian virtually untouchable in this event since winning the Rio Olympics, claiming gold at the 2017 and 2019 world championships.

But the writing was on the wall when she only qualified seventh-fastest after finishing fifth in the 400m medley.

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Tokyo 2020 AFP