RIO DE JANEIRO — Simone Manuel has become the first African-American woman to win a gold medal in swimming with her win in the 100-meter freestyle.
Manuel upset world-record holder Cate Campbell and tied with Penny Oleksiak of Canada Thursday at the Rio Games.
Campbell was on pace to take her world record even lower when she made the turn out front, with little sister Bronte right behind her. But the Australian siblings, who teamed up to lead their country to gold in the 4×100 freestyle relay, couldn’t hang on.
Bronte faded to fourth, and Cate dropped all the way to sixth at the finish.
Instead, it was Manuel — her fingernails painted red, white and blue — who touched at the same time as 16-year-old Oleksiak, the youngest swimmer in the field.
Manuel broke down in tears when she recognized her historic achievement in a sport that still has few African-Americans.