Bobby Finke mounts massive late charge to win first Olympic 800 free

Posted at 6:38 PM, Jul 28, 2021

American men's swimming finally has its distance star.

Bobby Finke came out of absolutely nowhere to win the first-ever men's 800m freestyle on Thursday in Tokyo, overtaking the field in the final 50.The lone American in the field won the event's Olympic debut in 7:41.87.

At the 750-meter mark, he was not in the picture for a medal, let alone gold. But a monumental final length of the pool saw him surge past Gregorio Paltrinieri (ITA), Mykhailo Romanchuk (UKR) and Florian Wellbrock (GER) to be first to the wall. Finke split 26.39 on the final length — the only man in the field to even crack 28. 

"I just really wanted to get my hand on the wall," Finke said. "I was able to switch into another gear."