South African sets first individual swimming WR at Tokyo

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Tokyo Olympics Swimming (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)
Tokyo Olympics Swimming (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

South Africa’s Tatjana Schoenmaker set the first individual swimming world record at the Tokyo Olympics on Friday.

She won the women’s 200-meter breaststroke with a time of 2 minutes, 18.95 seconds, breaking the mark of 2:19.11 set by Denmark’s Rikke Moller Pedersen at the 2013 world championships in Barcelona

The United States claimed the other two medals. Lilly King set a blistering pace early in the race and held on for a silver in 2:19.92. Annie Lazor grabbed bronze in 2:20.84.

It was the third world record at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre, with the first two coming in women’s relays.

Caeleb Dressel set another Olympic record in the semifinals of the 100 butterfly.

Minutes after Hungary’s Kristof Milak took down the mark in the first semifinal heat, Dressel went even faster with a time of 49.71 seconds in the second heat.

It was the third-fastest time in history and left Milak as the second-fastest qualifier at 50.31.

In the preliminaries, Dressel tied the former Olympic record of 50.39 set by Singapore’s Joseph Schooling to win gold at the 2016 Rio Games.

Dressel will be a big favorite in Saturday morning’s final, though he could get pushed by Milak. The Hungarian already won the 200 fly with a dominating victory.

Dressel picked up the first individual gold medal of his career with a win in the 100 freestyle.

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Paul Newberry is an Atlanta-based national writer and sports columnist covering his 14th Olympics. Follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/pnewberry1963 and his work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/paulnewberry

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More AP Olympic coverage: https://www.apnews.com/OlympicGames and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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