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Mac Neil tops women’s 100 butterfly to win Canada’s 1st Olympic gold medal in Tokyo

Strong second length propels swimmer to victory
Margaret Mac Neil, right, of Canada, is congratulated by Sarah Sjoestroem of Sweden103 after winning the final of the women’s 100-metre butterfly at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Monday, July 26, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Swimmer Margaret Mac Neil has won Canada’s first gold medal of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Mac Neil was seventh at the halfway point of the women’s 100-metre butterfly, but swam a strong second length to win in a time of 55.59 seconds.

Zhang Yufei of China was second and Emma McKeon of Australia finished third.

Mac Neil became Canada’s first multi-medallist in Tokyo following a silver medal in the women’s 4x100 freestyle relay in the first day of finals.

The 21-year-old from London, Ont., was a surprise winner of the 100-metre butterfly at the 2019 world championship in Gwangju, South Korea, where she bested reigning Olympic champion Sarah Sjoestroem of Sweden.

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Mac Neil, a senior at the University of Michigan, is also a two-time NCAA champion in freestyle and butterfly.

She’d posted the sixth-fastest semifinal time in the 100-metre butterfly an hour before swimming the second leg of the relay in Tokyo.

The Canadian Press

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