Zac Stubblety-Cook has continued the green and gold rush in the pool at the Tokyo Olympics, winning the men’s 200m breaststroke.
The 22-year-old was one of the favourites going into the event, but for those who didn’t know much about Stubblety-Cook going into the race, you’d have thought from the vision of the first lap he was just in there to make up the numbers.
Stubblety-Cook was well back in the pack at the halfway mark of the race but surged home in the final 50m to make up huge ground and touch the wall in a new Olympic record of 2.06:38, ahead of Dutch star Arno Kamminga in second and Finland’s Matti Mattson in third.
A photo shows just how much ground Stubblety-Cook had to make up in the pool to not only win the race, but just to stay within touching distance of the leaders.
The Aussie was a full body length behind as swimmers turned for the final lap.
But he stormed home to touch the wall first and send legendary Australian swimmer Leisel Jones into raptures.
“Zac Stubblety-Cook, I am so proud of you, the Olympic record in the 200 breaststroke,” Jones said.
“We’ve always been so consistent in this event, and the gold medal has just been elusive.”
Stubblety-Cook’s win gave Australia its seventh gold medal for the Games, equalling the haul we mentioned five years ago in Rio.
To win the gold was the moment the Queenslander had dreamt of his entire life, but he could barely muster any words to sum up his achievement.
“Unbelievable. Lost for words, really,” Stubblety-Cook said.
“Without (my family’s) support I couldn’t be here.
“But it’s been a tough five years and I’m lost for words to be honest.”
Despite being unable to verbalise his thoughts on what he’d just accomplished, he did give an insight into his race plan.
As he lurked in the backfield of the race, it was actually the youngster’s strategy all along.