When Emma Weyant arrives on Grounds in a few weeks, she will have a new accessory to bring with her: an Olympic silver medal. The incoming first year was outstanding in her Olympic debut, finishing second in the 400-meter Individual Medley on Saturday night. Japan’s Yui Ohashi finished first with a time of 4:32.08. Weyant’s 4:32.76 was a new personal best for the Florida native in the event.
“Honestly, this is crazier than anything I could have dreamed of,” Weyant said in her post-game interview. “I’m just so happy to be here to race the best in the world. It is so much fun.”
Weyant had the top time heading into the finals, but Ohashi used strong backstroke and breaststroke legs to pull away. Over the final 50 meters Weyant was able to close some, but Ohashi’s lead was too big. The United States also snagged a bronze in the race as Hali Flickinger finished with a strong push to overtake the reigning gold medal and World Record holder Katinka Hosszú for third.
The US National Team locked down five medals on the first day of swimming competition, taking home one gold, two silver, and two bronze medals. Chase Kalisz won the gold in the 400-yard IM on the men’s side, with University of Georgia teammate Jay Litherland making a dramatic push over the final 15 yards to touch second for silver. Kieran Smith touched third for the bronze in the men’s 400-meter freestyle final.
There are still three more Virginia swimmers to compete as Paige Madden, Alex Walsh, and Kate Douglass are still on the docket for this week. Now, Weyant will focus on helping the Wahoos hopefully go back-to-back with another NCAA Championship.
Huge congrats to Emma on her Olympic silver!