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Zac Stubblety-Cook has claimed another gold medal for Australia in the pool after setting a new Olympic Record in the final of the men's 200m breaststroke.
The 22-year-old from New South Wales dominated the Olympic trials, setting Commonwealth and national records with his blistering swims.
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Stubblety-Cook clocked 2min 06.28sec 200m to comfortable qualify first for the final, which was swum at a blistering pace with most of the field ahead of the world record mark after the first 100 metres.
The Aussie had some work to do going into the final 50 metres but he showed another gear to power home in a new Olympic-best of 101.72.
Arno Kamminga of Netherlands won silver and Matti Mattsson of Finland took the bronze.
The incredible moment lit up social media, with fans praising Australia's newest Olympic champion.
— KEL-LFC 💫🇦🇺🇵🇸 (@Kelz081) July 29, 2021
— Matt Brown (@BrownMatthewA) July 29, 2021
— Mikey Cole (@themikeycole) July 29, 2021
— Glenn Rollinson (@glenn_rollinson) July 29, 2021
WHAT A FINISH!!!
Zac Stubblety-Cook does it 🥇🇦🇺 https://t.co/1AiX17HLTP
— Melanie McLaughlin (@Mel_Mclaughlin) July 29, 2021
22-year-old Zac Stubblety-Cook has just won Gold at his first Olympics. You beauty! 🇦🇺🥇 https://t.co/WDPy29arX7
— Anthony Albanese (@AlboMP) July 29, 2021
Zac Stubblety-Cook is the Olympic 200m breaststroke champion and executes the perfect race on the grandest stage. They went crazy at the start and he just powers over the top in 2:06.38, a new Olympic record. He was so composed all week and that was just clinical #Tokyo2020
— Phil Lutton (@phillutton78) July 29, 2021
Zac Stubblety-Cook wins Australia's fifth swimming gold
Australia has now won seven gold, one silver and nine bronze medals at the Tokyo Games.
Five of those gold medals have come in the pool, with the prospect of more to come on Thursday.
Making his Olympic debut, the New South Welshman entered the medal race as favourite - he was fastest qualifier and also held the world's quickest time in the event this year.
Stubblety-Cook turned in fourth spot at the halfway stage and was third with 50 metres to swim.
The Australian stormed home to win in two minutes 06.38 seconds from Arno Kamminga (2:07.01) of the Netherlands and Finland's Matti Mattson (2:07.13).
"You can only be an underdog once, right? I had that luxury," he said.
"It was an experienced field but through the heat and semi it was quite exciting that I had a little bit more to give.
"I was happy enough to be here as this time last year we didn't think the Games were going to happen."
Stubblety-Cook admitted being somewhat unnerved by the hot pace set y the Dutchman Kamminga.
"Absolutely. But I was there to execute a race plan," he said.
"And I was obviously pretty happy with the way it pulled off.
"I knew there would be a few people going for it from the start.
"The last time it was won from someone in lane eight, no-one could see him and he held on.
"I was just happy to execute my race plan and do what I do best."
Stubblety-Cook becomes an Olympic gold medallist three years after being a heat swimmer at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
The self-described perfectionist has been travelling an upward curve ever since, winning his first international medal - 200m breaststroke silver - at the Pan Pacs the following year.
At the 2019 world titles, Stubblety-Cook finished fourth in his pet event and at Australia's selection trials in June for the Tokyo Games, he logged the fastest time of the year, a Commonwealth record 2:06.28.
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