By Sharon Robb
August 10, 2016—-South Florida Aquatic Club’s Jorge Murillo-Valdes competed in his final event Tuesday at the Summer Olympic Games at Olympic Aquatics Stadium in Rio de Janeiro.
Murillo-Valdes, 24, competed in the 200-meter breaststroke finishing 28th overall in 2:12.81.
Earlier in the week, he broke the Colombian national record in the 100-meter breaststroke and finished 14th in 59.93. It was the first time he ever advanced past the preliminary round.
“Today ends for me this great experience of my first Olympic Games,” he wrote on his Facebook page. “National record, semifinal and a lot of things to improve. Today I close my cycle. Rio 2016 opens up the new with very good expectations for Tokyo 2020.”
The United States continued to dominate particularly Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky.
In their first meeting since the 2012 London Olympic final of the 200-meter butterfly which Phelps lost to South African Chad Le Clos, Phelps reclaimed his gold medal in 1:53.36. Phelps led after the first 100 meters.
It was Phelps 20th gold medal and 24th Olympic medal overall since his debut in Athens, Greece as a teenager. It also his third victory in the event, also winning in 2004 and 2008. It was his first individual medal of the Games after opening with a relay victory.
Phelps, 31, held off Japan’s Masato Sakai who silvered in 1:53.40. Phelps also won another gold medal as a member of the 4×200-meter freestyle relay for his 21st gold and 25th medal overall.
The butterfly race was won by 4/100ths of a second, the smallest margin of victory ever in the history of the race.
“I was pretty far up after that individual race,” Phelps said. “It was the race I wanted back. I did everything to win the race. I don’t care about the time. I just wanted to win. That event was my bread and butter. That was the last time I’ll ever swim it.
“It was a challenging one tonight. It is mind blowing to talk about everything that Bob and I have achieved for the sport. I think we can call it mission accomplished.”
Phelps was joined on the winning 4×800 relay by Connor Dwyer, Townley Haas and Ryan Lochte who won in 7:00.66.
“That was probably one of my most challenging doubles,” Phelps said. “Doing a double like that is a lot harder than it once was.”
After breaking her own world record in the 400-meter freestyle, Ledecky was pushed to the limit before winning the 200-meter freestyle in 1:53.73 ahead of favorite Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden.
Ledecky has yet to lose an international race since her debut at the 2012 Olympics.
“I just let it happen,” Ledecky said. “I saw I had the lead. I wasn’t going to let it go. I had to dig deep. That was the closest I have come to throwing up in a race. Every part of my body hurt at the end of the race.”
In other events:
Hungarian Katinka Hosszu withdrew from the 200-meter butterfly heats to save her energy for the 200-meter individual medley which paid off in another gold medal in 2:06.58, her third of the Games. American Maya DiRado took the bronze in 2:08.79.
“Amazing, I honestly can’t believe I have three golds,” Hosszu said. “I am very excited. I can’t believe I have three gold medals.”
DAY 5: WEDNESDAY
AFTERNOON SESSION: Noon, Women’s 100-meter freestyle heats; 12:23 p.m., Men’s 200-meter backstroke heats; 12:45 p.m., Women’s 200-meter breaststroke; 1:07 p.m., Men’s 200-meter individual medley; 1:29 p.m., Women’s 4×200-meter freestyle relay.
EVENING SESSION: 9:03 p.m., Men’s 200-meter breaststroke final; 9:09 p.m., Women’s 100-meter freestyle semifinals; 9:25 p.m., Men’s 200-meter backstroke semifinals; 954 p.m., Women’s 200-meter butterfly final; 10:03 p.m., Men’s 100-meter freestyle final; 10:08 p.m., Women’s 200-meter breaststroke semifinals; 10:55 p.m., Women’s 4×200-meter freestyle relay.
Sharon Robb can be reached at email@example.com