By Sharon Robb
August 7, 2016—-South Florida Aquatic Club’s Jorge Murillo-Valdes made a great first impression in his Olympic debut.
Murillo-Valdes, 24, broke the Colombian national record in the 100-meter breaststroke in a lifetime-best 59.93 during the heats of opening day swimming action Saturday at Olympic Aquatics Stadium in Barra Olympic Park in Rio de Janeiro.
It was the first time Murillo-Valdes cracked the minute barrier.
Late Saturday night, Murillo-Valdes was unable to advance past the semifinals finishing in 1:00.81.
On Sunday, SOFLO’s four-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson begins her medal hunt in the 100-meter breaststroke in the afternoon heats and late night semifinals.
SOFLO teammate Timothy Wynter, also of Jamaica, will make his Olympic debut in the 100-meter backstroke. He will be in Lane 5 in the opening heat with a qualifying time of 57.47.
Three world records, two individual and one relay, were broken on Day One.
In his first Olympic race, Great Britain’s Adam Peaty, 21, lowered his world record in the 100-meter breaststroke in 57.55.
With a .55 reaction time off the blocks, Peaty was under his own world record by 3/10ths of a second at the turn. In the semifinals, Peaty qualified for Sunday’s final in 57.62. He now owns the six fastest breaststroke times in history.
“I am not very sure how to explain the world record,” Peaty said. “The job is not done yet. You never know what’s going to happen in each race. I felt pretty good and easy.”
Hungarian Katinka Hosszu, who trained in Fort Lauderdale during a training camp before the Olympics, got her first career Olympic gold medal while breaking her own world record in an incredible show of sheer strength and speed.
Hosszu won in 4:26.36. She was five seconds ahead of the record halfway through the race. The previous record was 4:28.43 set in 2012.
“I didn’t think I would go 26, but I knew I would be much faster than in the morning,” Hosszu said. “I haven’t been able to process what just happened.”
Japan’s Kosuke Hagino, the race favorite, won the 400-meter individual medley in 4:06.05, the first gold for Japan in this event. Hagino ended the U.S. streak in the 400 IM at five straight Olympic gold medals. Teammate Daiya Seto took the bronze in 4:09.71.
Australia bounced back from a disappointing 2012 London Olympics, winning the men’s 400-meter freestyle and women’s 4×100-meter freestyle relay.
Mack Horton knocked off China’s defending gold medalist Sun Yang, 3:41.55-3:41.68. Italian Gabriele Detti was third in 3:43.89. Americans Conor Dwyer (3:44.01) and Connor Jaeger (3:44.16) were fourth and fifth respectively.
To cap off an exciting, but late opening night of swimming, the Aussies 4×100-meter freestyle relay broke its own world record in 3:30.65. The previous record was 3:30.98. Relay members were Emma McKeon, Brittany Elmslie and sisters Bronte and Cate Campbell.
The American relay of Simone Manuel, Abbey Weitzeil, Dana Vollmer and Katie Ledecky took the silver in a new American record of 3:31.89. Vollmer was coming off the butterfly semifinals. The Canadians, with Sandrine Manville and Chantal Van Landeghem, who trained at Pine Crest during a camp, took the bronze.
In other events:
American Chase Kalisz of North Baltimore took the silver medal in the 400-meter individual medley in a personal best time of 4:06.75 in his Olympic debut.
U.S. teammate Maya DiRado won silver in the 400-meter individual medley. “It’s unbelievable, I had so much fun in that race,” she said. “It was an unbelievable experience. Kudos to Katinka, she crushed it.”
In a shocker, Louisville’s Kelsi Worrell failed to make the final of the 100-meter butterfly. Worrell was long into the finish and was fourth in her semifinal and finished ninth overall in 57.54.
DAY TWO, SUNDAY SCHEDULE:
Afternoon Session: Noon, Women’s 100 backstroke heats; 12:17 p.m., Men’s 200-meter freestyle heats; 12:54 p.m., Women’s 100-meter breaststroke heats; 1:14 p.m., Men’s 100-meter backstroke heats; 1:31 p.m., Women’s 400-meter freestyle heats; 2:03 p.m., Men’s 4×100-meter freestyle relay heats.
Evening Session: 9:03 p.m., Women’s 100-meter butterfly final; 9:08 p.m., Men’s 200-meter freestyle semifinals; 9:26 p.m., Women’s 100-meter breaststroke semifinals; 9:53 p.m., Men’s 100-meter breaststroke final; 10:01 p.m., Women’s 400-meter freestyle final; 10:09 p.m., Men’s 100-meter backstroke semifinals; 10:33 p.m., Women’s 100-meter backstroke semifinals; 10:54 p.m., 4×100-meter freestyle relay final.
Sharon Robb can be reached at email@example.com