Pernille Blume wins Denmark's first swim gold since 1948

Blume wins Denmark's first swim gold since 1948
By Reuters

14/08/2016 at 03:14Updated 14/08/2016 at 04:12

Denmark's Pernille Blume beat the favourites to win the 50 metres freestyle in 24.07 seconds on Saturday and give her country a first Olympic swimming gold medal since 1948.

Simone Manuel of the United States, who won 100 freestyle gold in a dead-heat with Canada's Penny Oleksiak, was just 0.02 behind for silver while Aliaksandra Herasimenia of Belarus took the bronze in 24.11.

Ranomi Kromowidjojo, the 2012 Olympic champion from the Netherlands, finished sixth while Australia's Campbell sisters Cate and Bronte again failed to medal in an individual sprint.

Britain's Fran Halsall finished fourth in 24.13.

The gold was Denmark's third in swimming, and Blume's first of any colour at an Olympics. The other two were won by Karen-Margrete Harup (100m backstroke) and Greta Anderson (100m freestyle) at the 1948 London Games.

Blume's time was 0.02 off Kromowidjojo's Olympic record, set in London four years ago, and the second fastest in the event this year.

Pernille Blume (DEN) of Denmark reacts after winning

Pernille Blume (DEN) of Denmark reacts after winningReuters

She had also been fastest qualifier in the semi-finals but faced an intimidating array of rivals on the blocks before the quick thrash down the pool.

Cate Campbell, the 100 freestyle world record holder, swam 23.84 in Adelaide in April but again failed to hit top form in the fastest and final individual women's event of the competition.

She and Bronte, the world champion for the 50 and 100 freestyle, won gold together in the 4x100 freestyle relay on the opening Saturday but will go home without individual titles.