Olympic Swimming 2021: Men's 800M Freestyle Medal Winners, Times and Results

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJuly 29, 2021

Robert Finke, of the United States, celebrates after winning the men's 800-meters freestyle final at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Thursday, July 29, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
AP Photo/Martin Meissner

Team USA swimmer Bobby Finke won the Olympic Games' first-ever men's 800-meter freestyle final with a time of 7:41.87.

#TokyoOlympics @NBCOlympics

I FINKE. I CAN. <a href="https://twitter.com/Robert_Finke?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Robert_Finke</a> takes GOLD in the first ever Olympic men's 800M freestyle in a THRILLER!<br><br> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TokyoOlympics?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TokyoOlympics</a> x <a href="https://twitter.com/TeamUSA?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TeamUSA</a><br><br>📺: NBC<br>💻: <a href="https://t.co/Sdse4JEfNh">https://t.co/Sdse4JEfNh</a><br>📱: NBC Sports App <a href="https://t.co/OulFLF9tfY">pic.twitter.com/OulFLF9tfY</a>

Finke's fantastic turn and charge in the final 50 meters propelled him to gold over Italy's Gregorio Paltrinieri, who led for much of the race. CBS Sports showcased just how much ground Finke made up.

CBS Sports @CBSSports

Bobby Finke went from HERE at the turn to win GOLD in the men's 800m freestyle <a href="https://t.co/qJ37Glc3q7">pic.twitter.com/qJ37Glc3q7</a>

Ukraine's Mykhailo Romanchuk earned the bronze at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre. The official results from the eight-swimmer field can be found below.



1. Robert Finke (United States): 7:41.87

2. Gregorio Paltrinieri (Italy): 7.42:11

3. Mykhailo Romanchuk (Ukraine): 7:42.33

4. Florian Wellbrock (Germany): 7:42.68

5. Jack McLoughlin (Australia): 7:45.00

6. Serhii Frolov (Ukraine): 7:45.11

7. Felix Auboeck (Germany): 7:49.14

8. Guilherme Costa (Brazil): 7:53.31

Results via Olympics website.


The 1904 Summer Olympics featured a race of a similar length in the 880-yard freestyle (804.672 meters), but this was the first time a men's 800-meter freestyle final took place.

Finke will forever be the first winner in this Olympic event, and he impressed numerous onlookers with his phenomenal finish after entering the final 50 meters in fourth.

Pat Forde @ByPatForde

Bobby Finke!!! What an incredible surge to win a very unexpected gold medal.

Kyle Sockwell @kylesockwell

Bobby Finke's last 50 was a 26.39 🥶 <a href="https://t.co/HqUR1WQQg8">https://t.co/HqUR1WQQg8</a>

The New York Times broke down Finke and the rest of the swimmers' paces and paths:

The New York Times @nytimes

Watch how Bobby Finke 🇺🇸 won gold at <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Tokyo2020?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Tokyo2020</a> by exploding off the last turn and turning the engines on. <a href="https://t.co/Mfb2xP2VOu">https://t.co/Mfb2xP2VOu</a> <a href="https://t.co/pKYqM9nN4M">pic.twitter.com/pKYqM9nN4M</a>

The 21-year-old Finke, who swims for the University of Florida, won his first-ever medal on the world stage.

He'll look for his second gold medal when he competes in the Tokyo Olympics' 1,500-meter freestyle. The heats for that event are set for Friday, with the final occurring Sunday.