Simone Manuel took a silver medal in the 50m freestyle at 9:03 p.m. ET and anchored the 4x100m medley relay to a gold medal at about 9:50 p.m. ET on Saturday night. Their victory marked the 1,000th Summer Olympics gold medal for the United States.
Manuel previously won the 100m freestyle gold medal in a tie with Canada’s Penny Oleksiak. Joining her on the squad – who raced to three minutes, 53.13 seconds – were Rio’s 100m backstroke silver medalist Kathleen Baker, 100m breaststroke gold medalist Lilly King and 100m butterfly bronze medalist Dana Vollmer.
Australia took the silver medal in a time of 3:55.00 and Denmark rounded out the podium with bronze medals, 0.01 seconds behind Australia.
When asked in December if she was nervous about her budding reputation as America’s star closer and anchor leg, Manuel said, “I think a little bit. The team is always behind my back and we all have an important part to do in a relay. It takes four people along with the coaches’ decision. It’s a little nerve-wracking but at the same time I know that regardless of the outcome USA will be behind me and we’ll be behind each other.”
Olivia Smoliga, Katie Meili, Kelsi Worrell and Abbey Weitzeil earned the U.S squad a place in the final and will also be able to collect gold medals.