Former Georgia swimmers Chase Kalis and Jay Litherland finished the United States 1–2 in the 400 individual medley with an impressive start at the Tokyo Games, a four-stroke event once owned by Michael Phelps.
With Phelps serving as color commentator for NBC Sports, Kalis took control of the third leg, the breaststroke, to take a 2 -second lead.
He won in 4 min 9.42 s, well ahead of Litherland, who moved from sixth place in the freestyle leg to take the silver medal. Litherland, 25, finished in 4:10.28, just ahead of bronze medalist Brendan Smith of Australia.
Kallis, who won a silver medal in Rio in 2016, is the sixth American to win the event in the last seven Olympics.
“It’s the last thing I really wanted to achieve in my swimming career,” Kalisz told NBC. “I can’t believe it, I really can’t believe it.”
Women were not bad even in 400 IMs. 19-year-old Emma Weynt from Sarasota, Florida, took silver and 27-year-old Hali Flickinger won bronze, overtaking Japanese champion Yui Ohashi.
Wayant was 4:32.76, 0.68 seconds behind Ohshi. The last time Americans earned multiple medals at the event was in Mexico City in 1968.
University of Florida graduate Kieran Smith raced to earn a bronze medal in the 400 freestyle, as the American men enjoyed a dream start in the pool.
This story will be updated.