2016 RIO OLYMPIC GAMES
- Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- Swimming: August 6-13
- Olympic Aquatics Stadium, Barra Olympic Park, Rio de Janeiro
- Prelims – 9:00 a.m/12:00 p.m PST/EST (1:00 p.m local), Finals – 6:00 p.m/9:00 p.m PST/EST (10:00 p.m local)
- SwimSwam previews
- Rio Schedule & Results
- Live Stream (NBC)
The swim breaks his own record of 14:41.20, making him the first ever American under 14:40. In that swim, done last year in Kazan at the 2015 World Championships, Jaeger also finished runner-up to Paltrinieri, actually going faster than the Italian did last year tonight by two tenths of a second.
Jaeger cited the performances of the U.S. team this week as inspiration for him to perform at his best: “I’ve watched a lot of crazy swimming this week.. and I told myself that crazier things have happened than me winning a medal in this race”.
He got pretty anxious, having to wait around seven days after the 400 free before he swam again, just wanting to get in there and help contribute to the medal count of the United States team.
“A pretty exciting way for me to end the meet. I got to wait around for seven days until I could race again and basically watched Team USA swim out of their minds.
“I got a little anxious on the bench so to be able to come back and add to that medal count really means a lot to me because that’s why I’m here.
“Because you want to hold up your end, it’s like being on the bench while your team is playing. It’s like, ‘coach put me in’. But you have got to wait seven days until he puts you in so you get a little anxious.”
“I knew that I had an opportunity to contribute to that and help it be a record-breaking Olympics. So if the two relays got it done then I had to do something. So to add to that is awesome.”
He also commented on Paltrinieri, and how much respect he has for the Italian.
“At a certain point, he just took off and I thought I could hang with him. But I couldn’t. And then you have to hope, ‘man, I hope he’s going fast because otherwise I’m really going pretty slow’.
“I have so much respect for that guy. He’s such a hard worker and really talented.”
This is Jaeger’s second Olympics, but it’s his first Olympic medal. Four years ago Jaeger surprised himself by making the team, and wound up making the final and finishing 6th in London.
He steadily progressed over the years in between Olympics, finishing 4th at the 2013 World Championships, 1st at the 2014 Pan Pacific Championships and then as previously mentioned silver last year before another silver here on the world’s biggest stage.
Along with the American record, Jaeger also broke Canada’s Ryan Cochrane‘s North American Continental record, which stood at 14:39.63 from the 2012 Olympics where Cochrane won silver.
This is the first medal for the U.S. in this event since 2004, as Larsen Jensen triumphed for silver in what was the American record until Jaeger broke it last year, 14:45.29.
After Jensen’s departure from the scene in 2008, American distance swimming began to struggle. They didn’t have any top contenders on the world stage. In 2012 Jaeger burst onto the scene and announced himself as a future player. He proved he was one of the best in the world last year, and this swim just confirms it.
Jaeger’s swim moves him past both Australian Mack Horton (14:39.54) and Cochrane into 5th fastest all-time. Take a look at the top-5 below:
- Sun Yang, CHN, 14:31.02, 2012
- Gregorio Paltrinieri, ITA, 14:34.04, 2015
- Grant Hackett, AUS, 14:34.56, 2001
- Oussama Mellouli, TUN, 14:37.28, 2009
- Connor Jaeger, USA, 14:39.48, 2016