Bobby Finke Snags Gold Medal in the Men's 1500m Freestyle: I 'Swam My Butt Off at the End'
Team USA swimmer Bobby Finke duplicated his impressive closing 50m speed from the men's 800m, which he also took gold in
Bobby Finke just had another golden swim.
Just like in his 800m freestyle race, Finke surged ahead in the final 50m of the men's 1500m on Sunday — a strategy that once again secured him a gold medal.
The 21-year-old University of Florida student finished the race with a time of 14:39.65, swimming an impressive 25.78 lap to end it. He was followed by silver medalist Mykhailo Romanchuk of Ukraine, and bronze medal winner Florian Wellbrock of Germany.
Finke's gold marks the first time that a member of Team USA has won the men's 1500m freestyle since 1984, when Michael Brown was victorious.
Speaking to PEOPLE while chatting with reporters after the race, Finke revealed what was going through his mind as he pushed through the grueling 30 laps.
"I was kind of thinking about how hard that was in the beginning," recounted Finke, "but I was still with the guys and that just gave me confidence and the ability to keep pushing."
He also told reporters he could see how "neck and neck" he was with his competitors heading into the final lap, but "knew I had the ability to switch gears."
"I was trying to just gain confidence throughout that last, I think, like 300, really to just try and hold on and swam my butt off at the end," Finke said.
To learn more about Team USA, visit TeamUSA.org. Watch the Tokyo Olympics now on NBC.