Maya DiRado won her first individual gold medal of the Rio Olympics on Friday night, upsetting heavy favorite Katinka Hosszu of Hungary in the 200m backstroke.
DiRado, making her Olympic debut in Rio with Team USA, won a bronze and a silver medal behind Hosszu earlier this week in each of the individual medleys.
DiRado raced to two minutes, 5.99 seconds, out-touching Hosszu by 0.06 seconds, tracking her down over the final lap and thrusting to the line a fingertip ahead. Hosszu, known as the "Iron Lady," added the only silver to her collection of three Rio gold medals. Canada’s Hilary Caldwell took the bronze with a time of 2:07.54 seconds.
"I definitely saw [Hosszu] and that’s all you can ask for in the last 50 is a to be in a battle for a gold medal," DiRado said after the race, admitting that her nail broke on the finish. "I didn’t know who was going to get their hand on the wall first but I was crashing my body as hard as I could, my legs totally seized up. To look up and see the ‘1’ by my name is so unreal (crying) and I can’t believe I did it.”
Missy Franklin, who set a world record on her way to winning gold in this event in 2012, did not qualify for the final. Neither did 2015 world champion Emily Seebohm.