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Australian swimmer Smith wins bronze

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Unheralded swimmer Brendon Smith has won Australia’s first medal of the Tokyo Olympics, a bronze in the men’s 400m individual medley.

The 21-year-old Victorian, making his senior Australian swim team debut at the Games, came third in Sunday’s final at the Tokyo Aquatic Centre.

Smith, who turned to the pool after representing Australia in surf lifesaving as a junior, was last with 100 metres remaining.

But he powered home in the freestyle leg to win a medal in just his second Olympic swim in a time of four minutes 10.38 seconds.

“I can’t believe it,” Smith told the Seven Network.

Smith set a national record in Saturday night’s heats.

But he looked in trouble in Sunday’s final after turning third at the halfway mark.

After the breaststroke leg, Smith was last, but his stunning freestyle finish earnt him a bronze medal.

In a final opened up by the shock failure of Japan’s reigning medley world champion Daiya Seto to qualify, American Chase Kalisz won gold in 4:09.42, with his countryman Jay Litherland taking the silver.

AAP

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