Rio Olympic 2016 - Maya DiRado Grabs Gold Medal, Exiting the Sport, Catches Katinka Hosszu
Maya DiRado saved her best race for last, winning the 200-meter backstroke in her final race before retiring to start a job with a management consulting firm in Atlanta.
DiRado trailed Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu for the first 150 meters. Swimming next to Hosszu in the third lane, DiRado caught Hosszu with less than 25 meters left and out-touched her by six-hundredths of a second. DiRado, 23, was timed in 2 minutes 5.99 seconds. Hilary Caldwell of Canada placed third in 2:07.54.
The duel between DiRado and Hosszu pitted two of the most successful swimmers of this Olympics. DiRado finished with two golds, one silver and a bronze. Hosszu, 27, who failed to win a medal of any color in her first three Games, collected three golds to go with her silver. The final was missing the world-record holder and defending champion, Missy Franklin, and the reigning world champion, Emily Seebohm, as neither advanced past the semifinals.
DiRado was in Franklin’s semifinal heat on Thursday, and when she saw the times on the scoreboard, she swam over to a tearful Franklin and consoled her. DiRado said she had told Franklin that she was an amazing teammate and that the United States team loved her no less because she failed to make the final.
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