Olympics 2016: American Chase Kalisz earns silver medal in 400 IM

Jeff PassanMLB columnist

RIO DE JANEIRO — American Chase Kalisz’s Olympic debut could not have gone much better – and he brought the United States swim team its first medal of an expected haul at the Rio Games.

Kalisz won silver Saturday night in the 400-meter individual medley, chasing a dominant qualifying performance with an even better one in the finals at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium. Kalisz swam a 4:06.75, 0.7 seconds behind gold medalist Kosuke Hagino of Japan.

Chase Kalisz (R) won silver and Japan’s <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/olympics/rio-2016/a/1142166/" data-ylk="slk:Daiya Seto">Daiya Seto</a> (L) won bronze in the Men’s 400 IM. (Getty)
Chase Kalisz (R) won silver and Japan’s Daiya Seto (L) won bronze in the Men’s 400 IM. (Getty)

Kalisz, a 22-year-old who just finished his collegiate career at the University of Georgia, fell behind in the first 200 meters but used a strong breaststroke and freestyle to nearly chase down Hagino and hold off the bronze medal winner, Daiya Seito of Japan.

It marked the first time since 2000 an American has not won the 400 IM, with Michael Phelps capturing gold in 2004 and 2008 and Ryan Lochte winning in 2012.

American Jay Litherland finished fifth.

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