“I always think I have a shot,” Manuel told media in Budapest. “It’s kind of been ingrained in me with [having] my two older brothers and just always wanting to keep up with somebody.”
Sjöström [who took silver in 52.31 seconds] was a heavy favorite going into the final, given she clocked 51.71 leading off the 4x100m free relay Sunday, taking .35 off the world record. Sjöström was .08 faster than her world-record pace at the 50-meter mark, but Manuel passed her in the last 10 meters and lowered her personal best by .42.
Manuel also exemplified black excellence when she made history last August as the first black women to win a gold medal in an individual Olympic swimming event, The Huffington Post reports. The Olympian tied for first place with Canadian Penny Oleksiak in the women’s 100-meter freestyle, the report said.
10 Things You Need To Know About Simone Manuel
1. Simone made history this year as the first Black woman to win Olympic gold in an individual swimming event.1 of 10
2. The gold medal-winner often wanted to quit swimming because she “always had an issue with not seeing people that looked like me in the sport.”Source:Instagram 2 of 10
3. With returning Olympian and fellow Stanford teammate Lia Neal, Rio was the first time two Black women qualified for the U.S. Olympic swim team.Source:Instagram 3 of 10
4. She started swimming at four-years-old.Source:Instagram 4 of 10
5. Simone’s favorite pastime is cooking.Source:Instagram 5 of 10
6. The 20-year-old will be a sophomore this fall at Stanford University and is looking to major in communications.Source:Instagram 6 of 10
7. As a nod to her effortless abilities once she hits water, her friends named her “Swimone.”Source:Instagram 7 of 10
8. Simone took swimming seriously after watching Michael Phelps win his eighth gold medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.Source:Instagram 8 of 10
9. Simone has two older brothers, who she calls her best friends. Both were into swimming before her.Source:Instagram 9 of 10
10. Simone first tried out for the Olympic team in 2012, but didn’t make the cut until 2016. Timing is key!Source:Instagram 10 of 10