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Alaska teen Lydia Jacoby wins gold for U.S. in upset 100-meter breaststroke

The 17-year-old swimmer bested teammate Lilly King, the returning champ.
Image: Lydia Jacoby, SWIMMING-OLY-2020-2021-TOKYO
USA's Lydia Jacoby celebrates after winning the final of the women's 100m breaststroke swimming event during the Tokyo Olympic Games at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre, on July 27, 2021.Jonathan Nackstrand / AFP - Getty Images

U.S. teen Lydia Jacoby stunned teammate and returning champ Lilly King to claim gold in the women's 100-meter breaststroke Tuesday morning in Tokyo.

Jacoby, 17, clocked in with the quickest time, followed by Tatjana Schoenmaker of South Africa and King, who earned bronze.

Jacoby will bring home Alaska's first Olympic medal for swimming. She was the first swimmer from the state to ever make the U.S. team.

"I was definitely racing for a medal. I knew I had it in me," Jacoby said. "I wasn't really expecting a gold medal, so when I looked up and saw the scoreboard it was insane."

King, who took home the gold five years ago in Rio de Janeiro, celebrated her teammate's win.

"I'm so excited for Lydia," King said. "I love to see the future of American breaststroke coming up like this and to have somebody to go at it head to head in the country. I definitely knew she was a threat and saw a lot of myself in her effort."

Another U.S. teen, Regan Smith, 19, collected the bronze medal in the 100-meter women's backstroke race, which Australian Kaylee McKeown won, followed by Canadian Kylie Masse.

The U.S. also posted a bronze win in the men's 100-meter backstroke. Russians Evgeniy Rylov and Kliment Kolesnikov took gold and silver, respectively, and American Ryan Murphy came in third.