In his Games debut in Rio, Mack Horton stole the show as he was crowned Olympic Champion in the 400m freestyle.
The Victorian dug deeper than he has ever dug in his life to snatch gold in the men’s 400m freestyle beating defending champion, China’s Sun Yang by a fingernail to give the swimmers a golden start on their first night of competition. Horton maintained his smooth, sleek stroke to steal a deserved win in a time of 3:41.55 with Yang second in 3:41.68 and Italian Gabriele Detti in third.
In the 1500m freestyle, Horton placed second in his heat before going on to finish fifth in a tough event with a time of 14:49.54.
He then combined with Thomas Fraser-Holmes, David McKeon and Dan Smith to finish fifth in the 4x200m freestyle relay, with a gutsy effort in the final event. Horton split a sizzling 1:45.37 to anchor the team, touching an agonising 0.68 outside the medal positions in fourth with a total time of 7:04.18.
Horton narrowly missed out on selection for the London 2012 Olympics after finishing second in the 1,500 metres freestyle at the 2012 Nationals.
When he was younger, he slept with a piece of paper above his bed with the list of age record holders for the 1500m freestyle, showing how proud he is of Australia’s record in the event.