Manuel Becomes 1st Female African-American Swimmer to Win Gold | NECN
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Manuel Becomes 1st Female African-American Swimmer to Win Gold

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    AP
    United States' Simone Manuel, left, and Canada's Penny Oleksiak celebrate winning joint gold in the women's 100-meter freestyle during the swimming competitions at the 2016 Summer Olympics, Thursday, Aug. 11, 2016, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

    Team USA's Simone Manuel became the first female African-American swimmer to win gold in the Olympics when she tied Penny Oleksiak of Canada for the gold medal in the women's 100-meter freestyle.

    The final time of 52.70 seconds by Manuel and Oleksiak was an Olympic record. Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden claimed the bronze.

    Simone Manuel Is Overcome as She Makes Olympic HistorySimone Manuel Is Overcome as She Makes Olympic History

    By winning gold, Manuel also became the first African-American woman to medal in an individual swimming event in the Olympics.

    “This medal is not just for me, but for a whole bunch of people who came before me and have been an inspiration to me,” the Sugar Land, Texas, native told NBC after the race while wiping away tears. “I just want to be inspiration to others that you can do it."

    Manuel mentioned former U.S. Olympian Cullen Jones in her post-race interview.  Jones tweeted out his congratulations to her.

    On Saturday, Manuel won silver as a member of Team USA's 4x100m freestyle relay squad.

    Maritza Correia McClendon was the first African-American female swimmer to win an Olympic medal (silver) when she swam in the prelims of the 400m free relay in 2004. 

    According to the Team USA website, Manuel is the first U.S. swimmer to medal in the women’s 100 freestyle since Natalie Coughlin won bronze in 2008, and she is the first U.S. woman to capture gold in the 100 free since 1984, when Carrie Steinseifer and Nancy Hogshead tied for gold.