HomeJapanese AmericanJay Litherland becomes 1st Asian Am to medal at Tokyo Olympics

Jay Litherland becomes 1st Asian Am to medal at Tokyo Olympics

Japanese American Jay Litherland took the silver today in the 400 meter individual medley at the Tokyo Olympics.

He came in second behind fellow Team USA member Chase Kalisz, the first American to win a medal at the games.

He came in at 4:09.42, eight-tenths of a second ahead of Litherland. Both Kalisz and Litherland are from the University of Georgia.

Undoubtedly beaming with pride were Litherland’s grandparents watching at home in Osaka.

“They’re having a watch party,” Litherland said to the Japan Times.

His mother is Japanese. His father is from New Zealand. His only disappointment- his family couldn’t be in the stands to cheer him on as spectators are banned from the games due to coronavirus restrictions.

“They were supposed to be here in the crowd,” he said. “I felt their energy and power in that last 100 (meters). That brought me home.”

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He had a strong final leg, going from sixth to second.

“It’s unbelievable. You think he’s out at the Olympic trials, I actually stopped looking, I was watching Chase, and I happened to look down with 75 meters to go and it’s like ‘here we go again,’ and sure enough.

“He never thinks he’s out of a race.”

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