Pieter Timmers swims his way to silver

Summary

Team Belgium has won its third medal at the Rio Olympics with a rock-star 100m freestyle performance from Pieter Timmers

Record-breaking

Flemish swimmer Pieter Timmers has won the silver medal in the 100m freestyle at the Rio Olympics, with a time of 47.80, breaking his Belgian record. He is the first Belgian to win an Olympic medal in swimming since 1996.

It was a remarkable performance from Timmers, 28, who failed to make the finals in the event in 2012. Belgium has had few Olympic swimmers who have competed in the 100m freestyle – an historically favoured event in swimming competition – though Flemish swimmer Fred Deburghgraeve won gold in 1996.

Timmers is a seven-time Belgian champion and holder of several records in long and short course freestyle, but his performance still surprised him. “I knew that I had a bit of a chance to medal, and today everything came together,” he told Sporza after the race. “But I couldn’t quite believe it when I saw that ‘2’ next to my name.” 

Australian Kyle Chalmers won the 100m gold with a time of 47.58, while American Nathan Adrian took bronze with 47.85.

This is Belgium’s third medal in this Olympic Games, with Greg Van Avermaet winning gold in road race and Dirk Van Tichelt bronze in judo.

Photo: Dirk Waem/BELGA