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Bobby Finke of the United States celebrates winning the men’s 800-meters freestyle final at the Summer Olympics on Thursday in Tokyo.

Matthias Schrader/AP


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Matthias Schrader/AP


Bobby Finke of the United States celebrates winning the men’s 800-meters freestyle final at the Summer Olympics on Thursday in Tokyo.

Matthias Schrader/AP

U.S. swimmer Bobby Finke had his work cut out for him heading into the last lap of the men’s 800 meter freestyle final.

He was in fifth place for most of the 16 lap race.

Then, he surged from behind in the final 50 meter stretch. The 21-year-old from Florida made up almost a second and a half – which might as well be a lifetime – to blast past the other swimmers and win the race in a thrilling finish.

He beat Italy’s Gregorio Paltrinieri by less than a quarter of a second, smiling and pumping his fist as the victory sunk in.

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