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Santa Maria’s Josh Prenot Earns Silver Medal in 200 Breaststroke

Josh Prenot of Santa Maria took the silver medal in the 200-meter breaststroke at the Rio Olympics on Wednesday night.

Santa Maria’s Josh Prenot won the silver medal in the 200 breaststroke Click to view larger
Santa Maria’s Josh Prenot won the silver medal in the 200 breaststroke (USA Swimming photo)

Prenot was edged out by Dmitriy Balandin of Kazakhstan for the gold by .07 seconds. Balandin won in 2 minutes, 7.46 seconds, giving his country its first-ever swimming medal.  Prenot clocked 2:07.53  and Anton Chupkov of Russia took the bronze medal in 2:07.70.

Prenot is the first American man to medal in the event since Brendan Hansen in 2004.

“It means a whole lot,” Prenot told reporters. “I got a medal. I can’t be more happy with that.”

Japan’s Yasuhiro Koseki led the majority of the race, but Balandin and Prenot picked up their stroke rate and blew past Koseki down the stretch.

Prenot, 23, who swam for the Santa Maria Swim Club in his youth and completed his collegiate career at Cal this past June by winning the NCAA title in the 400 IM, finished second in his Olympic semifinal heat to Japan’s Ippei Watanabe, who set an Olympic record with a time of 2:07.22.  Prenot swam 2:07.78 and Balandin came in fourth in 2:08.20. The favored Watanabe finished sixth in the final.

As he picked up the pace down the home stretch, Prenot said he could only see the swimmers on either side of him. “I no idea what was going on, so I just started sprinting with 80 meters to go.”

His reaction to winning a medal: “I’m so stoked.”

Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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