TOKYO -- Chase Kalisz has won the first American medal of the Tokyo Games, taking gold Sunday in the men’s 400-meter individual medley.
Jay Litherland made it a 1-2 finish for the powerhouse U.S. team, rallying on the freestyle leg to take the silver. Brendon Smith of Australia claimed the bronze.
Kalisz, a protege and former training partner of Olympic great Michael Phelps, touched first in 4 minutes, 9.42 seconds.
Litherland was next in 4:10.28, just ahead of Smith (4:10.38).
The Americans are off to a flying start at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre, earning six of 12 medals on the first morning of finals. They showed no signs of slipping even without the most decorated athlete in Olympic history.