After failing to qualify for the Summer Games in the 100m free, the same event she won the gold medal in at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Simone Manuel revealed being diagnosed with Overtraining Syndrome in March, which required her to be out of the pool for three weeks.
Manuel also shared with the press her mental health struggles, including bouts of depression.
But on Sunday, Manuel bounced back to secure a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team traveling to Tokyo with a win in the 50m free at the trials in Omaha, Neb.
“When I touched the wall, I was literally like, ‘Please, God, please!” she said via ESPN.
The 24-year-old Manuel miraculously pulled out the result, beating second-place finisher Abbey Weitzel by one-hundredth of a second with her time of 24.29 seconds.
The raw emotion of Manuel as she looks to the leaderboard doesn’t get any better:
Despite suffering a tragic finish last week, Manuel vowed to make amends and turn around her performance in the pool:
Needless to say, Manuel proved last night why she can’t be counted out to win another medal in Tokyo.
I’m a person that doesn’t quit… I knew that even though the task wasn’t easy, I had to finish it,” Manuel told NBC Sports Reporter Michele Tafoya.
As the first Black woman to win Olympic gold in swimming, Manuel has already etched her name into the history books. And she earned another opportunity to do it again with her gutsy performance last night.