Simone Manuel swam into first place in semifinal 1 during the Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil last night. The Team USA athlete entered the Games with Lia Neal, another Black swimmer. The semifinal finish followed her first heat win earlier that day.
NBC reported Manuel was No. 1 in the women’s 100-meter freestyle semifinal. She clocked in at 53.11 seconds. The Stanford University student qualified for the semifinal Wednesday afternoon in the women’s 100-meter heat. Manuel won her heat in 53.32 seconds. She came in second place behind Australia’s Cate Campbell, who clocked in at 52.78 seconds. The Sugar Land, Texas native missed Campbell’s world record by 0.54 seconds.
Manuel’s first-place position was largely passed over on-air. The network tweeted out her finish after it happened, but Black Twitter was disappointed at the lack of acknowledgment by analysts.
.@simone_manuel takes 1st in Semifinal 1! #Rio2016 #Swimming #USA pic.twitter.com/qkCQ1l2sg1
— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) August 11, 2016
@docjorich expressed disappointment in American commentators discussing Australia’s Bronte Campbell, who is Cate Campbell’s younger sister.
Simone Manuel just wins 100M Freestyle yet American commentators jocking Australian swimmers smh
— CrimeDocJoRich (@docjorich) August 11, 2016
Katisha Williams pointed out the Campbells’ apparent importance over Manuel, who was not interviewed after the race.
@NBCOlympics @simone_manuel .So the Australian sisters were more important obviously..no interview..no congrats..
— Katisha Williams (@KatishaWilliams) August 11, 2016
Mia shared similar disappointment.
But yet @NBCOlympics too busy talking about the Australians… Congrats @simone_manuel ?? https://t.co/EIO1MAlqAr
— Mia (@notwithoutcafe) August 11, 2016
Then, users decided to celebrate Manuel’s accomplishment themselves.
Annesha Sudu expressed the pride of the Black community.
@simone_manuel THEY didn't give u the highlight u deserved after ur win but WE r proud! ❤️ #SimoneManuel #Rio2016 pic.twitter.com/RNIIssnfQl
— Annesha Sudu (@anneshasudu) August 11, 2016
@TheRealRamonabd also shared her love. She encouraged the swimmer to rest up for her competition tonight. Manuel will compete in the women’s 100-meter freestyle final after 10 p.m. The women’s 50-meter freestyle will follow Friday afternoon.
That's alright, she gonna shock the world tomorrow! We ❤️ you @simone_manuel Get your rest.. It's time to make GOLD https://t.co/xiqtMMl7Qn
— LuvLaughLive (@TheRealRamonabd) August 11, 2016
Liv. remarked at Manuel smashing the stereotype of Black people not knowing how to swim.
Simone Manuel breaking stereotypes ✊?
— Liv. (@_OhNono) August 11, 2016
Nina Anderson shouted out the 20-year-old competitor.
look at this sista swimming for USA Simone Manuel? go head girl! ??✨
— Nina Anderson (@NaturallyNina_) August 11, 2016
Jade Anouka caught Manuel’s swimming replay and hashtagged the win #raisethatbar.
Watching #Olympics replays and there's a black woman #swimming and she just won her semi-final race!! Yes @simone_manuel #raisethatbar
— Jade Anouka (@JadeAnouka) August 11, 2016
Aside from her win last night, Manuel also took the silver medal in the women’s 400-meter freestyle relay last weekend. Competing with American teammates – Abbey Weitzeil, Dana Vollmer and Katie Ledecky – Manuel gave the U.S. a head start with her 53.36-second lead-off leg. Ultimately, the Campbell sisters and the Australians won the match in 3:30.65. Team USA came second with 3:31.89.