Campbell reflects on Manuel's historic gold medal - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Campbell reflects on Manuel's historic gold medal

ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Dr. Wilburn Campbell says he's been glued to his TV for the Olympics lately.

As you can imagine, the swimming events are of particular interest to the man who led the Albany State swim team to back-to-back Black National Championships in 1979 and 1980.

It's hard to imagine something happening in swimming Campbell has never seen before, but it happened Thursday night in Rio.

Simone Manuel rallied for a gold medal win in the 100m freestyle, becoming the first black woman to win an individual swimming gold medal.

"It was a glorious moment," says Campbell. "I shed some tears to be honest with you. It's nothing that really surprised me as much, because I've been anticipating that for the last 25 years."

Campbell helped take Albany State to the highest point of college swimming during his coaching tenure there. He hopes a win like Manuel's can continue to add to the sport's interest level and swimming participation among African-Americans.

"I think it's just that key that turns the switch on," he says.  

Manuel will go for another medal Saturday in Rio.

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