• AFP-JIJI

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Transgender swimmer Lia Thomas shrugged off protesters as she powered to a historic victory in the 500-meter freestyle at the NCAA championships in Atlanta on Thursday, in the latest milestone of her controversial career.

The University of Pennsylvania swimmer became the first transgender athlete to win an NCAA top-tier title after touching the wall in 4 minutes, 33.24 seconds, more than 1½ seconds ahead of Virginia's Emma Weyant, who finished in 4:34.99. Erica Sullivan, a silver medalist in the 1,500 at the Tokyo Olympics last year, was third in 4:35.92.

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