2016 Rio Olympic Games: Day Two Prelims Live Recap


Yesterday, the Olympic Games began with three separate world records including one in prelims, and ended with Australia claiming two gold medals, Hungary taking one, and Japan taking one.

Heading into today’s competition the Aussies do have some superstars that could set up potential to add to that gold medal tally. Emily Seebohm is competing in the heats of the 100m backstroke. She’s the top seed, and so far this season she’s demonstrated that she has the speed to scare the world record. With rival Missy Franklin not swimming this event, she has room to play it safe in prelims.

In the 200m freestyle, Britain’s James Guy has the top seed. As the defending world champion he’s the heavy favorite. He’ll need to compete against China’s Sun Yang later on assuming they both make semifinals. Throw in a Conor Dwyer, Kosuke Hagino, Thomas Fraser-Holmes, and David McKeon, and there’s plenty of talent in that field.

Lilly King of the United States leads the way in the 100m breaststroke heats. She shone at US Olympic Trials with a huge 1:05.20 performance. She’s going to have her work cut out for her with Russia’s Yulia Efimova back in the mix. World record holder Ruta Meilutyte will be looking to repeat as Olympic champion as well, and will be one of the toughest competitors out of the heats this morning.

Mitch Larkin is the second major Aussie star to compete today. He’s going to be in the 100m backstroke, entered as the top seed. Hot off a world championship victory in both the 100 and 200 backstrokes, Larkin will have to fend off the advances of first time Olympians Ryan Murphy and David Plummer of the United States. Both have proven their speed, and both will make things more than challenging for Larkin.

Katie Ledecky will swim her first individual event of these games this morning, taking things out in the heats of the 400m freestyle. The world record holder will be looking to enter her first Olympic final in this event. She’s never failed to advance into a final in an international event, and never lost an individual event on the international scene, adding more prestige to her quest for gold. Her teammate Leah Smith should be in the mix after an incredible performance at US Olympic Trials to make her first Olympic squad.

The men’s 4x100m freestyle relay will be a grudge match of sorts. After both the Australians and Americans missed the championship final in this event at last year’s world championships, things have been heating up. The French are in the top spot, but both the Aussies and Yanks are going to want to take them down.


Start List: click here
Top Seed: 58.26 – Emily Seebohm – Australia
World Record: 58.12 (2009) – Gemma Spofforth – Britain
JR World Record: 59.37 – Minna Atherton – Australia
Olympic Record: 58.23 (2012)- Emily Seebohm – Australia
2012 Olympic Champion: 58.33 – Missy Franklin – USA

American teenager Kathleen Baker took the top seed in the 100m backstroke with a huge 58.84 performance to win her heat in a smoking hot time. Baker appeared to be a little shocked about just how fast she swam.

That best time for Baker puts her ahead of Australia’s Emily Seebohm heading into tonight’s semifinals. Seebohm is the favorite to win this event at these Games. She was a 58.99 this morning, the only other swimmer besides Baker to dip under 59-seconds.

Kylie Masse of Canada was just off her Canadian record that she set at the Canadian Olympic Trials, going out fast and coming back in 59.07. She finished second to Seebohm in her heat with a time of 59.07. Katinka Hosszu, who won the 400m IM last night, finished third behind Seebohm and Masse in the heat with a 59.13 which ranks her fifth overall heading into semifinals.

Denmark’s Mie Nielsen took the fourth overall seed with a 59.13.

Tonight’s semifinals will feature two Americans as Olivia Smoliga took the sixth seed. The second Australian, Madison Wilson, also advanced. Canada and China will be the only other two countries with two swimmers in the semifinals.

TOP 16

  1. Kathleen Baker – USA – 58.84
  2. Emily Seebohm – Australia – 58.99
  3. Kylie Masse – Canada – 59.07
  4. Mie Nielsen – Denmark – 59.13
  5. Katinka Hosszu – Hungary – 59.13
  6. Olivia Smoliga – USA – 59.60
  7. Georgia Davies – Britain – 59.86
  8. Madison Wilson – Australia -59.92
  9. Fu Yuanhui – China -1:00.02
  10. Anastasia Fesikova – Russia – 1:00.04
  11. Kirsty Coventry – Zimbabwe – 1:00.13
  12. Dominique Bouchard – Canada – 1:00.18
  13. Matea Zamardzic – Croatia – 1:00.46
  14. Wang Xueer – China – 1:00.59
  15. Duana Da Rocha Marce – Spain – 1:00.87
  16. Eyglo Gustafsdottir – Iceland – 1:00.89


Start List: click here
Top Seed: 1:45.14 – James Guy – Britain
World Record: 1:42.00 (2009) – Paul Biedermann – Germany
JR World Record: 1:47.10 – Maxime Rooney – USA
Olympic Record: 1:42.96 (2008) – Michael Phelps – USA
2012 Olympic Champion: 1:43.14 – Yannick Agnel – France

In redemption for yesterday’s loss, China’s Sun Yang took the top seed heading into tonight’s semifinals with a 1:45.75 performance. Yang closed on Chad le Clos and Sebastiaan Verschuren in his heat in order to claim the heat win and post the time. Le Clos was a 1:45.89, Verschuren was a 1:46.32 to take the third and eighth seeds respectively.

World record holder Paul Biedermann was second overall in the heats, taking down American Townley Haas and France’s Jeremy Stravius in order to clock in at 1:45.78.

While Biedermann has been on the podium several times in the 200m freestyle since setting the world record in 2009, he’s never won the event ever since taking down Phelps at those world championships in Rome. This swim sets him up to be in the mix for gold.

Conor Dwyer of the USA was fourth overall in 1:45.95, posting a very similar time to both Yang and Biedermann. Dwyer managed to beat reigning world champion James Guy in his heat. Guy was a 1:46.13 for fifth overall.

TOP 16

  1. Sun Yang – China -1:45.75
  2. Paul Biedermann – Germany – 1:45.78
  3. Chad le Clos – South Africa – 1:45.89
  4. Conor Dwyer – USA – 1:45.95
  5. James Guy – Britain – 1:46.13
  6. Townley Haas – USA – 1:46.13
  7. Kosuke Hagino – Japan – 1:46.19
  8. Sebastiaan Verschuren – Netherlands – 1:46.32
  9. Thomas Fraser-Holmes – Australia – 1:46.49
  10. Velimir Stjepanovic – Serbia – 1:46.64
  11. Jeremy Stravius – France – 1:46.67
  12. Daminik Kozma – Hungary – 1:46.68
  13. Devon Brown – South Africa – 1:46.78
  14. Cristian Quintero – Venezuela – 1:47.02
  15. Kacper Majchrzak – Poland – 1:47.12
  16. Aleksandr Krasnykh – Russia – 1:47.15


Start List: click here
Top Seed: 1:05.20 – Lilly King – USA
World Record: 1:04.35 – Ruta Meilutyte – Lithuania
JR World Record: 1:05.39 – Ruta Meilutyte – Lithuania
Olympic Record: 1:05.17 (2008) – Leisel Jones – Australia
2012 Olympic Champion: 1:05.47 – Ruta Meilutyte – Lithuania

American Lilly King topped the field in the heats of the 100m breaststroke with a 1:05.78 performance to finish about half-a-second shy of the time she went at the US Olympic Trials. The time was good enough to the lead the way into the semifinals and establish herself as a medal threat at her first Olympics.

Feeding into the controversy, Yulia Efimova of Russia qualified second for the semifinals in 1:05.79. The Russian who failed two doping tests prior to these games, and served her sanctions, was booed after winning her heat and beating Alia Atkinson.

Atkinson managed a 1:06.72 to take the seventh overall seed.

Efimova is now heading into semifinals as one of the top competitors. Katie Meili of the United States was third overall behind her in 1:06.00.

World record holder Ruta Meilutyte was fourth overall this morning, finishing with a time of 1:06.35, exactly two-seconds slower than her best time and record.

TOP 16

  1. Lilly King – USA – 1:05.78
  2. Yulia Efimova – Russia – 1:05.79
  3. Katie Meili – USA – 1:06.00
  4. Ruta Meilutyte – Lithuania – 1:06.35
  5. Shi Jinglin – China – 1:06.55
  6. Rikke Moller Pedersen – Denmark – 1:06.58
  7. Alia Atkinson – Jamaica – 1:06.72
  8. Taylor McKeown – Australia – 1:06.73
  9. Hrafnhildur Luthersdottir – Iceland – 1:06.81
  10. Jennie Johansson – Sweden – 1:06.84
  11. Rachel Nicol – Canada – 1:06.85
  12. Chloe Tutton – Britain – 1:06.88
  13. Satomi Suzuki – Japan – 1:06.99
  14. Jessica Vall Montero – Spain – 1:07.07
  15. Viktoria Gunes – Turkey – 1:07.14
  16. Arianna Castiglioni – Italy – 1:07.32


Start List: click here
Top Seed: 52.11 – Mitch Larkin – Australia
World Record: 51.94 (2009) – Aaron Peirsol – USA
JR World Record: 53.65 – Kliment Kolesnikov – Russia
Olympic Record: 52.16 (2012) – Matt Grevers – USA
2012 Olympic Champion: 52.16  – Matt Grevers – USA

Camille Lacourt of France posted the fastest time in the heats this morning, rocking a swift 52.96 to be the only swimmer under 53-seconds.

While Lacourt dipped under the 53-second mark, there were several athletes sitting right around the 53-flat mark. Xu Jiayu of China was one of them, sporting a 53.01 at the touch in order to take the second overall seed.

Xu managed to take down American Ryan Murphy who has plenty of potential to medal after putting a few scares on Aaron Peirsol’s world record. Murphy wasn’t able to catch Xu, but did put up a very strong time of 53.06 which ranks him fourth overall.

Fitting into a spot between Xu and Murphy was defending world champion, Australian Mitch Larkin. Larkin raced in the same heat as Lacourt, finishing second with a time of 53.04.

American David Plummer also made his way into the semifinal, putting up a time of 53.19 for fifth overall behind Murphy.

TOP 16

  1. Camille Lacourt – France – 52.96
  2. Xu Jiayu – China – 53.01
  3. Mitch Larkin – Australia – 53.04
  4. Ryan Murphy – USA – 53.06
  5. David Plummer – USA – 53.19
  6. Evgeny Rylov – Russia – 53.25
  7. Joshua Beaver – Australia – 53.47
  8. Ryosuke Irie – Japan – 53.49
  9. Robert Glinta – Romania – 53.54
  10. Chris Walker-Hebborn  – Britain – 53.54
  11. Grigory Tarasevich – Russia – 53.65
  12. Christopher Reid – South Africa – 53.68
  13. Guilherme Guido – Brazil – 53.80
  14. Shane Ryan – Ireland – 53.85
  15. Jan-Philip Glania – Germany – 53.87
  16. Corey Main – New Zealand – 53.99


Start List: click here
Top Seed: 3:58.98 – Katie Ledecky – USA
World Record: 3:58.37 (2014) – Katie Ledecky – USA
JR World Record: 3:58.37 – Katie Ledecky – USA
Olympic Record: 4:01.45 (2012) – Camille Muffat – France
2012 Olympic Champion: 4:01.45 – Camille Muffat – France

There’s no surprise that Katie Ledecky threw down an incredible time this morning in the 400m freestyle. There’s no surprise that she closed in on her own world record, only to fall short with a new Olympic record time of 3:58.71. It’s no surprise that Ledecky leads the rest of the world by four seconds heading into tonight’s finals.

Jazz Carlin of Great Britain was the closest to Ledecky, sporting a 4:02.83 to win her heat against both Leah Smith of the United States and Brittany MacLean of Canada. Smith touched behind her in a 4:03.39 for the third overall seed. MacLean was a 4:03.43 for a new Canadian national record to take the fifth overall seed.

Coaralie Balmy of France was fourth overall with a 4:03.40.

Jessica Ashwood of Australia should be in the mix tonight. She was a 403.58 this morning, with plenty of potential to medal this evening.


  1. Katie Ledecky – USA – 3:58.71
  2. Jazz Carlin – Britain – 4:02.83
  3. Leah Smith – USA – 4:03.39
  4. Coaralie Balmy – France – 40:3.40
  5. Brittany MacLean – Canada – 4:03.43
  6. Jessica Ashwood – Australia – 4:03.58
  7. Kapas Boglaraka – Hungary – 4:04.11
  8. Tamsin Cook – Australia – 4:04.36


Start List: click here
Top Seed: 3:10.74 – France
World Record: 3:08.24 (2008) – USA
Olympic Record: 3:08.24 (2008) – USA
2012 Olympic Champion: 3:09.93 – France

While the relays this morning don’t mean much considering most teams are going to substitute several members of their squad tonight, however the Russians claimed the top spot.

The Americans were second thanks to a huge anchor leg from Anthony Ervin, but the greatest split of the day went to Kyle Chalmers of Australia, cutting into the low 47s in order to demonstrate the speed the Australians have.

Tonight, Michael Phelps, Caeleb Dressel, and Nathan Adrian will likely join the American roster to combat Cameron McEvoy who should be electric for the Australians.

  1. Russia – 3:12.04
  2. USA – 3:12.38
  3. Australia – 3:12.65
  4. France – 3:13.27
  5. Canada – 3:14.06
  6. Brazil – 3:14.06
  7. Belgium – 3:14.16
  8. Japan – 3:14.17

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6 years ago

McKeon in tears after that race…simple comment that was bad

6 years ago

per NC State’s Swim and Dive twitter account Held is on relay tonight

Reply to  GoPACK
6 years ago


Reply to  GoPACK
6 years ago

I think that was the best choice! His time was right the same as Ervin, but he won’t die in the last 15 meters. Better exchange for the guy going after him.

6 years ago

Adrian will anchor at 45 flat…

6 years ago

Ervin, lead off into clean water, 47.9
Dressel, will no doubt hold his own, 47.0
Phelps: crush the chop/swim under and go 46.5
Adrian, the MASTER, 46.0-46.5/ whatever it takes to win!

ct swim fan
Reply to  Poropat
6 years ago

46.5 for Phelps seems a bit unrealistic, since I don’t think he has ever been under 47.0.

6 years ago

I that it may be silly but have you ever thought the possibility to have Phelps as the anchor ?
Also Watanabe is back for the breast ?

6 years ago

Did anyone expect Nakamura throwing down a 47 for the first leg on the Japanese team?

6 years ago

It would be interesting to see if the B relay of the USA could medal. (Held, Feigen, Peironi, Conger)

6 years ago

Only way the 4×100 relay WR goes down is if Adrian can throw down a 46.3 or lower and the lead off can be within a tenth or two of Phelps’ 47.5 in 2008.

Reply to  KTHW
6 years ago

Both doable.

About Mitch Bowmile

Mitch Bowmile

Mitch worked for 5-years with SwimSwam news as a web producer focusing on both Canadian and international content. He coached for Toronto Swim Club for four seasons as a senior coach focusing on the development of young swimmers. Mitch is an NCCP level 2 certified coach in Canada and an ASCA Level …

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