2020 TOKYO SUMMER OLYMPIC GAMES
- When: Pool swimming: Saturday, July 24 – Sunday, August 1, 2021
- Open Water swimming: Wednesday, August 4 – Thursday, August 5, 2021
- Where: Olympic Aquatics Centre / Tokyo, Japan
- Heats: 7 PM / Semifinals & Finals: 10:30 AM (Local time)
- Full aquatics schedule
- SwimSwam Event Previews
- Entry Lists
- Live Results
- Day 1 Prelims Heat Sheet
During the women’s 4×100 freestyle prelims on day 1 of the Tokyo 2020 Games, China’s contingent of Cheng Yujie, Zhu Menghui, Ai Yanhan, and Wu Qingfeng threw down a new Chinese and Asian record of 3:35.07. The swim was roughly half a second quicker than the previous records, both of which sat at a 3:35.63 which China swam at the 2009 World Championships for 6th place overall.
Yujie Cheng and Zhesi Li had almost identical opening splits 12 years apart as Cheng opened with a 54.03 to Li’s 54.04. Yanhan Ai was the only woman in 2021 to be slower than the corresponding leg from 2009, hitting a 54.33 to Yi Tang‘s 54.16. Zhu and Wu were big for the Tokyo 2020 relay, both hitting sub-53.50s during their portion of the race.
|2021 Olympic Games||2009 World Championships|
|1||Cheng Yujie (54.03)||Zhesi Li (54.04)|
|2||Zhu Menghui (53.48)||Qian Wei Zhu (53.73)|
|3||Ai Yanhan (54.33)||Yi Tang (54.16)|
|4||Wu Qingfeng (53.23)||Jiaying Pang (53.70)|
What makes the national and continental records even more impressive is the fact that the nation managed to pull them off without their top 2 100 freestylers at the meet. Cheng, Zhu, Ai, and Wu put up a solid swim without the help of 100 freestyle Chine record holder Zhang Yufei who’s been a 52.90 in the event, or Yang Junxuan who qualified to swim the event individually in Tokyo. Junxuan is entered to race the 100 free later on in the meet and holds a 10th place seed of 53.21.
Zhang Yufei won’t be racing the 100 freestyle in Tokyo as she’s busy with a lineup consisting of 100 butterfly, 200 butterfly, and 50 free. Yufei got things started during day 1 prelims in the 100 butterfly where she and Australian Emma McKeon tied for top seed in the 100 fly with a 55.82. She could realistically be subbed into the 4×100 relay tonight along with Junxuan as the event is set to take place after the 100 butterfly semi-final.
The addition of Junxuan and Yufei could allow for another drop by China and could potentially give the nation its first-ever 3:34 4×100 freestyle.
Tokyo 2020 Women’s 4×100 Freestyle Prelims – Top 8
- Australia, 3:31.73
- Netherlands, 3:33.51
- Canada, 3:33.72
- Great Britain, 3:34.03
- United States, 3:34.80
- China, 3:35.07
- Denmark, 3:35.56
- Sweden, 3:35.93