Held and Bukhov Swim-Off For 50 Free Final After Liendo Scratches (Live Recap)


As originally reported by Devin Heroux on CBC, Josh Liendo has scratched out of the men’s 50 freestyle final. Liendo made that move to get out of swimming the 100 fly/50 freestyle double. He did the double today in the semifinals, when it was the 100 fly first, but the order switches during tomorrow’s finals.

Liendo is now all in on the 100 butterfly, and his scratch means that we now have a swim-off on our hands. Ryan Held and Vladyslav Bukhov, who tied for ninth in the semifinals (21.91).

Men’s 50 Freestyle Swim-Off

  1. Ryan Held (USA) — 21.68
  2. Vladyslav Bukhov (UKR) — 21.70

Held won this race on the start. He got off the blocks fast, then got the better of Bukhov on the underwaters, as he came up half a body length ahead of the Ukrainian swimmer. Down the middle stretch, it looked like Held was going to win this race going away. However, Bukhov clawed his way back into the race. He challenged Held in the closing meters, and they were stroke for stroke coming into the wall.

At the touch, it was Held who won in 21.68, just two-hundredths ahead of Bukhov. Both swimmers went faster than the 21.91 they swam in the semifinals. For the 21-year-old Bukhov, 21.70 is a new personal best, eclipsing the 21.73 he swam at the Tokyo Games.

This means that Ryan Held moves onto tomorrow’s final. He joins his teammate Jack Alexy there, and he’ll swim out of lane 8.

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4 months ago

He gets open water next to him on that outside lane. Hopefully he takes full advantage of it and can get a medal. 21.5 could do it.

4 months ago

Vlad Bukhov is the fastest freestyler in the world right now 🇺🇦 The way he almost got Held on that last 25 is just scary 🐇🐺 With a better start he’s going to swim 21-low, believe me.

Rotisserie chicken
Reply to  Eugene
4 months ago

Obviously not. He wasnt even top five and he lost the swim off.

Reply to  Eugene
4 months ago

He very clearly isn’t the fastest freestyler in the world right now….he’s 9th this year

If you’re saying you’re impressed with his over the water speed and with a cleaned up start, he’ll be the fastest in the future, then sure, maybe.

Reply to  Jason
4 months ago

Dude, I said FREESTYLER. Which means swimming part only. Miserable start, noob underwater. But the best swimming part.

VA Steve
Reply to  Jason
4 months ago

Alexy enters the conversation. Put a start and underwaters on him and woah.

Last edited 4 months ago by VA Steve
Reply to  VA Steve
4 months ago

killa cam (or big boi or whatever his rapper nickname is) destroyed the overwater today.

Reply to  Eugene
4 months ago

You could say the same thing for lots of people (Erin Gemmell, Krzysztof Chmielewski, etc) but UWD are one of the most important skills in the sport.

4 months ago

There might be less splash out in lane 8 for Ryan. A lot of waves and churn in the 50 free. Even if he doesn’t medal, there’s satisfaction in being one of the contenders.

4 months ago

Bhukov 21.7 with an awful start, two breaths and a 50 in the legs. The 50m Hanser Garcia.

If he can sort that start he will be an animal.

4 months ago

Based on the US habit of medalling after just scraping in, if Held wins this he’ll get a medal lol

Reply to  Sub13
4 months ago

Well there you go……lock that bronze medal away, which means the other 6 in the final just going for silver now ….. (😉 Gold lock to McEvoy clearly)

About Sophie Kaufman

Sophie Kaufman

Sophie grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, which means yes, she does root for the Bruins, but try not to hold that against her. At 9, she joined her local club team because her best friend convinced her it would be fun. Shoulder surgery ended her competitive swimming days long ago, …

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