It’s Here! The Aquatics Schedule For The 2020 Olympic Games In Tokyo

The pieces of the aquatic puzzle for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games are falling into place. FINA announced the initial Olympic qualifying times back in May of this year, and now Tokyo organizers have revealed the competitive schedule for swimming.

We’ve been waiting in anticipation for the aquatics schedule since July, when most of the entire Games’ timeline was released with the exception of swimming, artistic swimming and diving. However, we now know that swimming events will be held for 9 days, beginning with Day 1 of the Games.

Furthermore, all heats will be held in the evening, with finals taking place the following morning. This was to be expected, as FINA announced back in July that the world’s governing body of swimming announced its support of morning finals, siding with American TV networks over Japanese broadcasters. Finals taking place in the morning is the same schedule followed for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. With this timeline, the first medal event will be the men’s 400m IM taking place on Day 2 (July 26th).

With the addition of the men’s 800m free, the women’s 1500m free and the mixed medley relay, the total number of swimming events in 2020 will be 35. However, the total number of days’ worth of competition in Tokyo will not change from Rio. In terms of the newly added Olympic events:

  • The women’s 1500m was added to the morning session of Day 3, with its final taking place in the finals of Day 4.
  • The men’s 800m was added to the morning session of Day 4, with its final taking place in the finals of Day 5.
  • The mixed medley relay’s prelims will be on Day 6, while its final will be on Day 7.

An additional change between Rio and Tokyo is the placement of the men’s 50m free event. In Rio, the men’s 50 took place on Day 6. For Tokyo, though, the men’s 50 free is moved to Day 7 and follows the same prelims-semi’s-finals path as the women’s 50m free.

Below is the schedule of the pool and marathon swimming, as just released by Tokyo 2020 organizers. Please note the small type is what was released by organizers; we’ll update with more pronounced text once published on the Tokyo 2020 site. The events are also listed out in text format beneath the graphics.

Below is the schedule of water polo, artistic swimming and diving.

25 July.2020
19:00-21:30 Heats

  • Men 400m Individual Medley
  • Women 100m Butterfly
  • Men 400m Freestyle
  • Women 400m Individual Medley
  • Men 100m Breaststroke
  • Women 4x100m Freestyle

26 July.2020
10:30-12:30 Semi-Finals & Finals

  • Men 400m Individual Medley Final
  • Women 100m Butterfly Semi-Final
  • Men 400m Freestyle Final
  • Women 400m Individual Medley Final
  • Men 400m Breaststroke Semi-Final
  • Women 4x100m Freestyle Final

19:00-21:30 Heats

  • Women 100m Backstroke
  • Men 200m Freestyle
  • Women 100m Breaststroke
  • Men 100m Backstroke
  • Women 400m Freestyle
  • Men 4x100m Freestyle

27 July.2020
10:30-12:30 Semi-Finals & Finals

  • Women 100m Butterfly Final
  • Men 200m Freestyle Semi-Final
  • Women 100m Breaststroke Semi-Final
  • Men 100m Breaststroke Final
  • Women 400m Freestyle Final
  • Men 100m Backstroke Semi-Final
  • Women 100m Backstroke Semi-Final
  • Men 4x100m Freestyle Final

19:00-21:30 Heats

  • Women 200m Freestyle
  • Men 200m Butterfly
  • Women 200m Individual Medley
  • Women 1500m Freestyle

28 July.2020
10:30-12:30 Semi-Finals & Finals

  • Women 200m Freestyle Semi-Final
  • Men 200m Freestyle Final
  • Women 100m Backstroke Final
  • Men 100m Backstroke Final
  • Women 100m Breaststroke Final
  • Men 200m Butterfly Semi-Final
  • Women 200m Individual Medley Semi-Final

19:00-21:30 Heats

  • Men 100m Freestyle
  • Women 200m Butterfly
  • Men 200m Breaststroke
  • Men 4x200m Freestyle
  • Men 800m Freestyle

29 July.2020
10:30-12:30 Semi-Finals & Finals

  • Men 100m Freestyle Semi-Final
  • Women 200m Freestyle Final
  • Men 200m Butterfly Final
  • Women 200m Butterfly Semi-Final
  • Men 200m Breaststroke Semi-Final
  • Women 200m Individual Medley Final
  • Women 1500m Freestyle Final
  • Men 4x200m Freestyle Final

19:00-21:30 Heats

  • Women 100m Freestyle
  • Men 200m Backstroke
  • Women 200m Breaststroke
  • Men 200m Individual Medley
  • Women 4x200m Freestyle

30 July.2020
10:30-12:30 Semi-Finals & Finals

  • Men 800m Freestyle Final
  • Men 200m Breaststroke Final
  • Women 100m Freestyle Semi-Final
  • Men 200m Backstroke Semi-Final
  • Women 200m Butterfly Final
  • Men 100m Freestyle Final
  • Women 200m Breaststroke Semi-Final
  • Men 200m Individual Medley Semi-Final
  • Women 4x200m Freestyle Final

19:00-21:30 Heats

  • Women 800m Freestyle
  • Men 100m Butterfly
  • Women 200m Backstroke
  • 4x100m Medley Mix

31 July.2020
10:30-12:30 Semi-Finals & Finals

  • Women 200m Breaststroke Final
  • Men 200m Backstroke Final
  • Women 200m Backstroke Semi-Final
  • Men 200m Individual Medley Final
  • Women 100m Freestyle Final
  • Men 100m Butterfly Semi-Final

19:00-21:30 Heats

  • Men 50m Freestyle
  • Women 50m Freestyle
  • Men 1500m Freestyle
  • Women 4x100m Medley
  • Men 4x100m Medley

1 August.2020
10:30-12:30 Semi-Finals & Finals

  • Men 100m Butterfly Final
  • Women 200m Backstroke Final
  • Women 800m Freestyle Final
  • Men 50m Freestyle Semi-Final
  • Women 50m Freestyle Semi-Final
  • 4x100m Medley Mix Final

2 August.2020
10:30-12:30 Finals

  • Men 50m Freestyle Final
  • Women 50m Freestyle Final
  • Men 1500m Freestyle Final
  • Women 4x100m Medley Final
  • Men 4x100m Medley Final


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5 years ago

They should just have all the Olympics in the USA since they only care about NBC profit margin anyway

5 years ago


Reply to  Troy
5 years ago

Money talks. I know that’s little consolation to the rest of the world. Remember.. FINA made this decision. NBC didn’t hold a gun to their heads and force them to do this. FINA clearly believed it’s to their advantage to cater to that big audience and all the potential eyeballs that comes with it. We knew this was coming. FINA said as much a few weeks ago.

Reply to  David
5 years ago

Well for heaven’s sake , let’s hope the USA audiences actually watch it live and appreciate it ! Sucks for the rest of us .

Reply to  Joel
5 years ago

NBC has already started to promote the 2020 Olympics even though we’re still nearly 2 years out. There will be a lot of people watching

Hoosier Eli
5 years ago

Men’s 800 finalist swim on 7/30 in the morning, and then the next day could have the 1500 trials (7/31 in the pm) if they are doing that double…

tea rex
5 years ago

Hooray they finally added the women’s 1500… but they delivered it with a giant middle finger to Katie Ledecky.

Also glad they moved the men’s 50 free and 100 fly off from the same day. That was the 2nd most bone-headed part of past scheduling.

First is men’s 400m free and 400m IM on the first day – they kept that, though a liiiiittle more understandable now that there is an extra distance event to squeeze in – Dolan, Vendt, Marin, Rosolino, Phelps, Mellouli, Hagino – so many guys have decided two years out if they are an IMer or a distance freestyler, cause you can’t be both.

5 years ago

Well the 100 fly and 50 are now separated so a big benefit to Dressel, opening the possibility of 4×200 free relay. Still don’t know what to think of the IM for him.

Caeleb Dressel Will Win 9 Gold Medals in Tokyo
Reply to  Pvdh
5 years ago

I wouldn’t put him on the 4×200. At least not at 2019 worlds. He’s a sprinter, and not the best 200 freestyler as we saw this year


I think the car wreck had something to do with that…he was a full second off his bests over 100 and still near his pb over 200. I’m guessing we would have seen a large drop had he not been in the wreck

5 years ago

Crazy day 3 (7/27) for Ledecky – 400m Free final in the morning, 200m and 1500m free heat in the afternoon. Also, 1500m Free heat is the last event and then she has to come back next day for 200m Free semi first event in the morning. Her plan and execution of recovery (the 1500m Free heat?? LOL) need to be spot on to make it in the 200m Free final.
She will be swimming on Day 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8 if she did the 200m, 400m, 800m, 1500m Free, plus 800m Free relay. If she is swimming the 400m Free relay, she may add swim on Day 1 (heat) and Day 2 (final). The meet… Read more »

5 years ago

Women’s 200 free final and 1500 free final in the same session. Oooooops.

Reply to  overtraining
5 years ago

But in the right order.
Unless next two years bring some new name that can swim under 15:40 it is a good schedule for Ledecky with long rest before 800.

Caeleb Dressel Will Win 9 Gold Medals in Tokyo
Reply to  Yozhik
5 years ago

Even if someone goes 15:39, Ledecky’s still gonna crush them.

Reply to  overtraining
5 years ago

Not to mention the women swim 4 of the 6 200m events within 3 days (if you include the 4x200m freestyle as a 200m event) 200m freestyle and 200m im on day 3 and 4 (now add the 1500m freestyle to that), 200m butterfly on day 4 and 5, and 4x200m freestyle on day 5. Imagine Michael Phelps trying to handle his Bejing events with that kind of schedule.

Caeleb Dressel Will Win 9 Gold Medals in Tokyo
5 years ago

So basically like Beijing huh? Nice. Those Olympics weren’t to boring.

Coach John

I was not bored…. michael phelps was the icing on that cake

Drama King
Reply to  Coach John
5 years ago

And tech suits.

Caeleb Dressel Will Win 9 Gold Medals in Tokyo
Reply to  Drama King
5 years ago

I wish FINA kept the legs.


Ditto. Banning the legs was an overreaction in my opinion. And with quite a few womens’ suits offering the closed back these days, women are almost back to the full torso kneeskins while men are restricted to jammers.

I certainly think there’s room for FINA to come back and say any style of suit is fine as long as it doesn’t have the banned materials, so you could do jammers/kneeskins, the full torso ones, legskins, or full body.

M Palota
Reply to  Tim
5 years ago

Huge downvote from me. Please, please, please, let’s not re-open the suit wars!!

Caeleb Dressel Will Win 9 Gold Medals in Tokyo
Reply to  M Palota
5 years ago

Nah dude. We want to bring back leggings! I think that full bodysuits should remain banned, but the legs need to come back. I was too young to race in them. Not to mention they look badass 😎

We’ve seen more records fall from women because they get a lot more suit than men do (necessary of course). Men’s 100 free, 50 free, and 400 free would be gone. In 2010, there was a huuuuuge depression because of the suits. Ryan Lochte was pretty much the only male who could come close to his times from 2009 worlds. But we have seen a lot of progress recently, some ridiculous world records are still far out of reach (200, 400, 800… Read more »


100 back ? both have just been beaten ( 2016 – 2018 )

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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