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 Finals Heat Sheet
The first swimming medal of these 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games was earned by American Chase Kalisz in the men’s 400m IM. The silver medalist from Rio clocked a time of 4:09.42 to lead teammate Jay Litherland and Aussie Brendon Smith who finished in the silver and bronze medal positions, respectively.
Yes, Kalisz won by nearly a second. However, the entire field was on the sluggish side, at least compared to historic data.
As we detailed in our post regarding Japan’s Daiya Seto missing out on the final, the prelims, which took place in the evening here in Tokyo were quick. At the 2016 Olympic Games, it took 4:13.55 to make it into the top 8. The following year at the 2017 FINA World Aquatic Championships it took just 4:15.69 and the 2019 FINA World Championships saw a time of 4:15.24 as the minimum to move on.
Here, it was a time of 4:10.20 that captured slot #8 for the final.
However, finals were a different story, with every one of the 8 men clocking slower times than in the prelims.
The 2012 Olympic Games saw the top 4 finishers all under 4:10, while 4 years later in Rio the top 3 men were sub-4:10. Compare that to today’s final and Kalisz, the winner, was the sole man under 4:10. The 400m IM final was the slowest it has been in an Olympic Games or World Championships since 2001.
|3||Chase Kalisz||United States||4:09.42|
|7||Jay Litherland||United States||4:10.28|
|4||8||Max Litchfield||Great Britain||4:10.59|
|7||5||Lewis Clareburt||New Zealand||4:11.22|
Seto’s time from the prelims, a 4:10.52 would have placed 4th in the final, for perspective. In 2016, Kosuke Hagino was 4:06.05, Kalisz was 4:06.75 and Seto was 4:09.71.
Is the lack of fans in the audience a factor? Or does the timing of having finals in the morning coming into play? Debate in the comments.