Kieran Smith Adds First Olympic Double, Is Now #8 All-Time U.S. 200 Freestyler


The first swimmer to make the 2021 U.S. Olympic swim team in multiple events is Florida’s Kieran Smith.

Smith won the 200 free tonight, adding to his 400 free title and giving Team USA its first ‘double’ qualifier. Doubles will help the U.S. get under the 26-person roster cap while still adding all top 2 finishers (and top 6 finishers in the 100 and 200 frees) to the roster.

Once the men’s side has 6 ‘doubles’, the 2nd place finishers in each event can be officially added to the team. 8 doubles allows the 5th-place finishers in the 100 & 200 frees onto the team. 10 doubles will get the whole crew in, down to 6th place in the 100/200 frees.

The top four in the 100 and 200 frees are automatically qualified. Tonight, that foursome was Smith, Townley Haas, Drew Kibler and Andrew SeliskarSmith and Kibler both joined the top 12 all-time in USA Swimming history. Haas and Seliskar already reside there, though they didn’t hit career-bests tonight.

Top 200 Freestylers – USA Swimming History

  1. Michael Phelps (2008) – 1:42.96
  2. Ryan Lochte (2011) – 1:44.44
  3. Dave Walters (2009) / Ricky Berens (2009) – 1:44.95
  4. Townley Haas (2017) – 1:45.03
  5. Peter Vanderkaay (2008) – 1:45.14
  6. Conor Dwyer (2016) – 1:45.23
  7. Kieran Smith (2021) – 1:45.29
  8. Andrew Seliskar (2018) – 1:45.70
  9. Jack Conger (2016) – 1:45.77
  10. Drew Kibler (2021) – 1:45.92
  11. Blake Pieroni (2018) – 1:45.93

Despite all four swimmers being represented in the all-time USA Swimming ranks, this relay still has plenty of work to do to bring home an Olympic medal. At 2019 Worlds, the U.S. quartet of Seliskar, Blake Pieroni, Zach Apple and Haas went 7:01.98 for bronze.

Based on world ranks at the start of the session, Smith’s time should rank 6th worldwide for the year. But none of the other relay members rank inside the top 15 in the world in the individual 200 free this year. By comparison, Great Britain, Russia, and Australia all have three swimmers in the top 15.

Apple will likely make the Olympic team as a prelims swimmer. Pieroni finished 7th and won’t make the team in this event, though he’s still a strong competitor in the 100 free. Michigan’s Patrick Callan will join Apple as the likely prelims relay swimemrs.

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1 month ago

Are we sure we won’t see Pieroni in prelims? We’ve had 7 swimmers on the relay before, although those were different eras

Reply to  DCSwim
1 month ago

I doubt it, unless someone else on the relay has a prelims conflict AND Pieroni also qualifies for the 4×100. Then they might.

Reply to  DCSwim
1 month ago

I think so because third through sixth swim in heats fastest swimmer from prelims went to final and the always add someone else in the final so for this example maybe dressel. Not guaranteed but I think that’s whats going to happen

Jeff Hammond
1 month ago

Eddie still reigns in the 200.

1 month ago

Will probably take sub 7 min to make the podium in the 800 Free Relay in Tokyo, at least based on what I see on the World Rankings.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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