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
UPDATE: The United States men finished 4th in the 4×200 freestyle relay. Zach Apple had the slowest split of the American finals group, splitting 1:47.31, as the Americans missed the podium. That marked the first time at a non-boycotted Olympics where the American men missed a medal in a relay.
In a one-on-one sit-down on with NBC’s Mike Tirico between swimming events during tonight’s coverage, Michael Phelps expressed his surprise in the decision to not use Caeleb Dressel in the men’s 4×200 freestyle relay. Phelps, who has been active in Tokyo for NBC commentating races live and doing coverage away from the pool, left no doubts in how he felt Dressel could be advantageous for tonight’s 4×200 freestyle relay final.
The full quote from Phelps:
“It’s shocking. You know, in my opinion, he’s probably the best 200 freestyler in the world. He can probably put up one of the best times that we’ve seen. Leaving him off that relay, to me, I think makes it a lot harder to win the gold medal.”
There was speculation that Dressel would end up on the final of 4×200 freestyle relay after he clocked a smooth 1:46.63 in the 200 freestyle preliminaries at U.S. Olympic Trials last month. While Dressel is obviously known more as a sprinter, he’s no stranger to longer races, most notably when he blasted the American, U.S. Open, and NCAA records in the 200 yard IM back in 2018. In addition, the coaching staff has already proven to go against the grain during the Tokyo Games, placing Simone Manuel on the final of the women’s 4×100 freestyle relay. However, Dressel does have a busy schedule ahead of him, including presumably 7 more individual swims and multiple relay swims this week.
Phelps himself has plenty of experience in participating on Olympic relays in which he did not “officially” qualify at U.S. Olympic Trials. During his final four Olympic Games, Phelps competed in the final of the 4×100 freestyle relay for Team USA, despite never competing in a semifinal or final at Trials.