2021 U.S. OLYMPIC SWIMMING TRIALS
- Wave I Dates: June 4-7, 2021
- Wave II Dates: June 13-20, 2021
- Prelims: 10am CDT | Finals: 7pm CDT (8PM finals on Friday & Saturday)
- Where: CHI Health Center / Omaha, Nebraska
- 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials Qualifying Cuts
- Wave I & II Event Order
- LCM (50m)
- Day 7 Finals Live Stream (NBC)
- Psych Sheets
- Wave II Live Results
- Day 7 Finals Heat Sheet
The 2021 US Olympic Trials have been anything but boring and the day 7 finals session was no exception.
Upsets upon upsets have gone down over the course of the meet and none were as unexpected as the result of the women’s 200 backstroke final in which Rhyan White and Phoebe Bacon managed to unseat reigning world champion and world record holder.
After qualifying for Tokyo in the 100 backstroke and 200 butterfly, Regan Smith couldn’t quite get it done in the 200 backstroke despite her status as the fastest-ever swimmer in history. Smith swam to gold in the event at 2019 Worlds with a 2:03.69 and was more than 3 seconds slower here with a 2:06.79 for third place.
Taking advantage of the situation, Rhyan White swam to a 2:05.73 victory in the event to add a second event in Tokyo along with the 100 backstroke. Phoebe Bacon meanwhile came in at a 2:06.46 for second place, qualifying for her first Olympic squad.
Women’s 200 Backstroke Final Race Video
Race recap originally reported by James Sutherland
WOMEN’S 200 BACK FINAL
- World Record: Regan Smith (USA) – 2:03.35 (2019)
- American Record: Regan Smith – 2:03.35 (2019)
- US Open Record: Missy Franklin (USA) – 2:05.68 (2013)
- World Junior Record: Regan Smith (USA) – 2:03.35 (2019)
- 2016 Olympic Champion: Maya DiRado (USA) – 2:05.99
- 2016 US Olympic Trials Champion: Maya DiRado – 2:06.90
- Wave I Cut: 2:14.69
- Wave II Cut: 2:12.94
- FINA ‘A’ Cut: 2:10.39
In doubtedly the biggest upset of the meet, Rhyan White is the Olympic Trials winner in the women’s 200 backstroke and reigning world champion and world record holder Regan Smith won’t swim the event in Tokyo.
After Smith flipped first by two tenths at the final turn, White took off down the final 50. White pulled into the lead, and then all of a sudden, Bacon began moving past Smith down the stretch.
White, who trains at Alabama, ended up winning by a decisive 73 one-hundredths of a second, clocking 2:05.73 to demolish her previous best of 2:07.07 and become the third-fastest American woman of all-time. The 21-year-old also moves into third in the world this season.
White was by far the fastest closer in 31.96, and Bacon ended up being the only other swimmer in the field sub-33, as the rising Wisconsin sophomore came back in 32.67—more than half a second faster than Smith—to snag second in 2:06.46 and qualify for the Olympic team.
Bacon’s previous best time was a 2:06.84, set at Pro Swim Series meet in Indianapolis in May, where she notably out-touched Smith by a few one-hundredths.
Smith tied up coming home and finishes a shocking third in 2:06.79, more than three seconds off her world record set in 2019 (2:03.35). The 19-year-old will still have the 100 back and 200 fly to race in Tokyo.
Cal’s Stadden fell off the pace on the last 50 as well, ultimately taking fourth in 2:07.86, having set a PB of 2:07.28 last month.
Kathleen Baker misses out on her final opportunity to make the Olympic team, taking fifth in 2:08.78.