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
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- Entry Lists
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- Day 1 Finals Heat Sheet
Day 1 has wrapped, and we suddenly have a wealth of new data points to use in projecting out the remaining relays. Here’s how today’s results could affect the six remaining relay events:
Sjostrom & Hansson Buoy Swedish Medley
All along, we’ve noted that Sweden has the pieces to put together its best relays in years – particularly in the women’s 4×100 medley. But everything has hinged on Sarah Sjostrom, the 27-year-old fly/free star who broke her elbow earlier this year and wasn’t sure what kind of shape she’d be in by Tokyo.
Sjostrom was resoundingly brilliant on day 1, going 56.1 and 56.4 in two butterfly swims, plus 52.9 and 52.6 in two 100 free swims from a flat start. The latter of those free swims broke the Olympic record while leading off Sweden’s 6th-place relay.
Meanwhile, Louise Hansson went 56.9 twice in the 100 fly, just tenths off her personal best. Using season-best swims from three likely medley legs (splits from Euros in July for Louise and Sophie Hansson and a time from Sette Colli in June for backstroker Michelle Coleman), if Sjostrom can get anywhere near her career-best 51.9 flying-start time, Sweden could go 3:53 – smashing the national record by two seconds and perhaps challenging the medal favorites from Australia, the U.S., and Canada.
Sette Colli in June
|Sophie Hansson||1:05.45||Euros in May|
|Louise Hansson||56.71||Euros in May|
|Sarah Sjostrom||51.90||2019 Worlds|
Other Medley Notes:
- The other medal contenders look strong, too, though. Penny Oleksiak splitting 52.2 should give Canada tons of confidence here, and Maggie MacNeil has looked solid in butterfly with the 100 fly final yet to come.
- Abbey Weitzeil was a very strong 52.6 for Team USA, and probably retains the medley anchor job over Simone Manuel, who split 52.9 tonight.
- Australia probably wishes they had a second flyer. Emma McKeon split 51.3 on free and Cate Campbell was just 52.2. But the Aussies will probably have to “settle” for Campbell’s split (still the third-fastest of any swimmer in the field tonight) because they’ll need McKeon on fly, where she’s swimming great.
Men’s Medley Relay Updates
The only men’s event we’ve seen with true relay impact has been the 100 breast, and even that is incomplete with the final yet to come. Still, here’s a look at who has impressed and who hasn’t sparkled yet:
- Adam Peaty looks every bit the difference-maker he’s expected to be for Great Britian, though he wasn’t anywhere near his world-record 56.8 in heats or semis.
- Italy should have a difference-maker of their own in Nicolo Martinenghi, who probably remains the only swimmer on a medal-contending relay who could be reasonably expected to join Peaty under 58 on the breast split based on results so far. He went 58.2 in semis.
- China is probably feeling pretty solid about Yan Zibei on that leg after a 58.7 today.
- It’s too early to be actually concerned, but Michael Andrew was just 58.6 and then 58.9 for Team USA. The Americans are probably happier overall if Andrew can put together his best swim in the final, rather than heats and semis like he did at Olympic Trials, so we’ll wait and see. But he needs to be a reliable 58-low split to keep the U.S. medley relay gold streak alive, and right now, result are inconclusive to lock him in for that type of split.
- Australia and Russia are also medal contenders in the men’s medley. But neither advanced anyone to the 100 breast final. Things look especially dire for Australia, with no men under a minute. Matthew Wilson was 1:00.03 and Zac Stubblety-Cook 1:00.05, so Australia will have to choose between two potential legs who are very close with neither one swimming particularly well.
- Russia will have its own tough choice between two not-so-great options. Kirill Prigoda probably gets the spot with a 59.44 in semis, but that’s not really a time that will inspire confidence. Anton Chupkov was faster in heats (59.55 to Prigoda’s 59.68), but then faded to 59.9 in semis.
- Australia will really have to keep their fingers crossed that Chelsea Hodges swims well in the women’s 100 breast, because she might be the best option for the mixed medley relay. Emma McKeon may just take over freestyle duty from Cate Campbell if the Aussies choose to use Matt Temple on fly.
- Russia might have to lock into Yulia Efimova for the breast leg of the mixed medley, which was probably already their best option.
- If Michael Andrew is just swimming ‘ok’, it probably doesn’t make sense to try him on fly for either of the medley relays. If he pops a big 100 breast tomorrow, though, then it might be back on the table.
- The Netherlands are a sneaky factor in that mixed medley with Arno Kamminga tearing up the breaststroke to the tune of 57.8 and Femke Heemskerk splitting 51 on the 100 free.
- Kieran Smith dropping almost a second in the 400 free is the kind of momentum the American men need to have any medal chance in the 4×200 free relay. Smith should be the best leg of that relay, and it’s helpful to see him swimming very well in his first Olympics.