Tokyo 2020 Olympics: Day 1 Finals Preview


Day 1 Finals Start Lists

The first swimming finals session of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is finally here. On the slate day one’s program include the men’s 400 IM final, women’s 100 fly semifinals, men’s 400 free final, women’s 400 IM final, men’s 100 breast semifinals, and the women’s 4×100 free relay, estimating to run roughly 75 minutes.

Day One Finals Program

Tokyo Time (AM) Event
Men’s 400m Individual Medley Final
Women’s 100m Butterfly Semifinal 1
Women’s 100m Butterfly Semifinal 2
Men’s 400m Freestyle Final
Women’s 400m Individual Medley Final
Men’s 100m Breaststroke Semifinal 1
Men’s 100m Breaststroke Semifinal 2
Women’s 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay Final

Men’s 400 IM Final

Chase Kalisz of the USA (photo: Jack Spitser)

Leading the first Olympic final of Tokyo 2020 are Australia’s Brendon Smith and New Zealand’s Lewis Clareburt, who both swam under the former Oceanian record before Smith claimed it for the time being. The entirety of the top six swimmers in this final, including Smith (4:09.27) and Clareburt (4:09.49), are all sub-4:10.

Rio Olympic runner-up Chase Kalisz of the USA will be seeded next to top seed Smith while Hungarian veteran David Verraszto will be swimming to the right of Clareburt. Sub-4:10 Italian Alberto Razzetti and back-half speedster American Jay Litherland will sandwich the quartet, all equal threats to making the podium.

French teen Leon Marchand and Brit Max Litchfield both snuck into the final at 4:10.09/4:10.20, making it the fastest Olympic men’s 400 IM final qualification time in history.

Women’s 100 Fly Semi-Finals

Yufei Zhang of China(photo: Jack Spitser)

Emma McKeon, who broke the Commonwealth/Oceanian/Australian records in prelims at 55.82, will headline the first women’s 100 fly semifinal alongside the Americas/American record-holder Torri Huske, entering with a 56.29 prelims effort. Swede Louise Hansson enters semifinal No. 1 with a sub-57 prelims swim while finals threats France’s Marie Wattel and American Claire Curzan also highlight the first heat.

Into the second semifinal, the Asian/Chinese record-holder Zhang Yufei will be sandwiched between the 2019 World champion, Canada’s Maggie MacNeil, and the reigning Olympic champion, Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom. Belarusian teen sprinter Anastasiya Shkurdai is slated to compete next to Sjostrom in this heat at 56.99 to Sjostrom’s 56.18 evening effort.

Men’s 400 Free Final

Elijah Winnington of Australia (photo: Jack Spitser)

Germany’s Henning Mühlleitner came in hot in the evening with a monster lifetime best of 3:43.67 to grab lane four in the men’s 400 free Olympic final. Next to him will be Austrian record-holder Felix Auboeck, who also went sub-3:44 at 3:43.91. Italian Gabriele Detti was the only other swimmer under 3:45 in prelims at 3:44.67.

Seeded outside of those three lanes are Aussies Elijah Winnington and Jack McLoughlin, both swimming identical evening efforts of 3:45.20. Winnington and McLoughlin currently remain No. 1 and No. 2 on the 2020-2021 world rankings with their respective Australian Olympic Trials swims of 3:42.65 and 3:43.27, both faster than Mühlleitner’s and Auboeck’s newly-minted lifetime bests.

Tunisia’s second Olympic swim finalist ever, Ahmed Hafnoui, qualified 8th into the final alongside both American representatives, Kieran Smith and Jake Mitchell.

Women’s 400 IM Final

Katinka Hosszu of Hungary (photo: Jack Spitser)

19-year-old American Emma Weyant humbly holds the top women’s 400 IM finals seed at a lifetime best of 4:33.55, chopping three-tenths from her U.S. Olympic Trials winning time of 4:33.81. The American women have stayed on the 400 IM podium since the 2004 Olympics, including three runner-up swims. She will be seeded next to Britain’s Aimee Willmott, who placed five spots higher in Tokyo 2020 prelims than in Rio 2016 prelims at 4:35.28.

Japanese start Yui Ohashi and Rio 2016 women’s 200 fly champion Mireia Belmonte of Spain will sandwich the lead prelims duo. In the outside lanes, Iron Lady and defending Olympic champion Katinka Hosszu of Hungary and American sensation Hali Flickinger will swim side-by-side.

Hungarian teen Viktoria Mihalyvari-Farkas (4:35.99) swam one one-hundredth within Hosszu (4:36.01) and Flickinger’s (4:35.99) qualifying times. Italian Ilaria Cusinato rounds out the sub-4:40 women’s 400 IM Olympic final seeds at 4:37.37.

Men’s 100 Breast Semi-Finals

Adam Peaty of Great Britain (photo: Jack Spitser)

European breaststroke stars James Wilby of Great Britain, Arno Kamminga of the Netherlands, and Nicolo Martinenghi of Italy will headline the first of two men’s 100 breast semi-finals. South American record-holder Felipe Lima of Brazil will also participate in this heat as well as SCM world record-holder Kirill Prigoda of Russia.

In the second semi-final, world record-holder Adam Peaty of Great Britain and American record-holder Michael Andrew will swim in the middle lanes. Fellow American Andrew Wilson will also compete for a finals spot next to MA as well as China’s Yan Zibei and European breaststroke threats Ilya Shymanovich of Belarus and Anton Chupkov of Russia.

Women’s 4×100 Free Relay Final

Emma McKeon of Australia (photo: Jack Spitser)

The Australian women will be hunting for their third-consecutive Olympic title in the 4×100 free relay final out of lane four. Next to the Oceanian powerhouse are the Dutch women, seeded roughly two seconds behind Australia but two-tenths off of Canada, who made the 2016 podium behind Australia and the USA. Next to the Netherlands will be Great Britain, seeded a half-second behind the Dutch relay.

Meanwhile, the American women will be swimming to better their 5th-place prelims qualifying time and remain on the 4×100 free relay podium since 1984. The USA relay will swim in between Canada’s and Denmark’s relays in lane two.

The Chinese relay will swim next to the Swedish relay in lanes seven and eight. The Chinese relay will be coming off their Asian record-setting time of 3:35.07 while Sweden’s strongest leg, Sarah Sjostrom, will be coming off the women’s 100 fly semi-final.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
9 months ago

does anyone know what channel i can watch the olympics and hear rowdy gaines? i’ve been watching the olympics but with different announcers. i just want to hear rowdy!!

9 months ago

USA white warm-ups along with the masks make them look like hospital workers.

9 months ago

My favorite race of the night, Hafnoui winning the gold.

9 months ago

Gold for Tunisia – love it

Reply to  Iain
9 months ago


9 months ago

Another surprise in the 400 free (after the German’s heat swim). Good Job Jack!!

9 months ago

German seems to swimming without batteries.

9 months ago

any usa doubters out there?

9 months ago

Super slow

About Nick Pecoraro

Nick Pecoraro

Nick Pecoraro started swimming at age 11, instantly becoming drawn to the sport. He was a breaststroker and IMer when competing. After joining SwimSwam, the site has become an outlet for him to research and learn about competitive swimming and experience the sport through a new lenses. He graduated in …

Read More »