Tokyo 2020 Olympics: Day 3 Finals Live Recap

2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games

It’s Tuesday morning in Tokyo and we are gearing up for the third finals session of the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games. This session will feature the finals of the men’s 200 freestyle, women’s and men’s 100 backstroke, and women’s 100 breaststroke, and the semifinals of the women’s 200 freestyle, men’s 200 butterfly, and women’s 200 individual medley.

One of the most anticipated races of the night will be the men’s 200 free, where the eight finalists are separated by only 1.7 seconds and any one of them could pull off a gold medal swim. Great Britain’s Duncan Scott will be in lane 4 but hopes are high for 16-year-old David Popovici of Romania in lane 1, as he set the World Junior Record in the 100 free and the European Junior Records in the 50/100/200 free this summer. The other junior in this final is World Junior Record-holder Hwang Sun Woo of South Korea, who will be in lane 7. Lithuania’s Danas Rapsys came in with the fastest entry time of 1:44.38; he will be in lane. On the other side of Scott will be American Kieran Smith, the bronze medalist in the 400 free on Day 1.

The women’s 100 back final is expected to be another nailbiter. Canada’s Kylie Masse, Australia’s Kaylee McKeown, the current World Record-holder, and USA’s Regan Smith have all broken the Olympic Record at least once in their two swims (prelims and semifinals) to date. Smith earned the right to lane 4 with the fastest time in semis, with McKeown in lane 3 and Masse in lane 5.

The other two finals of the morning, the men’s 100 back and the women’s 100 breast, will feature the 2016 Olympic gold medalists trying to defend their respective titles. Americans Ryan Murphy and Lilly King face strong challenges. Russian Olympic Committee’s Evgeny Rylov and Kliment Kolesnikov, the World Junior Record-holder, came into the Games ranked #1 and 2 in the world. Australia’s Mitch Larkin and China’s Xu Jiayu, the reigning World Champion, also have a shot at unseating Murphy.

King will start from lane 5, which is unusual for the World Record-holder. She has been untouchable in this event internationally, with an Olympic gold in 2016 and World Championships titles in 2017 and 2019. But in Tokyo, she posted the second-fastest time in heats behind South Africa’s Tatjana Schoenmaker, who broke the Olympic Record with 1:04.82. The two raced side-by-side in the second semifinal with Schoenmaker coming out ahead by .33. King loves a good race, though, and she will be fired up for this final. USA’s Lydia Jacoby and Sweden’s Sophie Hansson will be battling for the podium, as well.

For a full preview of this morning’s session (or tonight’s, for those of us in the Western Hemisphere), click here.

Women’s 200 Freestyle – Semifinals

  • World Record: Federica Pellegrini (ITA) – 1:52.98 (2009)
  • Olympic Record: Allison Schmitt (USA) – 1:53.61 (2012)
  • World Junior Record: Yang Junxuan (CHN) – 1:55.43 (2019)
  • 2016 Olympic Champion: Katie Ledecky (USA) – 1:53.73
  • SwimSwam Event Preview – Women’s 200 freestyle
  1. Ariarne Titmus (AUS) – 1:54.82
  2. Siobhan Haughey (HKG) – 1:55.16
  3. Katie Ledecky (USA) – 1:55.34
  4. Yang Junxuan (CHN) – 1:55.98
  5. Barbora Seemanova (CZE) – 1:56.14
  6. Penny Oleksiak (CAN) – 1:56.39
  7. Federica Pellegrini (ITA) – 1:56.44
  8. Madison Wilson (AUS) – 1:56.28

Ariarne Titmus of Australia opened the morning session with 1:54.82 to win the first semifinal of women’s 200 freestyle. Penny Oleksiak of Canada was first at the 50, followed by Yan Junxuan of China and Siobhan Haughey of Hong Kong. Haughey flipped 1st at the 100 and 150 walls, but Titmus closed hard in 28.9 over the final 50 meters and got the touch with 1:54.82. Haughey was second in 1:55.16. Yang went 1:55.98, and Oleksiak stopped the clock at 1:56.39.

Katie Ledecky of USA won the second semifinal with 1:55.34, just off her time from heats. Barbora Seemanova notched a Czech Republic record of 1:56.14 to come in second. She beat her previous national record of 1:56.27 by .13. Seemanova led Ledecky at the 50, was second at the 100, then fell to 4th at the 150. Both she and World Record-holder Federica Pellegrini of Italy closed faster than the rest of the field to finish in 2nd and 3rd places, behind Ledecky.

Men’s 200 Freestyle – Final

  • World Record: Paul Biedermann (GER) – 1:42.00 (2009)
  • Olympic Record: Michael Phelps (USA) – 1:42.96 (2008)
  • World Junior Record: Hwang Sun Woo (KOR) – 1:44.62 (2021)
  • 2016 Olympic Champion: Sun Yang (CHN) – 1:44.65
  • SwimSwam Event Preview – Men’s 200 Freestyle
  1. GOLD: Tom Dean (GBR), 1:44.22
  2. SILVER: Duncan Scott (GBR), 1:44.26
  3. BRONZE: Fernando Scheffer (BRA), 1:44.66
  4. David Popovici (ROU), 1:44.68
  5. Martin Malyutin (ROC), 1:45.01
  6. Kieran Smith (USA), 1:45.12
  7. Hwang Sunwoo (KOR), 1:45.26
  8. Danas Rapsys (LTU), 1:45.78

It was a huge final for Great Britain, who swept the top two steps of the podium with Tom Dean and Duncan Scott. The pair came into the meet with the top two times in the world and, in the end, they came from behind to earn gold and silver with 1:44.22 and 1:44.26. Dean broke the British record of 1:44.47, set by Scott at Olympic Trials in April.

World Junior Record-holder Hwang Sunwoo of Korea charged out to the lead with 23.95/25.83/26.78 to lead at the 50/100/150 walls. Dean was in the second position at the 50 but fell behind Fernando Scheffer of Brazil at the 100.

Dean and Scott roared home in 26.84 and 26.46, respectively. Scheffer held on for third, finishing in 27.38 for a new Brazilian and South American record of 1:44.66. Popovici placed 4th with 1:44.68, missing the podium by .02. He set new Romanian and European Junior records with his fourth-place swim.

Women’s 100 Backstroke – Final

  1. GOLD: Kaylee McKeown (AUS), 57.47
  2. SILVER: Kylie Masse (CAN), 57.72
  3. BRONZE: Regan Smith (USA), 58.05
  4. Rhyan White (USA), 58.43
  5. Emily Seebohm (AUS), 58.45
  6. Kathleen Dawson (GBR), 58.70
  7. Kira Toussaint (NED), 59.11
  8. Anastasia Gorbenko (ISR), 59.53

Kaylee McKeown became the first Australian woman in history to win Olympic gold in the 100 back. She broke the Olympic Record with 57.47, going .64 faster than she had been in the semifinals but just .02 off her World Record of 57.45. That was the fourth time the Olympic Record was lowered this week.

Kylie Masse of Canada led at the 50 wall, followed by USA’s Rhyan White and McKeown. McKeown barreled home, splitting 28.2/29.5 for the win.

Regan Smith of USA closed on her teammate White, and battled Masse for the silver medal but fell short by .33.

Men’s 100 Backstroke – Final

  1. GOLD: Evgeny Rylov (ROC), 51.98
  2. SILVER: Kliment Kolesnikov (ROC), 52.00
  3. BRONZE: Ryan Murphy (USA), 52.19
  4. Thomas Ceccon (ITA), 52.30
  5. Xu Jiayu (CHN), 52.51
  6. Hugo Gonzalez (ESP), 52.78
  7. Mitch Larkin (AUS), 52.79
  8. Robert Glinta (ROU), 52.95

In the fastest Olympic 100 backstroke final in history, Evgeny Rylov and Kliment Kolesnikov went 1-2 to secure the first-ever gold medal for Russia/the Russian Olympic Committee and its predecessors.

It was the first since 1980 that the United States did not win either gold or silver in the 100 back. American men have only not been first or second in this event at the Olympics in 1908, 1932, 1956, and 1980 (when they boycotted the Games).

Defending champion Ryan Murphy edged Italy’s Thomas Ceccon, 52.19 to 52.30 for the bronze medal.

Kolesnikov was out first at 24.90. Rylov flipped at 24.96, with Murphy just behind at 25.26. Rylov came home in 27.02. Kolesnikov was 27.10. Murphy closed in 26.93 but it wasn’t enough to close the gap.

Women’s 100 Breaststroke – Final

  1. GOLD: Lydia Jacoby (USA), 1:04.95
  2. SILVER: Tatjana Schoenmaker (RSA), 1:05.22
  3. BRONZE: Lilly King (USA), 1:05.54
  4. Evgeniia Chikunova (ROC), 1:05.90
  5. Yuliya Efimova (ROC), 1:06.02
  6. Sophie Hansson (SWE), 1:06.07
  7. Martina Carraro (ITA), 1:06.19
  8. Mona McSharry (IRL), 1:06.94

In the upset of the night, USA’s Lydia Jacoby came from behind to win gold in the women’s 100 breast with 1:04.95, becoming only the sixth swimmer in history to break 1:05. South Africa’s Tatjana Schoenmaker, who broke the Olympic Record in heats, was out first in 30.41. Behind her in tight formation were American teammates Lilly King and Jacoby. Jacoby broke away over the final 20 meters, leaving Schoenmaker and King in her wake. Jacoby split 30.74/34.21 en route to her gold medal.

Schoenmaker won South Africa’s first medal of the meet with her silver medal. South Africa didn’t even send any women swimmers to the 2016 Olympic Games.

After winning this event in Rio with 1:04.93, defending champion King came to the wall in third place with 1:05.54. She praised her teammate, saying, “We love to keep that gold in the USA family so this kid just had the swim of her life and I’m so proud to be her teammate. I’m proud to get bronze for my country.”

All-time Performers

1 Lilly King (USA) 1:04.13 2017
2 Rūta Meilutytė (LTU) 1:04.35 2013
3 Yuliya Efimova (RUS) 1:04.36 2017
4 Jessica Hardy (USA) 1:04.45 2009
5 Rebecca Soni (USA) 1:04.84 2009
6 Lydia Jacoby (USA) 1:04.95 2021

Men’s 200 Butterfly – Semifinals

  • World Record: Kristof Milak (HUN) – 1:50.73 (2019)
  • Olympic Record: Michael Phelps (USA) – 1:52.03 (2008)
  • World Junior Record: Kristof Milak (HUN) – 1:52.71 (2018)
  • 2016 Olympic Champion: Michael Phelps (USA) – 1:53.36
  • SwimSwam Event Preview – Men’s 200 butterfly
  1. Kristof Milak (HUN) – 1:52.22
  2. Leonardo de Deus (BRA) – 1:54.97
  3. Chad le Clos (RSA) – 1:55.06
  4. Federico Burdisso (ITA) – 1:55.11
  5. Tamas Kenderesi (HUN) – 1:55.17
  6. Gunnar Bentz (USA) – 1:55.28
  7. Krzysztof Chmielewski (POL) – 1:55.29
  8. Tomoru Honda (JPN) – 1:55.31

South Africa’s Chad le Clos, the Olympic gold medalist in this event in 2012, took off like a shot in the first semifinal. He was swimming in lane 8, having just squeaked into the top-16 out of heats. Le Clos led by about 1 second at the 50 and 2 at the 100. The field began to close the gap over the second half, and le Clos ended up winning the heat by only .11. Nevertheless, it was a vindication for the South African, who has made it into yet another Olympic final. Le Clos earned his 1:55.06 the hard way, splitting 24.45/28.23/30.56/31.82. Behind him, the deck got shuffled several times. Belgium’s Louis Croenen was in second place at the 50 and the 100 before falling off pace. Kuan-Hung Wang was in second at the 150,  But at the finish, Tamas Kenderesi of Hungary came to the wall in 1:55.17, nearly catching le Clos. Japan’s Tomoru Honda edged USA’s Zach Harting, 1:55.31 to 1:55.35, for third in the heat.

World Record-holder Kristof Milak of Hungary won the second heat way out in clean water with 1:52.22. He led from start to finish, with Italy’s Federico Burdisso and Brazil’s Leonardo de Deus battling for second place. Burdisso maintained the edge until the final 50 meters, when de Deus outsplit him 30.70 to 31.93 to finish second with 1:54.97. Burdisso ended up with 1:55.11, just holding off Gunnar Bentz of USA (1:55.28), who closed in 30.74.

Women’s 200 Individual Medley – Semifinals

  1. Kate Douglass (USA) – 2:09.21
  2. Abbie Wood (GBR) – 2:09.56
  3. Alex Walsh (USA) – 2:09.57
  4. Yu Yiting (CHN) – 2:09.72
  5. Yui Ohashi (JPN) – 2:09.79
  6. Sydney Pickrem (CAN) – 2:09.94
  7. Katinka Hosszu (HUN) – 2:10.22
  8. Alicia Wilson (GBR) – 2:10.59

USA’s Alex Walsh used a strong middle half to win the first semi-final of the 200 IMs with 2:09.21. China’s Yu Yiting was out first in the fly, turning half a second ahead of Walsh. The American split 32.45/37.94 on the back/breast 100, leading Yu by half a second heading into the freestyle. Yu went 31.13 to Walsh’s 31.53 but fell short of the heat win. Yui Ohashi of Japan was third at the 50, then fell to fourth behind Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu after backstroke, and Canada’s Sydney Pickrem and Yu after breast. Ohashi powered past Pickrem and Hosszu over the final 50 meters to take third. Hosszu, the defending champion and World Record-holder, earned a spot in the final.

Kate Douglass is almost her teammate Walsh’s opposite. She dominated the first and fourth legs of the second semifinal and posted the fastest time, overall. Out in a 27.17 fly leg, Douglass was half a second ahead of the field heading into the backstroke. South Korea’s Kim Seoyeong took over at the 100 wall, splitting 32.5, the fastest backstroke by a second. Great Britain’s Abbie Wood used her breaststroke to take over the lead at the 150 wall, but couldn’t match Douglass’ 30.78 freestyle. Douglass posted the overall fastest time of 2:09.29. Wood and her British teammate Alicia Wilson finished 2-3 in the semi with 2:09.56 and 2:10.59.

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Dressel will come 3rd in 100 free
1 month ago

Let’s go Scott, let’s go Dean

Dressel will come 3rd in 100 free

Schoenmaker will become the Queen

Craig Beardsley

Yes, but not today. Lilly King repeats and goes 1:04 low.

Dan Gains
Reply to  Craig Beardsley
1 month ago

so glad she got dethroned


Or jacoby


Queen of Silver


Congrats, well done

Dressel will come 3rd in 100 free
Reply to  Robbos
1 month ago

Thanks, same with Kaylee!


Thanks!!! Huge day for the Commonwealth countries.

Be Humble
Reply to  Robbos
1 month ago

Super unsportsmanlike for Lilly King to not even acknowledge Tatjana after her race. Sure, she’s excited to have fellow American Lydia to take the gold, but she swam right past her.

Reply to  Be Humble
1 month ago

She’s just giving NBC what they want. This complaint seems petty.

Reply to  Braden Keith
1 month ago

If a news network determines your sportsmanship you must be a petty athlete.
(Hopefully) more likely she just forgot to.

Last edited 1 month ago by peaty34
Concerned Coach
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 month ago

In the interview or after the race?

Last edited 1 month ago by Concerned Coach
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 month ago

Disagree: She should have congratulated the 2nd-place swimmer–even briefly.

Reply to  Braden Keith
1 month ago

You really are the worst

Young Swammer
Reply to  Be Humble
1 month ago

None of the other US swimmers have mentioned their competitors either. Let’s stop hating on her for every little thing just because she’s Lilly King

Be Humble
Reply to  Young Swammer
1 month ago

None of the other US swimmers swam past another medalist to congratulate their teammate. On the contrary, there’s coverage EVERYWHERE of other US swimmers congratulating other swimmers and vice versa, especially after the finals.

Young Swammer
Reply to  Be Humble
1 month ago

King is human. She was probably disappointed that she got third and was excited for Jacoby. There’s a lot of emotions after an Olympic final. She’s also a competitor at heart. Her sportsmanship shown through for her fellow American and at that moment congratulating the Schoenmaker was not her top concern. Sorry she didn’t fit the perfect mold of “sportsmanship” that you think she should fit into to

The boi
Reply to  Be Humble
1 month ago

Why is this the thing your critique her about? Weird dude…

Hoosier Daddy
1 month ago

Incoming annoying salty Australians! USA USS USA USA!!!! 🇺🇸

Reply to  Hoosier Daddy
1 month ago


Reply to  Hoosier Daddy
1 month ago

Smile & the world will smile with you.

Reply to  Hoosier Daddy
1 month ago

America is in shambles without Phelps.

Wave 1.5 Qualifier
1 month ago

Link to the livestream on Dean Boxall for the evening?

Reply to  Wave 1.5 Qualifier
1 month ago

just semis tonight, but cant wait for tomorrow finals.

Reply to  Wave 1.5 Qualifier
1 month ago

Tusup the sequel

1 month ago

LETS GO USA 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

1 month ago

Hoping for three gold medals out of a possible four from the Americans tonight!

Dressel will come 3rd in 100 free
Reply to  USA USA USA
1 month ago


Reply to  USA USA USA
1 month ago

we’d do well to get 2 gold or 5 overall

Max Hardie
Reply to  USA USA USA
1 month ago

No good for US. McKeown, Kolesnikov and Shoenmaker

Wave 1.5 Qualifier
1 month ago

Ready for Smith^2 tonight?

Max Hardie
Reply to  Wave 1.5 Qualifier
1 month ago

Silver or bronze, gold is Aussie

1 month ago

Thank goodness that women’s 200 free final isn’t for another day, that railing needs some rest.

Philip Johnson
Reply to  Dressel_42.8
1 month ago

That poor rail got at least two major thrusts.

Reply to  Dressel_42.8
1 month ago

That rail needed a cigarette after last night

Neil Jones
Reply to  WHKIRCH
1 month ago

Just won comment of the week 😂

Reply to  Dressel_42.8
1 month ago

I was really only expecting to see one kind of semi at the olympics so that was a horrifying surprise

Reply to  Dressel_42.8
1 month ago

That poor railing got humped more than my dog humped his hedgehog toy

Reply to  Dressel_42.8
1 month ago

Can someone explain the joke to me? I couldn’t watch the last couple sessions

Reply to  Chad
1 month ago

After TItmus beat Ledecky in the 400, her coach Dean Boxall lost his shit and started screaming and humping the railing in front of him in the stands

Reply to  Dressel_42.8
1 month ago

That awkward moment when a railing in the Tokyo Aquatic Centre gets more action than you do lol

NC Swammer
1 month ago

Finals predictions

M 200 free: Scott wins in sub-1:44.5, think we see 2-3 1:44s, Scott, Smith, Dean, Rapsys, Woo, Popovici all capable, but not sure how many will actually pull it off.

W 100 back: 3 57s, WR won’t be broken, Smith wins in 57.5 (AR) McKeown/Masse close behind in 57.7/8

M 100 back: Murphy WR 51.79, Kolesnikov sub-52, Rylov 3rd.

W 100 breast: King/Jacoby/Schoenmaker in any order VERY CLOSE, 1:04.6 wins it


W 200 free: Ledecky takes top seed in 1:54.4, Titmus very controlled 1:54.5

M 200 fly: Milak 1:52-high, Harting pops off with a 1:54-low into final, Bentz just misses out.

W 200 IM: Douglass 2:08-high for top seed

Last edited 1 month ago by NC Swammer
Games Juy
Reply to  NC Swammer
1 month ago

Can’t see anything I disagree with here.

Reply to  NC Swammer
1 month ago

1:04.6 would be a big time drop from Jacoby. I’m not going to count on that, although I would love to see it!

Lane 1 swimmer
Reply to  NC Swammer
1 month ago

You were WAY off. So funny, too…I predict the top seeds win. Way to go out on a limb.

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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