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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1 year ago

Can we just appreciate for a second that Andrew might need a 3.5 second lead on Scott at the 150.

Bobo Gigi
1 year ago

Day 3 quick thoughts

Titmus will easily win the gold.
Haughey vs Ledecky vs Pellegrini for silver and bronze

Congrats to GB. Impressive 1-2. I would have picked Scott over Dean but it’s not a huge surprise either.
Hwang has tried something. He will have no regret. He will be much stronger next year.
Popovici didn’t win a medal but he still impressed a lot once again. What a huge natural talent! 1.44.68 at 16! Wow!

The expected pre-race podium. Of course I had picked Masse over McKeown…. But the fastest girl of the year has won and she deserves the gold.… Read more »

Reply to  Bobo Gigi
1 year ago

A solid evaluation of the session! Thanks Bobo Gigi!

1 year ago

Watching Schoenmaker and Kolesnikov on the podium was so joyful. Kolesnikov with the grin, looking over at the others and waving at everyone, and Schoenmaker just crying happy tears from the moments she stepped on the podium. Love these moments – so glad we’re managing to have the Olympics this year after all

Last edited 1 year ago by Koen
Awsi Dooger
1 year ago

I’m still trying to figure out how the sportsbooks had Haughey at 29/1. That is inept power ratings. Titmus cannot afford to give herself that much to do in the final. Not even close. That may have been the worst result possible for her tonight, to run down Haughey from 3/4 length behind one day after doing the same with Ledecky. If she tries that again in the 200 final Titmus will never get there. The only thing that works in her favor is that Ledecky should be out ahead of her on one side and Haughey in front of her on the other side. Maybe competitive juices will enable Titmus to figure out she cannot afford to surrender more… Read more »

Reply to  Awsi Dooger
1 year ago

She was obviously doing just enough to navigate the rounds and get a centre lane. Titmus went out in 55.55 at trials and that’s faster than anyone has been out so far in Tokyo but she had McKeon as a perfect rabbit and I don’t think anyone else races the 200 as aggressively as McKeon.

1 year ago

Highly entertaining meltdown from DRob.

Reply to  Troyy
1 year ago

Australian girlfriend must have dumped him

Reply to  Troyy
1 year ago

They removed all his comments. Presumably he’s banned. He really went off the deep end

Reply to  Sub13
1 year ago

Wait what happened here?

Reply to  HJones
1 year ago

He made about 6 or 7 posts in the space of a few hours saying the Australian women were ugly, Titmus and McKeown were flukes who would never win anything again, all Australians are convicts, the Aussie men are all (expletive) and subservient to the women etc. It honestly seemed like he went on a meth binge then jumped on here to comment on stuff

Texas Tap Water
1 year ago


Texas Tap Water
1 year ago

Watching you meltdown is highly entertaining!

Keep it up!

Texas Tap Water
1 year ago


SORE LOSER who can’t take what he dished

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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