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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We’re nearing the end of the swimming portion of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games but there’s still lots of action to be seen. Day 6 prelims will feature the men’s 100 butterfly, the women’s 200 backstroke, the women’s 800 freestyle, and the mixed 4×100 medley relay.
Fresh off a gold medal performance in the men’s 100 freestyle, Caeleb Dressel will be back in the water for the 100 fly. Dressel is the favorite to win here and will likely have a bit of an easier time than he did navigating the absolutely loaded field in the 100 freestyle. Dressel threw down a 49.50 at the 2019 World Championships and will go in as top seed by more than half a second.
Following Dressel in the psych sheets in fellow Olympic gold medalist Kristof Milak who recently topped the podium in the men’s 200 butterfly. Milak holds a 50.18 entry time here and will be among Dressel’s biggest competition in the event. Dressel’s fellow 2019 Worlds medalists Andrei Minakov and Chad le Clos will both be in on the action during the 100 fly prelims, hoping to pick up their first individual medals of the meet.
Matt Temple was one of the biggest surprises at Australian Trials this year when he threw down a 50.45 Aussie record to earn him 3rd seed at this meet. He, along with French veteran Mehdy Metella, Bulgaria’s Josif Miladinov, USA legend Tom Shields, and Great Britain’s James Guy will all be present, vying for a spot in the semis.
In the women’s 200 backstroke, we will see many of the same faces that we saw in the 100 back a few days ago. Among those completing the double will be 100 back silver medalist Kylie Masse, Italy’s Margherita Panziera, US debutant Rhyan White, and of course 100 back silver medalist Kaylee McKeown. McKeown will be looking to pull off the double backstroke win in Tokyo and in a Regan Smith-less field will have a shot at taking the 200 backstroke for herself which currently sits at a 2:03.35 from Smith in 2019.
Taking a look at the women’s distance event, Katie Ledecky will be swimming her 4th and final individual event in Tokyo. Ledecky won the women’s 1500 freestyle on day 5 of the meet which was an improvement upon her de-throning in the 400 free and a podium miss in the 200 free. It was Aussie freestyler Ariarne Titmus who managed to top Ledecky in the 400 free and the duo will be back at in the 800. The stakes are high for both Titmus and Ledecky here as Ledecky has a shot at becoming the 3-straight Olympic champ in the event while Titmus has a shot at becoming Australia’s first-ever woman to win 3 individual golds at an Olympic Games.
It’s not a 2-woman race, however, as a number of talented women will be fighting for a spot in the top 8 during prelims. In fact, Titmus actually doesn’t even sit within the top 3 seeds in the event as 2019 silver medalist holds an 8:14.99 for 3rd overall and China’s Wang Jianjiahe, 2019 bronze medalist in the 1500, enters with an 8:14.64 for 2nd place.
Fresh off an Olympic bronze medal performance in the 1500 freestyle, Sarah Kohler will be back in the water and hoping to find her way onto a second podium. Adding to the action is 14-year-old American Katie Grimes in her first-ever Olympic race, Russian record holder Anastasiia Kirpichnikova, Aussie 1500 finalist Kiah Melverton, and Quadarella’s Italian compatriot Martina Caramignoli.
The session will wrap with the 16-country battle for 8 spots in the mixed medley relay. Along with the women’s 1500 and the men’s 800 freestyle, this will be the first-ever Olympic mixed medley relay. The Americans have only collected 1 relay gold thus far in the men’s 4×100 freestyle and will be looking for some redemption after their women’s 4×100 freestyle bronze and their 4th place finish in the men’s 4×200 free.
It won’t be a runaway for the 2019 champions and world record-holders, though, as Australia continues to be on fire at the Games, along with the Russian Olympic Committee, and Great Britain.