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
- SwimSwam Event Previews
- Entry Lists
- Live Results
- Day 7 Finals Heat Sheet
- Mixed Medley Relay Lineups
Dressel is the massive favorite to win gold in the men’s 100 butterfly final, which will open the morning session, entering as the reigning two-time world champion and current world record holder.
The 24-year-old American blew away the field in the semis, posting the third-fastest swim in history for an Olympic Record of 49.71. Hungary’s 200 fly winner, Kristof Milak, is the #2 seed, six tenths back.
Dressel is scheduled for an unprecedented triple over the span of approximately 73 minutes, with his semi-final heat in the men’s 50 free going off about 46 minutes after the 100 fly final. Then, he’ll swim on the U.S. mixed 400 medley relay, scheduled 27 minutes after the 50 free.
Dressel has tacked triples before, swimming the 100 fly/50 free/mixed 400 free relay all in the same night at the last two World Championships, and he showed no signs of weakness in doing so.
Ledecky is set to go head-to-head with Australian Ariarne Titmus for the third time this week in the women’s 800 free, with a chance to win a third straight gold after triumphing in 2012 and repeating in 2016.
If Ledecky were to come out on top, she would join Dawn Fraser (women’s 100 freestyle) and Krisztina Egerszegi (200 backstroke) as the only women to win the same event at three successive Olympic Games.
Michael Phelps holds the overall record with four straight wins in the men’s 200 IM (he also won three in a row in the 100 fly).
Ledecky looked comfortable in the heats, and her qualifying time of 8:15.67 is only one tenth shy of Titmus’ lifetime best, meaning the Aussie will likely have to drop a sizable amount of time to challenge the American.
In the women’s 200 backstroke, world #1 Kaylee McKeown has the opportunity to become the first Australian Olympic champion in the event, and similar to the Ledecky/Titmus battle, it would take a herculean effort from another swimmer to upset her for gold.
McKeown’s personal best time of 2:04.28 sits almost a second and a half clear of the next-fastest competitor in the field, American Rhyan White (2:05.73).
Australian veteran Emily Seebohm ranks first coming out of the semis in 2:07.09, while 100 back silver medalist Kylie Masse and 2021 NCAA champion Phoebe Bacon will also feature prominently in the battle for medals.
In addition to the men’s 50 free semis, where Dressel comes in seeded first by three tenths of a second, we’ll also have the second round of the women’s event, where Australia’s Emma McKeon holds the #1 time from the heats after setting an Olympic Record of 24.02.
The session will be capped off with the inaugural Olympic final in the mixed 400 medley relay, where at least four countries—Great Britain, United States, Australia and China—have a shot at the gold medal.
MEN’S 100 BUTTERFLY – FINAL
World Record: Caeleb Dressel (USA) – 49.50 (2019) Olympic Record: Caeleb Dressel (USA) – 49.71 (2021)
- World Junior Record: Kristof Milak (HUN) – 50.62 (2017)
- 2016 Olympic Champion: Joseph Schooling (SGP) – 50.39
- SwimSwam Event Preview – Men’s 100 Butterfly
- Caeleb Dressel (USA), 49.45 WR
- Kristof Milak (HUN), 49.68 ER
- Noe Ponti (SUI), 50.74
- Andrei Minakov (ROC), 50.88
- Jakub Majerski (POL) / Matthew Temple (AUS), 50.92
- Luis Martinez (GUA), 51.09
- Josif Miladinov (BUL), 51.49
Dressel used his explosive start and breakout to open up the early lead, turning in 23.00 at the 50 to sit 65 one-hundredths clear of Milak and ROC’s Andrei Minakov.
Dressel appeared well on his way to the gold, and likely the world record, but Milak began closing on him like a madman, reminiscent of the way Michael Phelps used to run down swimmers like Ian Crocker and Milorad Cavic.
Despite Milak nearly inching ahead, Dressel was able to put his head down over the final few strokes and hang on for the victory, lowering his previous world record of 49.50 set at the 2019 World Championships.
Milak closed in possibly the fastest back-half split of all-time, 26.03, to finish in a time of 49.68, breaking Cavic’s European Record of 49.95 to become the second-fastest performer in history.
Milak’s previous best, also the old Hungarian Record, was 50.18, which ranked him fourth all-time.
There have now been 10 swims sub-50 in history, five of them coming in 2021.
All-Time Performances, Men’s 100 Butterfly (LCM)
Switzerland’s Noe Ponti chopped .02 off his National Record from the semis in 50.74, winning the bronze, while Minakov took fourth in 50.88.
WOMEN’S 200 BACKSTROKE – FINAL
- World Record: Regan Smith (USA) – 2:03.35 (2019)
- Olympic Record: Missy Franklin (USA) – 2:04.06 (2012)
- World Junior Record: Regan Smith (USA) – 2:03.35 (2019)
- 2016 Olympic Champion: Maya DiRado (USA) – 2:05.99
- SwimSwam Event Preview – Women’s 200 Backstroke
- Kaylee McKeown (AUS), 2:04.68
- Kylie Masse (CAN), 2:05.42
- Emily Seebohm (AUS), 2:06.17
- Rhyan White (USA), 2:06.39
- Phoebe Bacon (USA), 2:06.40
- Taylor Ruck (CAN), 2:08.24
- Peng Xuwei (CHN), 2:08.26
- Liu Yaxin (CHN), 2:08.48
Masse set the pace early, and really took off on the second 50, flipping eight tenths clear of McKeown in 1:00.74. McKeown made up a tenth on the third length, and then took off coming home, splitting a blazing 31.08 to win by almost three quarters of a second.
McKeown becomes the first Australian woman to win gold in this event, and records the seventh-fastest swim of all-time. McKeown owns a PB of 2:04.28, set earlier this year, which ranks fourth among historical performances.
Masse, the bronze medalist in this event behind McKeown’s silver at the 2019 World Championships, breaks her Canadian Record of 2:05.94 in 2:05.42 for the silver, moving up from 10th to sixth all-time among performers in the event.
All-Time Performers, Women’s 200 Backstroke (LCM)
29-year-old Aussie veteran Emily Seebohm, the two-time world champion in this event (2015, 2017), came back from fifth at the 150 with a 31.45 final split to clock in at 2:06.17 and snag bronze, edging out Americans Rhyan White (2:06.39) and Phoebe Bacon (2:06.40).
The 2019 world champion, American Regan Smith, failed to qualify in this event at the U.S. Olympic Trials, placing third.
WOMEN’S 800 FREESTYLE – FINAL
- World Record: Katie Ledecky (USA) – 8:04.79 (2016)
- Olympic Record: Katie Ledecky (USA) – 8:04.79 (2016)
- World Junior Record: Katie Ledecky (USA) – 8:11.00 (2014)
- 2016 Olympic Champion: Katie Ledecky (USA) – 8:04.79
- SwimSwam Event Preview – Women’s 800 freestyle
- Katie Ledecky (USA), 8:12.79
- Ariarne Titmus (AUS), 8:13.83
- Simona Quadarella (ITA), 8:18.35
- Katie Grimes (USA), 8:19.38
- Wang Jianjiahe (CHN), 8:21.93
- Kiah Melverton (AUS), 8:22.25
- Sarah Kohler (GER), 8:24.56
- Anastasiia Kirpichnikova (ROC), 8:26.30
Ledecky took the lead on the opening 50 and never relinquished it—though Titmus stayed close the entire way. Separated by just over a second at the 400, Ledecky’s lead doubled over the next 350 meters, and a late charge was too little too late for Titmus.
Ledecky finished in a time of 8:12.79, the 17th-fastest swim of all-time and of her career.
With the three-peat Ledecky joins Australian Dawn Fraser (100 free, 1956-64) and Hungarian Krisztina Egerszegi (200 back, 1988-96) as the only women to win three consecutive Olympic titles in the same swimming event.
Titmus dropped almost two seconds from her Commonwealth, Oceanian and Australian Record in 8:13.83, winning silver and moving up from seventh into second all-time in the event. Titmus’ previous PB stood at 8:15.57, set at the Australian Olympic Trials in June.
Reigning two-time European champion and 2019 World Championship silver medalist Simona Quadarella held off a late charge from American Katie Grimes to win bronze, clocking 8:18.35. Quadarella holds the Italian Record of 8:14.99, set in 2019.
Grimes, who swam a personal best time of 8:17.05 in the prelims, was 8:19.38 to take fourth in her first Olympic final at the age of 15.
China’s Wang Jianjiahe, who came into the meet as the third-fastest performer in history (8:14.64), finished fifth in 8:21.93.
All-Time Performers, Women’s 800 Freestyle (LCM)
MEN’S 50 FREESTYLE – SEMIFINALS
- World Record: Cesar Cielo (BRA) – 20.91 (2009)
- Olympic Record: Cesar Cielo (BRA) – 21.30 (2008)
- World Junior Record: Michael Andrew (USA) – 21.75 (2017)
- 2016 Olympic Champion: Anthony Ervin (USA) – 21.40
- SwimSwam Event Preview – Men’s 50 freestyle
Top 8 Qualifiers
- Caeleb Dressel (USA), 21.42
- Florent Manaudou (FRA), 21.53
- Bruno Fratus (BRA) / Kristian Gkolomeev (GRE), 21.60
- Ben Proud (GBR) / Michael Andrew (USA), 21.67
- Lorenzo Zazzeri (ITA), 21.75
- Thom De Boer (NED), 21.78
Dressel, who hit a time of 21.32 in the prelims, qualifies first into the final, overtaking the time posted by 2012 Olympic champion Florent Manaudou in the first semi.
Dressel owns a personal best time of 21.04—the fastest swim ever in a textile suit—first set in 2019 and then matched at the U.S. Olympic Trials last month.
Manaudou, who is eyeing a third consecutive Olympic medal in this event after adding a silver in 2016, led that first heat in 21.53, marking his fastest swim since taking an extended hiatus from the sport in 2017 and 2018.
Brazilian Bruno Fratus touched second to Manaudou in 21.60, tying Gkolomeev for third overall, while American Michael Andrew and Great Britain’s Ben Proud tied for fifth in 21.67. Fratus’ swim is his 90th time breaking 22 seconds, more than any other swimmer in history.
ROC’s Kliment Kolesnikov and Canada’s Brent Hayden tied for fourth in the first semi, producing matching 21.82s, and it looked like a swim-off might be on the horizon. But it was not to be after five men went faster in the next heat, leaving them in a tie for ninth.
Hayden’s swim tied his fastest swim since his comeback in 2019, and less than a tenth off his National Record set of 21.73 set in a super-suit in 2009.
Having a disastrous 16th-place finish was Vladimir Morozov, who came into the meet ranked second in the world this year but finishes more than eight tenths off his time from the Russian Olympic Trials (21.42) in 22.25.
WOMEN’S 50 FREESTYLE – SEMIFINALS
- World Record: Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) – 23.67 (2017)
Olympic Record: Emma McKeon (AUS) – 24.02 (2021)
- World Junior Record: Claire Curzan (USA) – 24.17 (2021)
- 2016 Olympic Champion: Pernille Blume (DEN) – 24.07
- SwimSwam Event Preview – Women’s 50 freestyle
Top 8 Qualifiers
- Emma McKeon (AUS), 24.00 OR
- Pernille Blume (DEN), 24.08
- Sarah Sjostrom (SWE), 24.13
- Abbey Weitzeil (USA), 24.19
- Katarzyna Wasick (POL), 24.26
- Cate Campbell (AUS), 24.27
- Ranomi Kromowidjojo (NED), 24.29
- Wu Qinfgeng (CHN) / Zhang Yufei (CHN), 24.32*
Emma McKeon breaks her fourth individual Olympic Record of the meet to lead the women’s 50 freestyle semi-finals, winning the second heat in a time of 24.00 to erase her preliminary mark of 24.02.
McKeon set a personal best time of 23.93 at last month’s Australian Olympic Trials. She will turn right around and swim the mixed 400 medley relay in a matter of minutes.
American Abbey Weitzeil took second to McKeon in Semi #2 in a personal best time of 24.19, improving upon her 24.27 from the U.S. Olympic Trials.
2016 Olympic silver medalist and 2019 world champion Simone Manuel finished outside of the final in a tie for 11th, clocking 24.63.
MIXED 4×100 MEDLEY RELAY – FINAL
World Record: China (Xu, Yan, Zhang, Yang) – 3:38.41 (2020) Olympic Record: Great Britain (Dawson, Peaty, Guy, Anderson) – 3:38.75 (2021)
- World Junior Record: USA (Grant, Matheny, Huske, Walsh) – 3:44.84 (2019)
- 2016 Olympic Champion: N/A
- SwimSwam Event Preview – Mixed 4×100 medley relay
- Great Britain, 3:37.58 WR
- China, 3:38.86
- Australia, 3:38.95
- Italy, 3:39.28
- United States, 3:40.58
- Netherlands, 3:41.25
- ROC, 3:42.45
- Israel, 3:44.77
Great Britain emerges as the inaugural Olympic champions in the mixed 400 medley relay, receiving superb splits from all four swimmers en route to a new world record of 3:37.58.
The Brits had Kathleen Dawson lead off in 58.80, three tenths slower than she was in the prelims, but then Adam Peaty (56.78) and James Guy (50.00) rattled off a pair of historically fast splits on breast and fly, putting the team into the lead heading into the freestyle.
Anna Hopkin torched a 52-flat split on the anchor, giving the Brits a massive 1.28-second margin of victory.
China, the now former world record holders, took second in 3:38.86, just off the Asian Record of 3:38.86, receiving strong splits all around, including a 55.48 fly leg from Zhang Yufei, who was just a few minutes out of racing the 50 freestyle semis.
The Australians nabbed bronze in 3:38.95, with Emma McKeon (also right out of the 50 free) anchoring in scorching 51.73.
The Italians, who led early with the fastest 100 back swim in the country’s history (not an official record due to it being a mixed relay) by Thomas Ceccon (52.23) and a 57.73 breast leg from Nicolo Martinenghi, finished fourth in 3:39.28.
The Americans employed a different strategy than everyone else, going putting a male swimmer on the freestyle leg.
Ryan Murphy (52.23), Lydia Jacoby (1:05.09) and Torri Huske (56.27) left Caeleb Dressel trailing the leaders by eight seconds at the final exchange, and albeit a 46.99 split, the U.S. only mustered fifth in a time of 3:40.58.
Jacoby’s goggles notably came off right off the start, swimming the entire race with them down on her face.
Arno Kamminga made it three male breaststrokers splitting sub-58, going 57.89 for the sixth-place Dutch.