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 FinalsHeat Sheets
Haven’t done your homework? Cram for tonight’s Day 5 Olympic Swimming Finals with our quick-hitting session preview:
Men’s 100 Fly
Starting what could be an event triple this session, Caeleb Dressel will look to lower his own Olympic (49.71) and world (49.50) records in the 100 fly. The event could also be Dressel’s fifth Olympic gold medal and his third of these Games.
He’ll battle 200 fly gold medalist Kristof Milak, the world record-holder in that longer butterfly event. Milak’s racing suit ripped minutes before the 200 fly final and he was still able to switch suits and return to win Olympic gold. He’s on the cusp of joining Dressel, Michael Phelps and Milorad Cavic as the only men ever under 50 seconds in this 100 fly.
Also keep an eye on Switzerland’s Noe Ponti looking for his nation’s second swimming medal of these Olympics and Bulgaria’s Josif Miladinov, hunting his nation’s first swimming medal of these Olympics and just its fourth swimming medal ever at the Olympic Games.
Women’s 200 Back
After winning gold in the 100 back, Australia’s Kaylee McKeown is on the warpath for a backstroke sweep. Last month, she went 2:04.2 at Australian Olympic Trials and sits #3 all-time in the event with a chance to move past former world record-holder Missy Franklin with a 2:03 swim today.
It’s actually her countrywoman Emily Seebohm who leads the final after going 2:07.0 out of semis.
American 18-year-old Phoebe Bacon is the #2 seed, swimming from lane 5. The event will also feature 100 back silver medalist Kylie Masse out of Canada.
Women’s 800 Free
Katie Ledecky has an unparalleled win streak in this 800 free. Since bursting onto the scene as a 15-year-old in London, Ledecky has won two straight Olympic golds, four straight World Championships golds and two straight Pan Pacific Championships golds in this event, never losing a single medal final, even while battling a stomach illness at 2019 Worlds.
Ledecky owns 24 of the top 25 swims in history in this race, and will own the entire top 24 if she can swim faster than 8:14.10 tonight.
Behind her, it’s starting to look like a case of déjà vu. American Katie Grimes is 15, is coming off a breakout Olympic Trials performance, and has smashed her way onto the international scene with steady time drops throughout her world debut. Right down to the first name, Grimes is slowly replicating what Ledecky did nine years ago. With her heats swim, Grimes moved past the legendary Janet Evans to trail only Ledecy in the U.S. all-time 15-16 age group ranks. She’ll chase Olympic silver as the second seed behind Ledecky.
2019 World 1500 free champ Simona Quadarella disappointingly missed an Olympic medal in that event, but she’s seeded to challenge for a silver or bronze today. 1500 free bronze medalist Sarah Kohler is also in this field, along with fourth-placer Wang Jianjiahe of China and Australia’s 200/400 free gold medalist Ariarne Titmus.
Mixed 4×100 Medley Relay
A brand-new Olympic event, the mixed-gender medley relay is turning lineup strategy decisions all the way up to eleven. The contending nations have a wealth of lineup options with a bunch of factors to balance.
The relay features two men and two women swimming in the traditional medley relay order: back, breast, fly, free. Teams can choose to use their men or women on any of the four legs – though general swimming strategy would prioritize getting out front and into clean water with male legs on back and breast, so as to reduce the chop and water turbulence for the fly and free legs.
But not every roster conforms well to that pattern. For the U.S., for instance, star swimmer Caeleb Dressel should swim fly or free, which means the U.S. will have to get creative with their early lineup options.
The other factor is event doubles. Dressel will swim the 100 fly final and 50 free semifinals earlier in the session, perhaps adding up to a high level of fatigue by this relay.
Top-seeded Great Britain should have a relatively rested lineup, with a built-in breaststroke advantage. Adam Peaty routinely outsplits the world by a second or more on breaststroke, and should join this relay for the final.
The U.S. could swim any of five different lineups, choosing between two bronze-medal backstrokers (Regan Smith, Ryan Murphy) and making the tough call on Dressel.
China broke a world record in this relay last fall, and their strengths match this relay very, very well. They’ve got two strong men’s legs in backstroker Xu Jiayu and breaststroker Yan Zibei, and their best two women’s legs fit fly (200 fly champ Zhang Yufei) and free.
SEMIFINALS QUICK HITS:
- Men’s 50 free:
- Dressel will swim his second of three potential events tonight, just trying to secure a spot in day 8’s final. Dressel is the two-time defending world champ with arguably the best start in swimming history. That should spot him a big lead in his semifinal against Greek record-holder Kristian Gkolomeev. Rising U.S. star Michael Andrew will also try to break through for his first Olympic medal in this event after disappointment in the 200 IM yesterday.
- The two semifinals are starkly divided by youth and experience. The second semi features three athletes 22 or younger, including 19-year-old Vladyslav Bukhov. The first semi is led by 30-year-old Florent Manaudou and 32-year-old Bruno Fratus, and also features 37-year-old Brent Hayden and 29-year-old Thom de Boer.
- Women’s 50 free:
- The women’s 50 free is loaded – someone with an impressive resume is going to be left out of the final. In the first semifinal, 2012 Olympic champ Ranomi Kromowidjojo takes on 2016 Olympic champ Pernille Blume. The heat also features 2017 world champ and world record-holder Sarah Sjostrom, as well as 2020 Olympic 200 fly gold medalist Zhang Yufei.
- The second semi features two Australians and two Americans: 100 fly/100 free gold medalist Emma McKeon leads the way after an Olympic record in heats. Cate Campbell won Olympic bronze in the 100 free and is a 7-time Olympic medalist. Simone Manuel of the U.S. is the reigning world champ, and her teammate Abbey Weitzeil has been the top American sprinter this summer.