Tokyo 2020 Olympics: Day 7 Finals Preview

2020 TOKYO SUMMER OLYMPIC GAMES

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 Milakthe 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.

Australia has a wealth of dominant freestylers to choose from, most likely Kyle Chalmers or Cate Campbell leading the options. Emma McKeon should be an elite fly leg.

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 GkolomeevRising 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 BlumeThe heat also features 2017 world champ and world record-holder Sarah Sjostromas 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.

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Brenard is losing some ground
1 month ago

Dressel’s Day Today

Stephen
Reply to  Brenard is losing some ground
1 month ago

NBC and CBS …Dressel dominates the 100m Free
Never knew .06 was dominating

HJones
Reply to  Stephen
1 month ago

It does a huge disservice to the swim Chalmers had. Not to take anything away from CD, but if Kyle was in the lane next to Dressel and could catch even a fraction of a draft, I think we might’ve had a different result.

Pvdh
Reply to  HJones
1 month ago

In the wise words of Rafael Nadal – If If If, Doesn’t Exist. Take your L. Dressels the real King.

Robbos
Reply to  Pvdh
1 month ago

Queen Titmus.

Yozhik
Reply to  Robbos
1 month ago

You don’t like Emma, do you? 😀

Irish Ringer
Reply to  Robbos
1 month ago

Queen McKeon.

Theorange
Reply to  Pvdh
1 month ago

Dude it really is fans of team usa that are so easily offended. This dude wasn’t even trying to talk trash, why would you take it that way

Jeff
Reply to  HJones
1 month ago

Yeah he might of only won by .05. Don’t complain about your pain, swim faster in semis

nope
1 month ago

one of the US swim coaches will hang a face mask off of a remote control drone and then chase MA with it down the pool this semifinal. the WR will be smashed

Last edited 1 month ago by nope
Joel
Reply to  nope
1 month ago

Comment of the day!

nope
Reply to  Joel
1 month ago

it’s actually a slight tweak of a joke i saw earlier, gotta give credit to that guy whoever they were. it’s still a surefire plan for 100% success tho

Max Hardie
Reply to  nope
1 month ago

MA shouldn’t swim following his heat-semi-final slowing down trend in 100 beast and 200 IM

CasualSwimmer
1 month ago

Manaudou suprised me in the last session ! During the heats he seemed to be holding on pretty good to Caeleb (surpringly good even) until the last 5m where Caeleb put on the turbo and Manaudou slowed down a bit
I must say that even if Caeleb’s the favorite to win (by far), in the end this race is a 50 ; if you’ve got a lane you’ve got a chance to win
Look at the European Champs, huge upset and weird times in the men’s 50. Who could have said that Liukkonen was about to one-dolphin-kick his way to gold ?

Coach Mike 1952
Reply to  CasualSwimmer
1 month ago

Gotta love “if you’ve got a lane you’ve got a chance to win”. Ask Tony Ervin.

BearlyBreathing
1 month ago

Hey SwimSwam — First let me say I think you’ve done a great job with the coverage for these Olympic Games. I;ve read many great news stories, analysis and commentary about the events both in and out of the pool.
I would be very interested in a story after the end of the swimming events about the site itself. How did your traffic change? Maybe some of those stats you guys and gals do so well: number of unique vistors, unique commenters, what countries they were from, peak load, record # of comments, etc.
I suppose the up/down vote count will tell you if anyone agrees with me.

Stephen
Reply to  BearlyBreathing
1 month ago

I feel the forum has made this a grand Olympics

Boknows34
Reply to  BearlyBreathing
1 month ago

And a time comparison for Top 8 and Top 16 compared to Rio

Elaine McCluskey
Reply to  BearlyBreathing
1 month ago

This site has very much added to my enjoyment/understanding of the Games. The stories are excellent and the comments have added inside information. Well done.

Troyy
Reply to  BearlyBreathing
1 month ago

It didn’t crash repeatedly under load this time! 👏👏

Age Of Winters
Reply to  BearlyBreathing
1 month ago

Agree with above comment. Would also be interesting if swimswam had a “message board” where commenters could create their own threads/topics for others to comment on.

STRAIGHTBLACKLINE
Reply to  BearlyBreathing
1 month ago

If only there was a way of getting rid of some of the posters here with comments that are often rude, aggressive and disrespectful.

Coach Mike 1952
Reply to  BearlyBreathing
1 month ago

And the analysis podcasts! Top notch!

PhillyMark
1 month ago

If Fink is anywhere near his OT 100 breast form where he went 58.5, he along w Smith, Dressel and Weitzell can go 3:37 low

Stephen
Reply to  PhillyMark
1 month ago

All must do .25 splits …….hmmmm

Aussie Crawl
Reply to  PhillyMark
1 month ago

Another minor medal maybe?
Or Fourth ?

Stephen
Reply to  Aussie Crawl
1 month ago

Fresh they’d be a real gold chance ….2 backing up ladies…..nope …..Chalmers with be 7 secs back chasing the Brit girl.

Dan
Reply to  Stephen
1 month ago

At this point of the meet, is anybody still fresh? I think everyone on these relays is at the point where they have to dig a little deeper for it.

Scotty P
1 month ago

I had a lot of misplaced faith in MA in the IM.
He will not final in the 50.

Catherine
Reply to  Scotty P
1 month ago

but he’ll beat his final 50 split in the 200 IM. That’s something, anyway

Coach Mike 1952
Reply to  Catherine
1 month ago

Backhand comment for sure, but true nonetheless.

Stugotz
1 month ago

Regan doesn’t feel ready for the hype of a mixed medley final. Lead W/Murphy

wow
Reply to  Stugotz
1 month ago

Murphy or Jacoby better not be on it. But Dave Durden is pushing for Murphy. Smith-Fink-Dressel-Weitzeil OR Smith-Fink-Huske-Dressel. I’d go the first option because Huske hasn’t swam in a week and form isn’t known.

Last edited 1 month ago by wow
PhillyMark
Reply to  wow
1 month ago

Interestingly each of those combinations estimate to very similar times. 3:37.2 v 3:37.3 if Regan and Abby hit their times from earlier relays @ the OG’s and other 3 swimmers are half-second better than their PB’s

Smith 57.6
Fink 58.0
Dressel 49.0
Weitzell 52.6

Smith 57.6
Fink 58.0
Huske 55.2
Dressel 46.5

Stephen
Reply to  PhillyMark
1 month ago

Your reaction times on the 1st team…….
.1 – .2 – .005
2nd team
.1 – .1 – .005
Hmmmm

Troyy
Reply to  PhillyMark
1 month ago

Dressel has never been 0.5 faster with a relay start.

PhillyMark
Reply to  Troyy
1 month ago

True, but he has been 49.2 and 49.3 in medley…just gave everyone a 0.5 improvement for consistency.

Theloniuspunk
Reply to  PhillyMark
1 month ago

I love these two line ups. But the women’s 50 free semi is immediately before the mixed medley, so the 2nd option seems better.

yeee
1 month ago

“HE DOESNT BREAK 49 BUT HE GETS THE WR!!”

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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