Tokyo Rapid-Fire: Day 3 Swimming Headlines


Day 3 Finals Recap

Last night was an electric session in Tokyo, full of historical finishes and upsets across four finals and three semifinals events. Check out the biggest swimming headlines from day 3 of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Aussie Titmus Headlines Stacked Women’s 200 FR Final

Aussie star Ariarne Titmus, who won Olympic gold in the 400 free final earlier, now leads the 200 free Olympic final with the lone sub-1:55 effort of 1:54.82, landing lane four in the final. Hong Kong star Siobhan Haughey, American star Katie Ledecky, and Chinese star Yang Junxuan all qualified with sub-1:56 swims.

Also qualifying into the final was Czech Barbora Seemanova, who set a new national mark at 1:56.14, and Canadian Penny Oleksiak. Italian great Federica Pellegrini made history qualifying into her 5th 200 free Olympic final, accompanied by Aussie Madi Wilson.

Dean and Scott Go 1-2 For Team GBR in National Record-Fashion

British teammates Tom Dean and Duncan Scott finished 1-2 in the men’s 200 free final, both going under the national mark of 1:44.47 from the London 2012 Olympics. Dean took the narrow win by four one-hundredths over Scott 1:44.22 to 1:44.26, both ranking No.6 and No. 7 all-time respectively in the event. Dean and Scott’s finish also marks Great Britain’s first Olympic medals in this event.

Earning the bronze was Brazil’s Fernando Scheffer, who broke 1:45 for the first time break the Brazilian/South American records at 1:44.66. Despite placing off the podium by two one-hundredths, 16-year-old Romanian David Popovici also broke 1:45 for the first time at 1:44.68, marking a new European junior record.

WR-Holder McKeown Becomes First AUS Woman to Win Olympic 100 BK Title

Current world record-holder Kaylee McKeown followed through and claimed the Tokyo 2020 women’s 100 back Olympic title, becoming the first Aussie woman to win the event. Her time of 57.47 was 0.02s off her own world record from this season, in other words the No. 2 performance all-time behind herself. Her time was also the fifth time the women’s 100 back Olympic record was broken during these Games. She briefly held the Olympic record at 57.88 between the last prelims heat and the first semifinal.

Taking the silver medal was Canada’s Kylie Masse, registering the No. 6 performance all-time at 57.72. Regan Smith of the USA earned her first Olympic medal, bronze, with her 58.05 finals effort. Now, McKeown, Masse, and Smith are the only three swimmers that combined to form the curent top-10 performances in history, all under 58 seconds.

Rylov Wins First Russian OLY Pool Gold Since 1996

Russian Evgeny Rylov made all sorts of history when he won the men’s 100 back Olympic title on day three. Rylov’s win snapped a long-standing American winning streak, which stood since Atlanta 1996. In fact, it was the first time since Melbourne 1956 that a non-U.S. swimmer won this event, excluding Moscow 1980, which the USA boycotted. Finishing in a time of 51.98, he came just 0.01s off his now-sanctioned mixed medley relay lead-off from 2019 Worlds.

Olympic runner-up and country-mate Kliment Kolesnikov stormed to the wall with a lifetime best of 52.00, finishing 0.02s behind Rylov for a ROC (Russian Olympic Committee) 1-2 finish. Kolesnikov’s time now makes him the No. 5 performer all-time, also behind Rylov.

Finishing in bronze medal position with a time of 52.19 was Rio 2016 Olympic champion Ryan Murphy of the USA.

Alaska’s Jacoby Becomes OLY Champ, De-Thrones Indiana’s King

It was the second-straight upset win where the defending Olympic champion was de-throned, this time by their teenaged teammate. As 24-year-old South African Tatjana Schoenmaker accelerated on 24-year-old defending champion Lilly King of the USA, American 17-year-old Lydia Jacoby stealthily sped up on both King and Schoenmaker to become the second 18&U Olympic champion of these Games. Jacoby’s time also made her the fourth American and seventh woman in history to break 1:05 in this event, as well as the first 18&U U.S. female to clear the barrier.

After becoming the fifth woman to break 1:05 in prelims, RSA’s Schoenmaker took Olympic silver, also defeating Rio 2016 Olympic champion King 1:05.22 to 1:05.54. Jacoby, a native of Alaska, also won the U.S. state’s first Olympic medal. U.S. teammate King, who added Olympic bronze to her medal collection, is a native of Indiana.

Men’s 200 Fly World Record-Holder Milak Set for OLY Gold

Hungarian Kristof Milak led his semifinal heat from start to finish, swimming the fastest time of the 16-swimmer field by 2.75s at 1:52.22. Along with entering the Olympic final as the top seed, Milak will contest the men’s 200 fly final as the reigning World champion, European champion, and current world record-holder.

In the same heat, Brazil’s Leonardo de Deus caught Italy’s Federico Burdisso at the finish, 1:54.97 to 1:55.11, to qualify 2nd and 4th respectively into the final. Burdisso was also able to hold off a closing Gunnar Bentz, who will represent the USA in the men’s 200 fly final seeded 6th. Polish teenager Krzysztof Chmielewski will also swim in his first Olympic final.

Before Milak’s heat, South African Chad le Clos chose the unorthodox race strategy of “flying and dying”, which came to his advantage as he held off Rio 2016 Olympic medalist Tamas Kenderesi of Hungary for the semifinal win, 1:55.06 to 1:55.17. Qualifying 8th into the final was Tomoru Honda of host nation Japan, who held off American Zach Harting by 0.04s, 1:55.31 to 1:55.35.

Americans Douglass and Walsh Headline Women’s 200 IM Final

After leading prelims with a lifetime best, American NCAA star Kate Douglass will enter the women’s 200 IM Olympic final as the top seed. Also winning her semifinal heat and qualifying third was another American NCAA star, Alex Walsh, both staying under the 2:10-barrier at 2:09.21 and 2:09.57 respectively.

Brit Abbie Wood will be joined by teammate Alicia Wilson, who is yet another NCAA star, in this Olympic final along with Chinese representative Yu Yiting. Japanese Yui Ohashi, the 400 IM Olympic champion, will also contest in this final with Canadian medal threat Sydney Pickrem and defending Olympic champion Katinka Hosszu of Hungary.

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1 year ago

The race I am most excited for is the W 200IM tonight. I feel this is Kate Douglass’ time to be in the spotlight.

1 year ago

Milak is simply awesome

About Nick Pecoraro

Nick Pecoraro

Nick Pecoraro started swimming at age 11, instantly becoming drawn to the sport. He was a breaststroker and IMer when competing. After joining SwimSwam, the site has become an outlet for him to research and learn about competitive swimming and experience the sport through a new lenses. He graduated in …

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