Tokyo Rapid-Fire: Day 8 Swimming Headlines


The Tokyo 2020 Olympics have officially come to an end (for pool swimming). Last night was an electric last finals session at the Tokyo Aquatic center, with the finals of the men’s and women’s 50 free, men’s 1500 free, and women’s and men’s 400 medley relay lighting up the natatorium. Didn’t have time to check what happened yet? Read below for the biggest day 8 swimming headlines you’ll want to catch up on.

Dressel, Manaudou, Fratus Go Legendary 1-2-3 50 Free Olympic Finish

American Caeleb Dressel sealed his third Olympic title in Tokyo by winning the 50 free final by a ridiculous 0.48s margin, the widest winning margin since the event’s Olympic debut in Seoul 1988. Dressel set yet another Olympic record, swimming in at 21.07.

London 2012 Olympic champion and Rio 2016 Olympic runner-up Florent Manaudou of France remained the vice Olympic champion in the 50 free while Bruno Fratus earned his first Olympic medal, a bronze, at 32 years old. American Michael Andrew narrowly took fourth place by three one-hundredths.

McKeon Takes 50 Free OR, Sjostrom Valiantly Earns Silver, Blume Stays on Podium

Aussie Emma McKeon swept the women’s sprint free events in Tokyo by winning the 50 free final in an Olympic record of 23.81. Joining her on the podium for the Olympic silver was Swede Sarah Sjostrom, earning her first and only Olympic medal of Tokyo 2020 following an elbow injury.

The defending Olympic champion, Denmark’s Pernille Blume, remained on the 50 free podium by snagging Olympic bronze. London 2012 Olympic champion, Ranomi Kromowidjojo of the Netherlands, finished in fourth place by nine one-hundredths.

American Finke Runs Down European Veterans For 1500 Free Gold

After a quartet of men paced off one another during the majority of the men’s 1500 free final, American Bobby Finke quickly accelerated from 1.63 m/s pace to a 1.76 m/s sprint to run down podium finishers Mykhailo Romanchuk of Ukraine and Florian Wellbrock of Germany.

This not only marked Finke’s second Olympic gold medal, following the first-ever men’s 800 free Olympic final, but also marked the first U.S. men’s Olympic title in this event since Los Angeles 1984.

Australian Women Edge Out American Women for 400 Medley Relay OR

It was a stellar women’s 400 medley relay Olympic final, with the Australian quartet of Kaylee McKeownChelsea HodgesEmma McKeon, and Cate Campbell edging out the American relay by nine one-hundredths for the Olympic title and Olympic record at 3:51.60. This gold medal marked McKeon’s 7th medal of these Olympics, the most ever won by a woman in a single Olympics.

The US women settled for the close silver at 3:51.73. Canada took Olympic bronze at 3:52.60, aiding Penny Oleksiak‘s 7th Olympic medal to her collection and making her the most decorated Canadian in Olympic history.

American Men Break Super-Suited 400 Medley Relay World Record

Out of lane one, the US men’s 400 medley relay of Ryan Murphy, Michael Andrew, Caeleb Dressel, and Zach Apple dominated the super-suited 2009 world record at 3:26.78, keeping the U.S. men’s medley relay winning streak alive.

Taking Olympic silver was Great Britain, setting a new European record at 3:27.51. Italy placed third with a sub-3:30 national record swim of 3:29.17.

Catch up on more of the biggest Tokyo 2020 swimming headlines:

  • Day 1 Headlines: Hafnoui Stuns for Gold, AUS Women Smash 400 FR-R WR, US Men Go 1-2 in 400 IM
  • Day 2 Headlines: MacNeil De-Thrones Sjostrom, Titmus De-Thrones Ledecky, US Men Defend 400 FR-R Title
  • Day 3 Headlines: Dean/Scott Go 1-2 for GBR, Rylov Snaps U.S. Back Winning Streak, Jacoby De-Thrones King
  • Day 4 Headlines: Milak Now Olympic Champion, Ledecky Wins 1500 FR Title, British Men Win 800 FR-R Title
  • Day 5 Headlines: Finke First-Ever Men’s 800 FR Champion, Zhang Hits 200 FL OR, CHN Women Break 800 FR-R WR
  • Day 6 Headlines: Schoenmaker Breaks 200 BR WR, Rylov De-Thrones Murphy Again, McKeon and Shun Win Gold
  • Day 7 Headlines: Dressel Breaks 100 FL WR, Ledecky Three-Peats 800 FR, GBR Wins First Mixed Medley Relay

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1 year ago

Rowdy should go. dissing Abby W on 400 medley relay really wrong and unfair..

cynthia curran
1 year ago

Not swimming but track and field and I didn’t watch much track and field this time. The Italian guy that was born in the US. HIs parents spilt up when he was young and he moved to Italy. This was in the 100 meters. Also, the various divers that place like D Schnell and Paretto in synchro diving and spring board. I think about 3 silvers in driving.

1 year ago

One thing I just saw that is an interesting stat is that Tokyo was actually the highest medal count for USA’s women’s team which thinking about it makes a lot of sense. The women had many instances of double podiums compared to prior years (1500, 100/200 breast, 200 fly, 200 IM, 400 IM), which I think bodes very well for the future if the women can get on the other side of the touch.

Reply to  swimswamswum
1 year ago

Yes that is good. But also, the women’s team got 2 extra medals because of the new event. If you take those away is it still the most?

Texas Tap Water
1 year ago

What’s the record for most comments?

Swim Fan
Reply to  Texas Tap Water
1 year ago

More than 1

Reply to  Texas Tap Water
1 year ago
Reply to  Texas Tap Water
1 year ago

2k+ ?

1 year ago

Honestly, Chelsea Hodges was the MVP of the medley relay. She swam a split better than anyone could have hoped, with the second fastest split of the field despite not even making the individual final. It honestly is so fitting that that was her only medal of the Games, and her mammoth effort is what turned it into a gold.

Reply to  Sub13
1 year ago

100% true. Lots of talk about “US relay takeovers slow…” etc which is not untrue. But both Smith and Huske were off their individual swims ( even McKeown was a bit off), most of the rest of the top 3 teams near their best Ind splits, and then there was Hodges 👏👏👏

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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