Tom Dean Takes Down British 200 Free Record En Route To Historic Olympic Gold

2020 TOKYO SUMMER OLYMPIC GAMES

The highly anticipated final in the men’s 200 freestyle lived up to the hype during Day 3 finals in Tokyo, as Tom Dean snared gold in a roller-coaster race with a new British National Record of 1:44.22.

Dean, 21, took the race out aggressively, just like he did at the British Olympic Trials in April, but not quite as fast as South Korean teenage standout Hwang Sunwoo. Hwang, the fastest swimmer in the prelims at 1:44.62, blasted out to the early lead, flipping in 49.78 at the 100-meter wall.

Dean sat third in 50.46, maintaining that place through the 150 before the race changed drastically coming home. Hwang began to fade, and Dean’s teammate Duncan Scott, who set a British Record of 1:44.47 earlier this year, started to make up ground on the field.

With Hwang falling back, Dean inched into the lead, and narrowly held off Scott to win gold in 1:44.22, taking down Scott’s British Record by a quarter of a second.

Scott took second in 1:44.26, resetting his best time, while Dean’s swim improved on his PB of 1:44.58, which was set racing head-to-head with Scott at those British Trials.

Split Comparison

Scott, Previous British Record Dean, Previous Best Time Dean, New British Record
24.45 23.98 24.21
50.25 (25.80) 50.57 (26.59) 50.46 (26.25)
1:16.88 (26.63) 1:17.36 (26.79) 1:17.38 (26.92)
1:44.47 (27.59) 1:44.58 (27.22) 1:44.22 (26.84)

Dean and Scott also become Great Britain’s first-ever Olympic medalists in the men’s 200 freestyle, and they move into sixth and seventh all-time in the event, respectively.

All-Time Performers, Men’s 200 Freestyle (LCM)

  1. Paul Biedermann (GER), 1:42.00 – 2009
  2. Michael Phelps (USA), 1:42.96 – 2008
  3. Yannick Agnel (FRA), 1:43.14 – 2012
  4. Danila Izotov (RUS), 1:43.90 – 2009
  5. Ian Thorpe (AUS), 1:44.06 – 2002
  6. Tom Dean (GBR), 1:44.22 – 2021
  7. Duncan Scott (GBR), 1:44.26 – 2021
  8. Danas Rapsys (LTU), 1:44.38 – 2019
  9. Sun Yang (CHN), 1:44.39 – 2017
  10. Ryan Lochte (USA), 1:44.44 – 2011

Two more men cracked 1:45 in the fight for bronze, with Brazil’s Fernando Scheffer (1:44.66) resetting his South American Record to oust 16-year-old Romanian David Popovici (1:44.68), who broke the European Junior Record.

Hwang ultimately faded to seventh in 1:45.26.

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Yoo
1 month ago

First Male British 1-2 in the pool since 1908

Last edited 1 month ago by Yoo
Yoo
1 month ago

Might get some hate for this but surely Scott’s now favourite for the 200IM after how underwhelming Andrew was in the 100 breast.

Relay Enthusiast
Reply to  Yoo
1 month ago

Potentially. It’s gonna be a super close race. For the 4×200 we could see a 1:43 split or two from Scott and Dean.

Swammer
Reply to  Relay Enthusiast
1 month ago

^^Guy too. Gonna be a nasty relay assuming they do the work in prelims to get in the final.

CY~
Reply to  Swammer
1 month ago

Oh my god I’m scared

HJones
Reply to  Swammer
1 month ago

Guy probably isn’t that 1:43-split swimmer in the 200 anymore based on his flat-start times recently. But I’d give him somewhere in the 1:44 range for sure.

Dressel will come 3rd in 100 free
Reply to  Yoo
1 month ago

I’d agree. Poor Scott looked a bit disappointed, so I reckon he will attack the 200im, and if Andrew is off, there probably aren’t that many others who can challenge him.

As for the 4×200, I honestly think GB can break the WR. Dean is going to feel absolutely on top of the world – he’ll fly. Scott will likely throw down something ridiculous. The other three potential swimmers (Guy, Richards, Jarvis) are all Bath swimmers, so will probably be feeling very confident as well.

Relay Enthusiast

As long as they don’t put Joe Litchfield on the 4×2 heats and rest Scott and Dean.

Matt Richards has 100 free heats in same session so they should rest him so he doesn’t have 4 swims one day (100 heats and semis, 4×2 heats and final). So they should rest Richards and one of Scott and Dean. I’d say rest Scott because of his heavy schedule. The the coaches can’t be stupid and arrogant like they were with the 4×1. If they swim Joe Litchfield, Guy, Jarvis and Max Litchfield I can see us messing it up.

CY~
Reply to  Relay Enthusiast
1 month ago

Dean/Scott nearly 3s faster than Jarvis and Litchfield x2 now… hopefully!! Jarvis, Guy, M. Litchfield, Dean?

Dee
Reply to  CY~
1 month ago

Jarvis, Guy, M. Litchfield 100% – Wouldn’t be surprised if Matt scratches the 100fr heats and goes in 4×2 heats. He has a time from his 4×1 leadoff, and you gotta prioritise medals now.

Last edited 1 month ago by Dee
KatyJ
Reply to  Dee
1 month ago

As Scott is British champion and he isn’t swimming 100f
Coaches are after retaining their jobs not the best for the Swimmers
Let’s wait and see!,

Success Leaves Clues
Reply to  KatyJ
1 month ago

Another clueless. comment. The heats to finals here are tough – look at the times of the semi’s. The coaches are looking to maximise their medal opportunities not swim as many events as possible and end up with a string of 4ths and 5ths…. Focused coaching from Steve Tigg and co. Glad they are in charge and not you….

CY~
Reply to  Dee
1 month ago

Omg you called it

Yoo
Reply to  CY~
1 month ago

Yeah, Dean – Jarvis – M. Litchfield – Guy in Prelims should get them through.

Dean – Guy – Richards – Scott in Finals for (potentially) a new WR.

Relay Enthusiast
Reply to  Yoo
1 month ago

Yeah I really hope he scratches the 100 free heats. Also Max Litchfield swam very well in the 400IM and deserves this heat swim. He has finished 4th in 400 IM in two Olympics in a row so I really hope they give him the heat swim and not his brother.

What do we think?

1. Dean 1:44.3
2. Guy 1:45.2
3. Richards 1:45.2
4. Scott 1:43.8

6:58.5 World Record (just)

CY~
Reply to  Relay Enthusiast
1 month ago

really hoping (1) heats makes it through, (2) gold!, (3) bonus-WR. Still waiting for the heats start lists

LAWolf
Reply to  Relay Enthusiast
1 month ago

Great swim by the boys
I disagree that because max swam a good IM he deserves a heat swim
You should get the swim based on times
Max will get the swim because spice and Furness want him to medal
Can’t see them swimming both of the litchfields would be a disaster

Success Leaves Clues
Reply to  Relay Enthusiast
1 month ago

And why did they use Joe Litchfield because they wanted to protect these two for the 200 free rather than a relay that would be 4th or 5th and you throw away two medals. You people really need to get a grip. Inspired coaching decision again by Furniss and Co….

Thomas Selig
Reply to  Success Leaves Clues
1 month ago

Agree with this. It was a risk worth taking IMO, and if J. Litchfield hadn’t had a really ropey swim they’d have been fine. The 4×100 was always a bit of an outside chance, even with Russia off they’d have needed to be very very fast to get in front of Australia or Italy. It’s perhaps unfortunate that there’s so much overlap between GB’s best 100 and 200 freestylers, but that’s life.

That said, I wouldn’t be surprised if they put Dean on prelims of the 4×200 relay tonight. Put him on anchor, and if GB are in a good place he can ease home a bit. He’s done with his only individual event now, and based on how he… Read more »

Coach Mike 1952

Scott was definitely disappointed, he had walked out on the deck with a bit of a swagger, took his time, etc. before coming to the blocks. He must have figured he was pretty much a cinch for gold.

dddddddd
1 month ago

duncan scott swam a 2001 ian thrope rape

bobthebuilderrocks
Reply to  dddddddd
1 month ago

HUH!?

Yoo
Reply to  dddddddd
1 month ago

Rape? I think you mean race mate

dddddddd
Reply to  Yoo
1 month ago

i think you’re correct

HJones
Reply to  dddddddd
1 month ago

Lmao how did this pass SwimSwam’s moderation? I know it is a typo but still…

CY~
1 month ago

GB 4x200free relay!!!

Yoo
Reply to  CY~
1 month ago

WR incoming

Texas Tap Water
Reply to  CY~
1 month ago

Wrap it up!

Lpman
1 month ago

Think it’s a no brainer to put Dressel in that 4 x 200

Notanyswimmer
Reply to  Lpman
1 month ago

Team USA doesn’t even have a chance to get a medal. Not worth risking Dressel’s other events for a bronze at best.

Relay Enthusiast
Reply to  Notanyswimmer
1 month ago

Are you kidding? Of course the US have a chance of a medal. They’ll win at least bronze and maybe silver.

Malyutin swam 1:45.0 but Girev, Shchegolev are really out of form. Krasnykh might do ok. But realistically they only have 2 sub 1:46 legs.

US beats Russia then its close with Australia for silver.

Kieran Smith has PB’d in both his events. Haas swam 1:45.6 which ain’t terrible. Kibler went 1:45.9 at trials and Seliskar went 1:46.3.

1. Smith 1:45.0 – 1:45.5
2. Kibler 1:45.0 – 1:45.5 split
3. Seliskar 1:45.5 – 1:46.0 split
4. Haas 1:45.0 – 1:45.5 split

I’d guess the US will be somewhere in the 7:01.5 –… Read more »

Samesame
Reply to  Relay Enthusiast
1 month ago

Australia has Neill, Chalmers, Horton and Graham. Plus Incerti

Jason
1 month ago

Intersting this recent hasn’t moved much past 20yrs ago, Thorpe’s best takes this final, and the 400 by over 3 seconds. Yet the sprints and long distance are smoking fast. Popovic may start rewriting the record books in the 200m, fantastic time at 16, faster than Ian at the same age.

M L
1 month ago

Dean and Scheffer got a nice draft off of Hwang, who went out super fast between them. Great race all around.

John
1 month ago

Hahahah DEANOOOOO.
I here nothing but silence from USA AND AUS LOLLLLLL

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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