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
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- Day 7 Finals Heat Sheet
- Mixed Medley Relay Lineups
The women’s 50m freestyle saw Australian Emma McKeon top the field with a semi-final time of 24.00. That sliced .02 off of her own previous Olympic Record of 24.02, a mark registered during the heats of the event here in Tokyo.
Further down the line, however, were a pair of Chinese teammates who wound up tying for 8th place.
Wu Qingfeng and Zhang Yufei both scored a time of 24.32 to match each other in place 8th after the semi-finals. Normally this would result in a swim-off to determine the final placing. However, the official results do not list a swim-off as having taken place or scheduled for the future.
The start lists for the 50m free for the final, however, solely list Wu as the 8th seeded swimmer, and Zhang as an alternate, thus implying that Zhang relinquished her tied position and gave it to Wu.
SwimSwam has reached out to FINA for more details, but as of publishing they have not responded.
After prelims of the 50 free, Zhang said that her swim was “not as good as (she) expected.” That, combined with a crucial medley relay leg where China enters the final ranked 8th, probably drove the decision to scratch.
Wu was the anchor of the prelims medley relay, and also had the team’s fastest split on the 400 free relay (52.90), so she still has to deal with the double. Skipping the swim-off, though, keeps an extra race of both athletes’ plates heading into the relay.
Zhang had a tough double on day 6, but conquered it with a winning time in the women’s 200m fly and then also racing as part of her nation’s 4x200m free relay, which won in world-record-setting time.
After these 50m free semi-finals, Zhang was right back in the water racing in the mixed medley relay. She produced a solid split of 55.48 on the fly leg while her team collectively clocked a time of 3:38.86 to take silver behind winner Great Britain.