2020 Tokyo Olympics: Swimming Catch Up

2020 Tokyo Olympics: Swimming Catch Up

The 2020 Olympic Games have been like nothing we've quite seen before.

Jul 29, 2021 by Kyle Sockwell
2020 Tokyo Olympics: Swimming Catch Up

The 2020 Olympic Games have been like nothing we've quite seen before. With finals being swum in the morning and cover protocols interrupting the natural flow of athletes, the top-end speed at the event has seemingly fallen flat. With that being said, the fact that athletes have overcome all of this adversity and are still World Records is nothing to scoff at.

Below we’ll dive into a few highlights to get you caught up on the action from the Tokyo Olympic Swimming we’ve seen so far as we prepare for more that is still yet to come.

Team USA Wins Gold and Silver in the Men’s 400 IM

Chase Kalisz and Jay Litherland go 1-2 for Team USA in the Men’s 400 IM to kick off the meet and set the tone for what would hopefully (a little foreshadowing there) be a dominant meet for the United States. Good to note that while all of this was happening in Tokyo Carson Foster went 4:08.4 at the Austin Texas Sectional meet which would have won the event in Tokyo. The soon to be Sophomore at the University of Texas is a rising star and undoubtedly already has his eyes on Paris 2024.

Ahmed Hafnaoui of Tunisia Wins Olympic Gold in the Men’s 400 Freestyle 

This. Was. Amazing. Ahmed Hafnaoui has likely had the performance of the entire Tokyo Olympic Swimming event and it happened on night one. Instead of me typing out what happens in the video above… just go ahead and watch it or watch it again if you already have instead.

The Aussie Women Break the 400 Free Relay World Record 

Australia had a MONSTER swim in the Women’s 400 Freestyle Relay taking the gold back home and bringing a World Record with them as well. Their time of 3:29.69 was good for the new fastest mark of all-time and one that would dominate the field that included Team USA taking the bronze.

Ariarne Titmus takes does Katie Ledecky in the Women’s 400 Freestyle

In one of the most anticipated races of the week, Katie Ledecky and Ariarne Titmus faced off for the first time in the Women’s 400m Freestyle. The race came down to the final 50 with Titmus out splitting Ledecky on the second 200 and setting her coach off into a wild celebration which quickly took over the internet.

That. Was. Wild.

Team USA Dominates the Men’s 400 Freestyle Relay

The US Men have never missed the podium in a relay (more foreshadowing) and that wasn’t about to change in the Men’s 400 freestyle relay. The team of Caeleb Dressel, Bowe Becker, Blake Pieroni, and Zach Apple dominated the field and took home the gold for Team USA in the marque relay (and maybe event) of the Olympic Games.

Lydia Jacoby Best Lilly King to Win the Women’s 100 Breast 

In maybe the second most exciting event of the Olympic Swimming events so far, Lydia Jacoby pulled off a massive upset in the Women’s 100 breaststroke taking down teammate Lilly King and sending the state of Alaska into an absolute frenzy which can be seen below.

If that beautiful split screen video isn’t enough for you, how about the fact that she trains in a short course (collegiate distance) pool since there’s only one 50m (Olympic Sized) pool in the entire state of Alaska.

Ledecky Wins the First-Ever Women's 1500 Freestyle

The Women’s 1500m Freestyle hasn’t been an Olympic event… until now. With that being said, it was only right that the queen of distance freestyle swimming, Katie Ledecky, would take home the gold in the event. To make it even sweeter her USA teammate Erica Sullivan was scorching home and (hypothetically) could have taken her down if the race had been an extra 200m long.

The US Men miss the Podium for the first time in any relay in Olympic history (excluding 1980) 

All streaks come to an end, even when it is a stat as ridiculous as the US Men having never missed a podium in an Olympic Relay… ever. That came to an end tonight as the US men took fourth in the 800 freestyle after what I would consider to be a valiant effort to take down a really strong team from Great Britain. There was a bit of back and forth on whether or not American ace Caeleb Dressel should be on the relay, but at the end of the day without a HUGE split from Dressel Team USA wouldn’t have been within striking distance of the GB relay.

We still have a lot of swimming yet to come from Tokyo including Caeleb Dressel’s swimming schedule really getting going with the 100 Freestyle final and the 100 butterfly closing in as well as more from Ledecky, Team USA, and the rest of the swimming world. Stay tuned for more updates from FloSwimming as the week goes on and more medals are given out in Tokyo.