USA Swimming News

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Tokyo Olympics: Day Two Prelims Notes


Day two of swimming prelims at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 featured multiple U.S. powerhouses in their marquee events: Regan Smith in the 100m backstroke, Ryan Murphy in the 100m backstroke, Lilly King in the 100m breaststroke and Katie Ledecky in the 400m freestyle. Every American advanced to the next session, while the night was rounded out with a strong performance by the men’s 4x100m freestyle relay.

More from day two prelims:

Women’s 100m backstroke
• Regan Smith finished as second seed for tonight’s semifinal, followed by Rhyan White, who enters as sixth seed. 
• Smith’s 57.96 set a new Olympic record was the second of three-consecutive Olympic records that were set in three-consecutive heats. The first was set by Canada’s Kylie Masse in 58:17, followed by Smith and rounded out by Australia’s Kaylie Mckeown in 57.88.
• White’s 59.02 is the sixth-fastest time of her career.
• Smith has now bested the :58 mark three times in her career. Smith and McKeown are the only swimmers in history with three or more career swims under :58.

Men’s 200m freestyle
• Townley Haas and Kieran Smith move onto the semifinals, Haas as the 10th seed and Smith as the 13th. 
• Haas’ 1:45.86 is the 10th time he has gone under 1:46 in his career.
• Smith clocked in a 1:46.20, marking the third-fastest swim of his career.

Women’s 100m breaststroke
• Lydia Jacoby will be the second seed, followed by Lilly King as the third seed, going into tonight’s semifinal.
• Jacoby’s 1:05.52 is three tenths off her personal best and the third time she has broken the 1:06 mark.
• King is vying to become the first woman to ever get back-to-back golds at the Olympic Games.
• Only five swimmers, including the American duo, of the 45-athlete field posted 1:05 performances.

Men’s 100m backstroke
• Americans Ryan Murphy and Hunter Armstrong move onto the semifinals. Murphy’s 53.22 is tied for seventh, while Armstrong’s 53.77 is tied for 15th, ahead of the night’s semifinal.
• Murphy vying for back-to-back Olympic gold medals.
• This is the fifth time Armstrong has gone :53 or better in his career

Women’s 400m freestyle
• Katie Ledecky was 4:00.45, good for top time going into the final. Paige Madden finished with the seventh-best time, going 4:03.98.
• Ledecky was just more than two tenths shy of going a full second faster than her U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Swimming time. 
• Madden’s 4:03.98 shaved nearly nine tenths off her personal best.
• Ledecky bested Australia’s Ariarne Titmus, the next-closest competitor, by more than a second.

Men’s 4x100m freestyle 
• U.S. finished first in its heat in 3:11.33, putting the team as second seed ahead of tonight’s final.
• Bowe Becker posted the fastest split for the U.S., going 47.59 on the third leg of the relay. He was the only swimmer in the heat to go :47 in the third leg of the race. 
• U.S. vying for its 15th gold medal in the event. Currently, only the men’s 4x200m freestyle relay and men’s 100m backstroke have 15 or more golds in American history.

Competition resumes at 10:30 a.m. JST/9:30 p.m. ET with the women’s 100m butterfly final, men’s 200m freestyle semi, women’s 100m breaststroke semi, men’s 100m breaststroke final, women’s 400m freestyle final, men’s 100m backstroke semi, women’s 100m backstroke semi and men’s 4x100m freestyle relay final.

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