USA Swimming News

Monday, July 26, 2021

Tokyo Olympics: Day Three Prelims Notes


The distance specialists shined for the U.S. on the third prelims session of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. All U.S. swimmers advanced to the upcoming finals or semifinals in each event, and had multiple Americans set Olympic records, new personal bests and more. 

More from the night’s prelims:

Women’s 200m Freestyle
• Both U.S. swimmers move on to final. Katie Ledecky finished as the first seed and Allison Schmitt finished as 12th ahead of finals.
• Ledecky went 1:55.28 to win her heat. In U.S. history, only six women have posted 1:55 (or better) times. This is Ledecky’s 41st performance where she has hit the time.
• Schmitt’s 12th-seed swim came in 1:57.10 – the fifth-fastest swim she has posted since 2019.
• Schmitt is one medal shy of 10 total Olympic medals in her career. In competition history, only four other female swimmers have hit double digits in total medals.

Men’s 200m Butterfly
• Both U.S. swimmers move on to final. Zach Harting is the fourth seed and Gunnar Bentz is the 11th.
• Bentz’s 1:55.46 is 12 hundredths off his personal best.
• Harting was eighth after the first 50-meter mark, seventh at 100, fourth at the 150 and eventually touched in second place in his heat.
• Harting’s 1:54.92 is a new personal best. The time moves him up to No. 10, two spots above his previous spot, on the list of fastest 200m butterfliers in U.S. history.

Women’s 200m I.M.
• Both U.S. swimmers move on to final. Kate Douglass will be top seed followed by Alex Walsh as the fourth seed.
• Douglass held the lead in her heat from start to finish, winning in 2:09.16, more than a second ahead of the next next-closest competitor in her heat.
• Douglass’ swim is a new personal best. If she can go sub-2:09 in the final, it will make her only the ninth U.S. woman to do so.
• Walsh went 2:09.94, the fourth best time of her career. 
• Walsh touched first in her heat in each of the first three 50’s in the race before Hungarian Olympic veteran Katinka Hosszú edged her out in the last leg. 

Women’s 1500m Freestyle
• Both U.S. swimmers move on to final. Ledecky claims top seed, Erica Sullivan claims third seed. 
• Ledecky’s 15:35.35 beat her heat by more than six seconds. She held the lead from start to finish.
• Sullivan held a top-3 position in her heat from start to finish and a first-place position from the 600-meter mark until the end, finishing first in 15:46.67.
• The heats marked the Olympic debut of the event. Sullivan held the Olympic Record in the event for roughly 17 minutes before Ledecky captured it in the following heat.
• Ledecky’s swim is the eighth fastest in history. Her swim came roughly two hours after her performance in the 200m freestyle.
• Sullivan’s time shaved four-and-a-half seconds off her previous personal best. 

Finals continue at 10:30 a.m. JST/9:30 p.m. ET.

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