Two weeks ago
Jul 20, 2021

Tokyo 2020 Olympics: Swimming preview

Tokyo 2020 Olympics: Swimming finals schedule

Tokyo 2020 Olympics: Which nations are eyeing up swimming medals?

Can Caeleb Dressel make history?

Tokyo 2020 Olympics: Swimmers to look out for

Tokyo 2020 Olympics: Swimming preview

Swimming is set to be one of the most prominent sports at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, with a total of 37 gold medals available across 10 days of competition. Who are the swimming stars to keep an eye out for at Tokyo 2020 and which swimmers look well-placed to get their hands on an Olympic medal? Read on for our Tokyo 2020 swimming preview.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics: Swimming finals schedule

All dates listed as according to Japan Standard Time (UTC+9).

Sunday, July 25: Men’s 400m freestyle, Men’s and Women’s 400m individual medley, Women’s 4x100m freestyle relay.

Monday, July 26: Men’s 100m breaststroke, Men’s 4x100m freestyle relay, Women’s 400m freestyle, Women’s 100m butterfly.

Tuesday, July 27: Men’s 200m freestyle, Men’s and Women’s 100m backstroke, Women’s 100m breaststroke.

Wednesday, July 28: Men’s 200m butterfly, Men’s 4x200m freestyle relay, Women’s 200m freestyle, Women’s 1500m freestyle, Women’s 200m individual medley.

Thursday, July 29: Men’s 100m freestyle, Men’s 800m freestyle, Men’s 200m breaststroke, Women’s 200m butterfly, Women’s 4x200m freestyle relay.

Friday, July 30: Men’s 200m backstroke, Men’s 200m individual medley, Women’s 100m freestyle, Women's 200m breaststroke.

Saturday, July 31: Men’s 100m butterfly, Women’s 800m freestyle, Women’s 200m backstroke, Mixed 4x100m medley relay.

Sunday, August 1: Men’s and Women’s 50m freestyle, Men’s 1500m freestyle, Men’s and Women’s 4x100m medley relay.

Wednesday, August 4: Women’s 10km open water.

Thursday, August 5: Men’s 10km open water.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics: Which nations are eyeing up swimming medals?

As mentioned, there are plenty of medals up for grabs once the swimming events get underway at the Tokyo Olympic Aquatics Centre, potentially capable of significantly boosting a country’s placing in the overall medal table.

The United States have dominated the swimming events at recent Olympics, most notably at Rio 2016 when they collected 16 gold, eight silver, and nine bronze medals across the 34 events, earning over three times as many swimming medals than any other country.

Swimming has also historically been Australia’s most abundant source of Olympics medals and suitably five years ago they placed second in the swimming medal table with three gold, four silver, and three bronze medals to their name. Tokyo 2020 hosts Japan won seven swimming medals including two golds, and will presumably be aiming to improve upon that total this time round.

Rio 2016 Olympics: Top five swimming countries

Country

Gold

Silver

Bronze

Total

United States

16

8

9

33

Australia

3

4

3

10

Hungary

3

2

2

7

Japan

2

2

3

7

Netherlands

2

0

0

2

Can Caeleb Dressel make history?

The swimming events gave rise to one of the all-time great Olympics stories when Michael Phelps won eight gold medals at Beijing 2008, the most an individual athlete has ever won at an edition of the Games. Since then, there has been speculation at every Olympics as to whether another swimmer can match or even surpass his feat.

Perhaps the best hope on this front for Tokyo 2020 is Caeleb Dressel. The 24-year-old first got a taste of Olympics action at Rio 2016, winning two golds in the Men’s 4x100 freestyle and medley relays, and since then he has won a further 13 gold medals across the 2017 and 2019 World Championships and set four world records.

Dressel has publicly declared that he is seeking to record a similar medal haul to Phelps’ and suitably, he leads the betting market for multiple swimming events. He is favourite to win the Men’s 50m freestyle (1.103*), Men’s 100m freestyle (1.787*), and Men’s 100m butterfly (1.087*), while the US are favoured to defend their titles in the Men’s 4x100m freestyle relay (1.386*) and 4x100m medley relay (1.316*).

It seems it will be thoroughly difficult to beat the American in the pool, who possesses a decent chance of being the most successful athlete across the entire Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics: Swimmers to look out for

American Katie Ledecky is the standout name across the women's events after winning four golds and a silver medal at Rio 2016, although her aura of invincibility was damaged when she struggled with illness and turned in underwhelming performances at the 2019 World Championships.

Japan's Yui Ohashi is eyeing up her first Olympics medal.

While she leads the betting market for the Women’s 1500m freestyle (1.156*), the odds suggest she will face fierce competition from Australia’s Ariarne Titmus in the Women’s 200m and 400m freestyle events. Titmus, who collected four medals at the 2019 World Championships, is presently narrowly priced as the favourite for both at 1.289* and 1.341* respectively, suggesting they are set to be two of the most closely contested swimming events.

Adam Peaty is an obvious candidate for breaststroke success in Tokyo, having followed his Men’s 100m breaststroke gold at Rio 2016 with similar success at the 2017 and 2019 World Championships. The Brit has now broken 13 world records and currently holds three, and enters his event as the overwhelming favourite at 1.037*.

In terms of potential home-soil success, Japan’s Katsuhiro Matsumoto will be aiming to upgrade the silver medal he earned in the Men’s 200m freestyle at both the 2018 Asian Games and 2019 World Championships. He is 5.880* with Pinnacle to take gold in Tokyo, in an event for which Lithuania’s Danas Rapsys and Great Britain’s Duncan Scott are joint-favourites at 3.500*.

Elsewhere, Yui Ohashi is considered to be among the frontrunners in both the Women’s 200m and 400m individual medleys, and is available at 4.460* and 3.810* to top the podium in them respectively. The Hikone-born 25-year-old won both events at the 2018 Pan Pacific Championships, and has reasons to be confident about earning her first-ever Olympic medal.

Other notable favourites include Hungary’s Kristof Milak in the Men’s 200m butterfly (1.116*), Australia’s Kaylee McKeown in the Women’s 200m backstroke (1.312*), and the US’ Lilly King in the Women’s 100m breaststroke (1.265*).

Looking forward to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics? Get great odds and bet on numerous Olympics markets with Pinnacle.

Odds subject to change

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