Swimming Results Live: China Wins Gold, Katie Ledecky and the U.S. Take Silver

Current time in Tokyo: July 29, 12:58 p.m.

Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

China won a surprise victory in the women’s 4×200-meter freestyle relay, setting a world record of 7 minutes 40.33 seconds and beating both the United States, which took silver, and the heavily favored Australians, who settled for bronze.

Ledecky has passed Australia!

Ledecky is moving up on Australia, and China is still in the lead!

Katie McLaughlin is trying to make a move, but there’s a gap between her and the leaders.

It’s China, Australia and the U.S. in first, second, third.

China has the lead after the first leg; that’s a surprise, but there’s plenty of time remaining. The U.S. now has two Olympic rookies, before Ledecky takes over.

Each swimmer will go for four laps before handing off. The American order is: Allison Schmitt, Paige Madden, Katie McLaughlin and Katie Ledecky.

Team Australia is loaded in this 4×200 free relay, and Ariarne Titmus is leading off.

Ledecky is racing every individual freestyle distance, from the 200 meters up to the 1,500 — four individual events — plus the women’s 4×200-meter freestyle relay. That’s an audacious 6,200 meters. No other swimmer, man or woman, has swam that much in these Games.

After her gold medal in the 1,500 meters, Ledecky said: “I think people maybe feel bad for me that I’m not winning everything, but I want people to be more concerned about other things going on in the world where people are truly suffering.”

Australia is the heavy favorite in the women’s 4×200-meter freestyle relay, though the Americans have Katie Ledecky in the anchor position.

The American Michael Andrew looks like he will coast into the final of the men’s 200-meter individual medley.

Michael Andrew slowed up a little, and finished second in this semifinal. He’ll be the only American in the men’s 200 I.M. final.

Annie Lazor’s first meet after her father died two months ago was the U.S. Olympic Trials. Now she’s racing for a spot in the final of the women’s 200-meter breaststroke.

Lazor, a first-time Olympian, finishes third in the second seminfinal, and will advance to the final.

Lazor, 26, lost her father, who died at age 61, on April 25. She said after qualifying for Tokyo: “For the first few weeks, it felt like I was choosing grief that day or choosing swimming that day. There was no in-between.”

Lilly King is comfortably into Friday’s final of the women’s 200-meter breaststroke, finishing second in her semifinal heat.

King, 24, claimed the bronze in the 100-meter breaststroke this week, when Lydia Jacoby, a 17-year-old Alaskan, tapped the wall first in a major upset.

Caeleb Dressel won the 100-meter freestyle by six-hundredths of a second.
Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

Caeleb Dressel, the American swimmer, won his first Olympic gold medal for an individual race on Thursday, setting an Olympic record of 47.02 seconds in the 100-meter freestyle and beating out Kyle Chalmers of Australia by six-hundredths of a second.

As the announcer blared “new Olympic record,” Dressel turned and looked at the time and, beaming, climbed up on the lane rope. He hoisted both arms in jubilation and hung there for a moment, smiling, a long pause on top that made you wonder if somebody was going to tell him it was time to get out of the pool.

Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times
Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

“I thought I executed my race plan perfectly,” he said. “I couldn’t change anything. That’s how I felt in that moment.”

Dressel and Chalmers are rivals, and they swam two lanes apart.

“I could actually see him in my peripherals, I knew he was right there,” Dressel said. “I couldn’t see him, but you can see disturbances in the water. I knew — who else would it be besides Kyle?”

Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times
Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

Dressel exploded out of the blocks — the deciding six-hundredths of a second faster than Chalmers — and was ahead from the start. Kliment Kolesnikov earned bronze, 0.42 seconds off of Dressel’s pace.

The 100 free is the classic event, one that every swimmer swims as a child before splintering off to various specialties. This version of the men’s 100 free came spiced with a rivalry that has been building since the 2016 Rio Games, when Chalmers, then 18, won gold and Dressel finished sixth, just shy of his 20th birthday.

But Dressel has won a pair of world championships in the event since, and the Tokyo Games felt like a true splashdown to broader fame.

Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times
Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

Now 24, Dressel led the United States to a gold medal in the 4×100 free relay this week in Tokyo, over Italy and Australia. His gold medal in the glamour event of the 100 could be a type of coronation for Dressel, who has two other events yet to swim, the 50-meter freestyle and the 100-meter butterfly.

Dressel said he had hoped for an even faster time, but recognized that the Olympics are not just about the clock.

“The goal here for everybody is to get your hands on the wall first,” he said. “So I had no complaints.”






Zhang Yufei of China won the 200-meter butterfly by almost one and a half seconds.
Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

Zhang Yufei of China established an Olympic record and won the gold medal in the women’s 200-meter butterfly, ahead of the Americans Regan Smith and Hali Flickinger.

Flickinger is 27, which is well-aged in swim years, and won silver at the 2019 world championships. She already had a bronze medal from the 400-meter individual medley in Tokyo, but the butterfly is her strongest stroke. Smith narrowly edged her to the finish.

Zhang’s time of 2 minutes 3.86 seconds was the third-fastest time ever. Smith finished second in 2:05.30, with Flickinger securing the bronze in 2:05.65.






Zhang Yufei of China is out in front in the women’s 200-meter butterfly final.

Ryan Murphy of the United States just wrapped up a second-place finish in the 100-meter backstroke semifinals, and the first-time Olympian Bryce Mefford of the U.S. finished fourth.

They comfortably secured spots in the finals. Murphy won three gold medals in Rio, in the 100-meter backstroke, 200-meter backstroke and 4×100-meter medley relay.

Nic Fink of the United States finished finished fifth in the 200-meter breaststroke.

Arno Kamminga of the Netherlands started at a world-record pace in the 200-meter breaststroke final, but Zac Stubblety-Cook of Australia caught him down the stretch, and Australia has yet another gold in the pool.

Zac Stubblety-Cook of Australia chased down the leader in the final 50 meters to win the 200-meter breaststroke.
Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

Australia’s Zac Stubblety-Cook set an Olympic record in the 200-meter breaststroke, capturing the gold medal in 2:06.38.

Arno Kamminga of the Netherlands earned the silver medal, in 2:07.01, followed by Matti Mattsson of Finland with the bronze.

The men’s 200-meter breaststroke, a do-not-miss for fans who do not like lots of splashing, was thought to be an open race, may be a chance for Anton Chupkov of the Russian Olympic Committee to flirt with the world record he already holds.

Chupkov won the bronze medal in Rio at 19 years old, and came to Tokyo five years later with a new set of major titles under his belt. But he struggled in the semifinals and his seventh-place time landed him in an outside lane. He finished fourth in the final.






Finke just exploded off the last turn and turned the engines on. He had a lot left in the tank.

Finke won gold!!! He just bided his time, and then caught and passed the rest of the leaders.

Bobby Finke surged off the last turn to win the 800-meter freestyle.
Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

Bobby Finke of the United States won the first men’s 800-meter freestyle in an Olympics, coming from behind in the last lap to beat Italy’s Gregorio Paltrinieri.

It was a surprise even to Finke. He said he had “no idea” he could win.

Finke, 21, a four-time all-American at the University of Florida, was competing in his first Olympics. His victory was the first for an American man in an Olympic distance race since 1984.

The race was expected to be a wide-open slog, with Mykhailo Romanchuk of Ukraine a slight favorite.

Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

Paltrinieri arrived with one of the 10 best times in history, but he had struggled in Tokyo and was relegated to an outside lane for the final. He jumped out to the early lead, and held it through 14 of the race’s 16 laps.

The pack pulled closer with each turn, and Finke surged in the final 50 meters, swimming the last leg in 26.39 seconds, 1.65 seconds faster than Paltrinieri.

Finke finished in 7 minutes 41.87 seconds, a quarter-second ahead of Paltrinieri, who held on for silver. Romanchuk captured the bronze.

The men’s 800 meters was added to the Olympics for the first time this year, along with the women’s 1,500, which Katie Ledecky of the United States won.


An earlier version of this article described incorrectly the swimmer Bobby Finke’s 800-meter freestyle race. He is also scheduled to compete in the 1,500 free; it is not his only event at the Tokyo Games.






Gregorio Paltrinieri of Italy jumped out to an early lead and is out front with less than 200 meters to go.

In the men’s 800-meter freestyle, Robert Finke of the U.S., a rising senior at the University of Florida, is in Lane 3 and in third place, one-quarter of the way through.

Katie Ledecky of the United States, left, and Ariarne Titmus of Australia are expected to swim in the women’s 4x200-meter freestyle relay.
Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

Can we interest you in another dose of Katie Ledecky? Every Olympics has at least one focal point for American audiences, and Tokyo is another chapter for Ledecky. She has spent a career raising gold-or-bust expectations, and is now swimming with the curse of having to explain that she does not win every race. In Tokyo, so far, she has a gold medal, a silver medal and a fifth-place finish.

In the final race of this session, the women’s 4×200-meter freestyle relay, Ledecky is expected to swim for the United States.

She will look to add a ninth Olympic medal to her collection, but it will probably not be gold. Australia is a big favorite, looking for a world record behind Ariarne Titmus, who won the individual 200 free and edged out Ledecky for gold in the 400 free.

The relay will not be Ledecky’s last race of these Games. She is scheduled to compete in the 800 free qualifying heats on Thursday evening (Tokyo time), after a few hours of rest.

Regan Smith of the United States will swim in the 200-meter butterfly final.
Credit…Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times

The leadoff event is the men’s 800-meter freestyle final, another new event at the Olympics. The debut race looks to lean toward Mykhailo Romanchuk of Ukraine. Another favorite, Gregorio Paltrinieri of Italy, has one of the 10 best times in history but has struggled in Tokyo. Still, he has the talent to add drama from an outside lane. Germany’s Florian Wellbrock could end up on any step of the podium, too.

The men’s 200 breaststroke is a do-not-miss for fans who do not like much splashing. Anton Chupkov, of the country that shall not be named at these Olympics but has Moscow as the capital, could flirt with the world record he already holds. Chupkov won the bronze medal in Rio, at 19, and came to Tokyo five years later with all the major titles since.

But he struggled in the semifinals, his seventh-place time landing him in an outside lane. Watch the bobbing head in Lane 1. But also watch for Zac Stubblety-Cook of Australia, the leader out of the semifinals, and James Wilby of Britain and Arno Kamminga of the Netherlands.

There will be lots more splashing and plenty of drama in the women’s 200 butterfly. Any combination of women, including two top Americans, could end up with gold or no medal at all. Hali Flickinger won silver at the 2019 world championships, and Regan Smith may push her in an event not considered her strongest. (That would be backstroke.)

That American duo will have to shoulder their way past Zhang Yufei of China and Boglarka Kapas of Hungary, who beat Flickinger in those 2019 worlds.

Katie Ledecky of the U.S. after winning the women’s 1,500-meter freestyle final.
Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

The Tokyo Aquatics Center was newly built for the 2020 Olympics, like most of the venues for these Summer Games. The swimming pool will host national and international meets, Japanese officials say, once the Olympics are over. Here’s what you need to know:

The center includes a 10-lane main pool, a training pool and a diving pool. For races, only the inside eight lanes are utilized. All the swimming, diving and artistic swimming events are held there. Next month, it will host the Paralympic swimming competitions.

The main pool is 50 meters (164 feet) long and 25 meters (82 feet) wide. And it is 3 meters deep, or about 9.8 feet. The main pool and the warm-up pool also have movable floors and walls and have adapting depth options.

The temperature is kept between 25 and 28 degrees Celsius, which is between 77 and 82.4 degrees Fahrenheit.

Yes, lifeguards keep close watch on the swimmers, who could require aid from injuries and cramps. They’re also on hand for other contests: Water polo games are very physical; artistic swimming has seen many concussions in the past; and divers are launching themselves from towering heights.

Air horns are usually used to remind swimmers that they’re on their final lap.

Caeleb Dressel tossing his gold medal to a teammate who did not get to race in the final of the 4x100-meter freestyle relay on Saturday. He has three golds in Olympic relays.
Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

The American swimmer Caeleb Dressel, 24, has three career relay golds in the Olympics but no individual wins. He has a chance to change that today in the 100-meter freestyle.

Dressel started swimming when he was 5, after his parents enrolled him in swim lessons — a decision he did not agree with at first, he said in a video interview on U.S.A. Swimming’s YouTube page.

But Dressel, who is from Green Cove Springs, Fla., eventually became laser-focused on swimming. By his mother’s telling, Dressel’s first “competition” came when he jumped in the pool during one of his siblings’ swim meets, raced his way to the other end and claimed, “I won a medal, I won a medal!”

It was the first unofficial accomplishment in his booming career: Dressel, who swam for the University of Florida, went on to sweep up 15 medals at world championships and set world and U.S. records.

At the 2019 FINA World Championship Games, Dressel broke his first long-course world record in the 100-meter butterfly, posting a time of 49.50 and shattering the previous record of 49.82 set by Michael Phelps.

Dressel made his Olympic debut at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, where he and his team won gold in the men’s 4×100 freestyle and in the 4×100 medley relays. At the Rio Games, Dressel placed sixth in the 100-meter freestyle.

He won his third Olympic gold with Team U.S.A. in the 4×100-meter freestyle relay at the Tokyo Games on Monday, but he has not yet won an individual Olympic gold.

Dressel, who has a tattoo of the Olympic rings on the inside of his right arm, hopes to change that in the 100-meter freestyle final, where he will face off against competitors from Australia, Italy, Hungary, Romania, South Korea, France and the Russian Olympic Committee.

“As soon as I get behind those blocks, I finally get to do what I was trained to do,” Dressel said in a U.S.A. Swimming video from 2016. “I finally get to be me.”

Mykhailo Romanchuk of Ukraine will swim in the leadoff race of the day, the men’s 800-meter freestyle.
Credit…Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

More gold medals are up for grabs today, in events including the 100-meter men’s freestyle, in which the American swimmer Caeleb Dressel hopes to win his first individual Olympic medal.

Australia is the big favorite in the women’s 4×200 freestyle relay, and a win would add to its 4×100 gold medal.

Swimming coverage begins at 9:30 p.m. on NBC.

The scheduled times of the medal events are:

  • 9:30 p.m. Eastern time: Men’s 800-meter freestyle final

  • 9:44 p.m.: Men’s 200 breaststroke final

  • 10:28 p.m.: Women’s 200 butterfly final

  • 10:37 p.m.: Men’s 100 free final

  • 11:31 p.m.: Women’s 4×200 free relay final

NBC’s coverage can also be streamed on NBCOlympics.com and on its Peacock service.

Katie Ledecky won the inaugural women’s Olympic 1,500-meter freestyle by a margin of more than four seconds.
Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

In her third Summer Games, Katie Ledecky was finally able to swim for Olympic gold in what is essentially her best event: the 1,500-meter freestyle, the longest race contested in the pool.

The distance has been available to men since the 1904 Olympics, when it was introduced as a mile race. Women who contested the event in other meets had to settle for the 800 meters at the Games, an event that Ledecky will try to win for a third time on Saturday.

On Wednesday morning, though, she finally got her chance in the inaugural women’s 1,500 and delivered her first gold of the Tokyo Games. Ledecky’s time of 15 minutes 37.34 seconds was more than four seconds faster than her American teammate Erica Sullivan (15:41.41), who won the silver, and more than five seconds ahead of the bronze medalist, Sarah Kohler of Germany (15:42.91).

Ledecky holds the world record in the 1,500 and had the top qualifying time on Monday. Her victory in the event — a grueling marathon that requires 30 trips the length of the pool — came a little more than an hour after Ledecky had finished fifth in the 200 freestyle final.

Ledecky has won three 1,500-meter world championships and has set world records six times, more than any other swimmer in the event, male or female. But in just competing at this distance in the Olympics, Ledecky was getting an opportunity denied to distance-swimming greats like Janet Evans, Debbie Meyer, Shane Gould and Jennifer Turrall.

Until 1968, the longest Olympic event in women’s swimming was 400 meters. Meyer won the first 800-meter Olympic race for women at the Mexico City Games that year, as well as the 200 and 400 freestyle.

Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

She held the world record in both the 800 and the 1,500 back then, and she told The Times in 2014 that she questioned why the longer race was not available at the Olympics. Meyer said she had been told that there weren’t enough countries with women competing in the 1,500.

“It really was all about the thinking then,” she said, “which was, women were the weaker sex and because men were stronger people, they could last the distance.”

Over the years, other discrepancies in swimming have been resolved. From 1984 to 1996, for example, the men had three relays and the women two. At the Atlanta Games, the women gained parity, with a 4×200-meter freestyle relay.






But FINA, the international governing body for aquatics, had long resisted allowing women to compete in the 1,500 at the Summer Games, despite efforts in every sport to make the Olympic experience equal for women and men.

In 2015, Julio Maglione, the FINA president, said he doubted that the 1,500 could be added to the Olympic program, which was already packed with races at multiple distances for every stroke.

Yet now, not only have women gained the 1,500, but male distance swimmers also have an 800 on their schedule for the first time since 1904. A mixed medley relay has been added, with two men and two women on each team.

The longest swim in Tokyo, however, will not take place in the pool. The 10-kilometer open-water event was added to the Olympics in 2008, with races for men and women.

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