Olympic Swimming Recap: Finals Day 2

Women’s 100m Butterfly

Canada had another successful night in the pool. 21-year old, Maggie MacNeil, in her first Olympic Games won her second medal in Tokyo. MacNeil, who won silver the previous night with the women’s 4×100-metre freestyle relay team, set an Canadian record of 55.59 seconds in the 100m butterfly. At the turn, MacNeil was in seventh. However, she never stressed. MacNeil, who’s ‘sweet spot’ is the final 50 metres of the race, showed that the 50 metres is her bread and butter when she went from seventh to first in only 50 metres of swimming. Heading into the race, MacNeil’s name was in medal contention because of her gold medal performance in the 2019 World Championships but when she touched the wall, MacNeil could not believe it. Her expression said it all. The surprised look on the young Canadian’s face said it all; she couldn’t believe she is now an Olympian champion. Not a bad few days for a 21-year old from London, Ontario. 

Men’s 100m Breaststroke

Great Britain’s Adam Peaty made history in the men’s 100m breaststroke on day 3 of action. Peaty, who won gold in the 100-metre breaststroke in Rio 2016, went back-to-back in the event with Arno Kamminga of the Netherlands and Nico Martinenghi of Italy won silver and bronze. Adam Peaty has become a legend in the world of the 100m breaststroke event. The Great Britain athlete owns the 15 fastest times in the event’s history and is the only competitor to break the 54-second mark. Kamminga of the Netherlands is the only athlete in the world that has come close to touching Peaty’s impressive world record time of 56.88. 

Canadian swimmers Cole Pratt and Markus Thormeyer did not advance from the preliminary heats.

Women’s 400m Freestyle

Current Olympic champion and heavy favorite to repeat, Katie Ledecky (USA) was in the middle lane of the women’s 400m freestyle final. She looked strong throughout the majority of the 400 meters until Ariarne Titmus from Australia made a late surge on her in the last two lengths of the race. Titmus ultimately beat Ledecky for the gold medal by six tenths of a second. The battle for the bronze medal was just as exciting. Summer McIntosh, the 14-year old Canadian, was looking to take her first medal at her first Olympics. But, on the last length of the pool, Chinese swimmer Bingjie Li started to pull away. Li just managed to take away the bronze medal from McIntosh even though she broke the Canadian record in the event.

Men’s 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay

The big favorites going into this event were the Americans, Italian and Australians. As it so happens, that’s exactly how the event finished. But, the Canadians had something to say about that. The Americans looked strong throughout the whole race staying at the front of the pack. The Italians always remained in that second place spot but the Australians needed their reigning Olympic champion in the 100m freestyle to pull out the bronze medal over the Canadians. All four Canadian swimmers put in their best efforts at each one of their opportunities. Brent Hayden and Joshua Liendo finished their legs in 4-5th place. Yuri Kisil touched the wall in third place and Markus Thormeyer could not out swim the Australian Kyle Chalmers to the bronze medal.

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