In another record-breaking day in the pool, Australia had more swimming success and there was a mad dash to the semifinals in the 50m Freestyle heat. For all your Tokyo 2020 coverage, stay tuned to The Inner Sanctum’s Olympic hub and the Olympics Central.
Golden girl McKeon
Emma McKeon won her first individual gold medal by taking out the Women’s 100m Freestyle.
The Australian sprinter improved her own Olympic Record time to finish with a 51.96.
Leading from the get-go, McKeon turned first after a strong 100m and powered home to secure another gold medal for Australia.
Cate Campbell joined McKeon on the podium, winning her first individual Olympic medal in 13 years – Bronze in a time of 52.52.
Hong Kong’s Siobhan Haughey split the Australians, finishing in Silver with a time of 52.27 – an Asian Record.
Tears for Tatjana
In World Record time, Tatjana Schoenmaker has won Gold in the Women’s 200m Breaststroke. The South African broke 2:19 and improved her Olympic Record from the heats, finishing in 2:18.95.
Schoenmaker was slower through the first 100m than her biggest competitor, American Lilly King, but both were sitting in front of the World Record line.
She found another gear in the final 50m, overtaking King and finishing in an impressive fashion. She looked at the scoreboard and immediately welled up, in tears at her record-breaking swim.
Countrywoman and training partner Kaylene Corbett and the two Americans King and Annie Lazor went over to congratulate the emotional breaststroker.
There were more tears on the dais, as Schoenmaker collected her medal and the national anthem played. The win was South Africa’s first gold medal at the Tokyo 2020 Games.
King and Lazor claimed Silver and Bronze swimming times of 2:19.92 and 2:20.84, respectively.
Records continue to tumble
Another record was broken as Evgeny Rylov hit the wall in the Men’s 200m Backstroke final. The ROC swimmer finished at 1:53.27, 0.14 faster than Tyler Clary in London 2012.
He led from beginning to end, half a body length ahead of his nearest competitor for much of the race.
Ryan Murphy claimed Silver for Team USA, while Luke Greenbank took home Bronze for Great Britain.
The next record to go was an Asian Record when Shun Wang of China took Gold in the Men’s 200m Individual Medley.
His time of 1:55.00 was 0.28 seconds ahead of Brit Duncan Scott in Silver. Jeremy Desplanches of Switzerland claimed Bronze, hitting the wall 0.05 seconds before Daiya Seto of Japan.
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Finals bound Australians
Emily Seebohm qualified fastest for the Women’s 200m Backstroke final on Saturday morning, while Kaylee McKeown will swim from Lane 2 after qualifying sixth.
Matthew Temple qualified sixth for the Men’s 100m Butterfly final, in a time of 51.12. He will swim from lane seven in the final on Saturday.
Hungary’s Kristof Milak was the fastest from the first semifinal, powering home for an Olympic Record. However, the record was short-lived when Caleb Dressel dominated the second semifinal and set a new record.
Chaos in the water
The heats of the most chaotic event on the swimming schedule were run on Friday night. All 21 heats of the men’s and women’s 50m Freestyle was swum in an hour of mayhem.
Cam McEvoy was Australia’s only qualifier in the men’s, he finished eighth in the 11th heat with a time of 22.31 and did not qualify for the semifinals.
American Caleb Dressel, always strong off the blocks, swam a 21.32 and qualified first.
There was more success for Australia in the women’s heats, with both Cate Campbell and Emma McKeon qualifying for the semifinals.
Campbell finished second in her heat, swimming a 24.15, just beaten by Denmark’s Pernille Blume (24.12).
McKeon was in the following heat and she smashed yet another Olympic Record, finishing in 24.02.
Campbell and McKeon will feature in the second semifinal, while Pernille Blume and Swede Sarah Sjoestroem will be in the first.
Just keep swimming
From the shortest event on the program to the longest; 28 swimmers completed 30 laps of the 50m pool across four heats for the Men’s 1500m Freestyle.
Australians Tom Neill and Jack McLaughlin swam in Heat 2 and Heat 4, respectively. Neill finished in 15:04.65, while McLaughlin went under 15 minutes with a 14:56.98.
Both finished fourth in their heats, but neither qualified for the final.
Three qualifiers came from the final heat, Ukraine’s Mykhailo Romanchuk was the fastest across the 30 laps. American Robert Finke and Italian Gregorio Paltrinieri also finished in a qualifying time.
The last event for the evening was the heats for the medley relays.
Australia, in Heat 1, took an early lead with Emily Seebohm in the pool. Chelsea Hodges had a strong breaststroke leg, before Brianna Throssell dove in for the butterfly.
Throssell lost a little ground on Italy, but swimming last 17-year-old Molly O’Callaghan came home strong to take the heat.
In the second heat, Canada and the United States had an incredible battle right to the end. The Canadians getting Team USA at the touch by 0.01.
In the men’s, Australia swam in Heat 1. Mitch Larkin was first off with the backstroke, at the changeover he was in third. Zak Stubblety-Cook swam the breaststroke leg after his Gold in the 200m Breaststroke on Thursday.
David Morgan swam butterfly for Australia, with ground to catch up on Italy, China and Team USA. Kyle Chalmers, eager for another swim, dove in with plenty of ground to make up.
Chalmers got Australia into third, another great 100m that put his team in the final. Italy finished first and China second.
In the second heat, Great Britain finished ahead of ROC and Japan.
It was tense as the Heat 1 teams waited to see the final qualifying times. Australia was the sixth qualifier, while the United States was seventh for the final on Sunday.
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