Australia was on the swimming podium again on Day 8 at the pool, but it was the madness of the Mixed Medley Relay that captivated everyone. For all your Tokyo 2020 coverage, stay tuned to The Inner Sanctum’s Olympic hub and the Olympics Central.
More McKeown magic
Swimming in Lane 2 Kaylee McKeown had to trust her own race to secure a second gold medal and she did exactly that.
Canadian swimmer Kylie Massee went out fastest through the first 100m, while Emily Seebohm fell back behind her in Lane 4. McKeown was still behind at the 150m mark, but in a finish typical of Australian race strategy she came home incredibly quick, powering past her competitors in the final 25m for Gold.
Seebohm came from nowhere to take Bronze, swimming her race to perfection for a podium finish.
McKeown secured the double, Olympic champion in both the 100m and 200m Backstroke.
It was a beautiful moment as McKeown had Seebohm join her on the podium to present her gold medal and the swimmers remained on top of the dais for the national anthem.
Seebohm was emotional after the race, proud of her efforts to take home an individual medal at her fourth Olympic Games.
Dressel dominates again
For his third Gold at the 2020 Games, Caleb Dressel set a new World Record – 49.45s – in the 100m Butterfly.
The American has had a dominant Olympic campaign so far, with the 50m Freestyle and 4x100m Medley Relay to come he could have two more.
Hungarian Kristof Milak finished in Silver with a European Record of 49.68, while Noe Ponti of Switzerland took Bronze.
Matthew Temple finished in equal fifth with Polish swimmer Jakub Majerski, swimming a time of 50.92.
Katie Ledecky gets the triple
American Katie Ledecky won Gold for the third time in the 800m Freestyle at Tokyo 2020. It follows her gold medal performances in the event in London and Rio.
Leading from the start, Ledecky swam a strong first 400m and had the legs to go even faster as Australian Ariarne Titmus was on her heels.
In the third instalment of the Titmus v Ledecky contest at the Tokyo Games, Titmus was not able to make up the near three-second gap that had opened up despite coming home with speed in the last 50m.
Ledecky goes home with individual Gold in 800m and 1500m, and Titmus takes the 200m and 400m.
The rivalry lived up to its expectation.
More Tokyo 2020 News
Dash to the finals
Caleb Dressel was back in the pool, for a semifinal this time. His 50m Freestyle was the fastest of the two races at 21.42, which sees him qualify first and swim from Lane 4 for his fourth gold medal.
Frenchman Florent Manaudou was quickest in the first semifinal, while Brazilian Bruno Fratus was 0.07 behind him and qualifies third for the final.
|Thom de Boer||21.78|
Next up, in the women’s 50m Freestyle final Emma McKeon swam another Olympic Record to qualify with a time of 24.00.
Cate Campbell swam a strong 24.27 to qualify sixth for the final.
Two Chinese swimmers swam off for the eighth spot, Qingfeng Wu finishing fastest in that to round out the women’s final line-up.
Mixed Medley Madness
The session wrapped up with the final of a new event, the 4x100m Mixed Medley Relay. It’s a strategic and chaotic event, made even more so by the fact Australia selected three swimmers already swimming races on Saturday morning.
Australia’s team included three gold medallists in Kaylee McKeown, Zak Stubblety-Cook, and Emma McKeon, as well as butterfly specialist Matthew Temple.
McKeown backed up her 200m Gold in the backstroke, while McKeon had less than 10 minutes between her Olympic Record in the 50m Freestyle and her leg in the relay.
The race had everyone enthralled.
Kathleen Dawson slipped at the start for Great Britain, but ground was made up by Adam Peaty in the breaststroke leg.
American Lydia Jacoby lost her goggles on the dive in and swam a 1:05 breaststroke leg with them stuck across her face.
The madness ended with Anna Hopkins bringing home Gold for Great Britain in a new World Record of 3:37.58.
Silver went to China, while the different tactics from Team USA and Australia set up an epic finish, where McKeon held off a charging Dressel to claim Bronze for Australia.
Subscribe to our newsletter!