Everything you need to know about Olympic Swimming at Tokyo 2021


Your one-stop guide to swimming at the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2021, including top athletes, venue information, schedule and more!

Swimming is the second-largest sport at the Olympics, featuring a record total of 35 events at Tokyo 2020 (excluding marathon swimming). Only athletics has more medals on offer.

New additions to the Games programme for 2021 in Japan are the men's 800m freestyle, women's 1,500m freestyle, and the exciting mixed 4×100m medley relay.

Below, we take a look at the athletes expected to light up the Tokyo Aquatics Centre, and the competition schedule, in our top things to know about Olympic Swimming guide.

Top Olympic swimmers at Tokyo 2020

Michael Phelps left incredibly big shoes to fill when he retired at Rio 2016, but the USA may have found an athlete up the task in Caeleb Dressel.

The Florida native scooped up six titles at the 2019 World Championships and broke several short-course records in a dominant 2020. Phelps actually thinks that Dressel could match his eight Olympic gold medal-haul in Japan.

Dressel’s compatriot Katie Ledecky secured four gold medals at Rio 2016 and, despite only winning one event at the last world champs due to illness, will likely be the favourite for all freestyle races up to 1,500m. Her re-match with Australia’s 400m world champion Ariarne Titmus is sure to produce fireworks.

With the five fastest 100m breaststroke times ever, it would take something very special to stop British GOAT Adam Peaty from retaining his Olympic title. But can he help Britain’s world champion 4x100m medley relay team cause another upset?

Individual medley queen Katinka Hosszu may be going to the Games without a coach, but the Hungarian’s consistent performances over the past Olympic cycle mean she is favoured to retain her medley Olympic titles. On the men’s medley side, there are high hopes for Japan’s double reigning world champion SETO Daiya, after completing a non-sport-related suspension in 2020.

Finally, they don’t call Sarah Sjostrom ‘Gold Bae’ for no reason, and the Swedish eight-time world champ will be a medal threat over the butterfly and freestyle sprints.

Olympic Swimming schedule at Tokyo 2020

The competition (excluding marathon swimming) will take place from 24 July – 1 August 2021.

Check here the complete schedule and all times are in Japan Standard Time (JST).

*All times in Japan Standard Time (JST)

Swimming

Date and Time: Sat 24 July 19:00 – 21:30

Venues: Tokyo Aquatics Centre

Men's 400m Individual Medley – Heats

Women's 100m Butterfly – Heats

Men's 400m Freestyle – Heats

Women's 400m Individual Medley – Heats

Men's 100m Breaststroke – Heats

Women's 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay – Heats

Date and Time: Sun 25 July 10:30 – 12:20

Venues: Tokyo Aquatics Centre

Men's 400m Individual Medley Final

Women's 100m Butterfly Semifinals

Men's 400m Freestyle Final

Men's 400m Individual Medley Victory Ceremony

Women's 400m Individual Medley Final

Men's 400m Freestyle Victory Ceremony

Men's 100m Breaststroke Semifinals

Women's 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay Final

Women's 400m Individual Medley Victory Ceremony

Women's 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay Victory Ceremony

Date and Time: Sun 25 July 19:00 – 21:30

Venues: Tokyo Aquatics Centre

Women's 100m Backstroke – Heats

Men's 200m Freestyle – Heats

Women's 100m Breaststroke – Heats

Men's 100m Backstroke – Heats

Women's 400m Freestyle – Heats

Men's 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay – Heats

Date and Time: Mon 26 July 10:30 – 12:40

Venues: Tokyo Aquatics Centre

Women's 100m Butterfly Final

Men's 200m Freestyle Semifinals

Women's 100m Breaststroke Semifinals

Women's 100m Butterfly Victory Ceremony

Men's 100m Breaststroke Final

Women's 400m Freestyle Final

Men's 100m Backstroke Semifinals

Men's 100m Breaststroke Victory Ceremony

Women's 100m Backstroke Semifinals

Men's 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay Final

Women's 400m Freestyle Victory Ceremony

Men's 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay Victory Ceremony

Date and Time: Mon 26 July 19:00 – 21:30

Venues: Tokyo Aquatics Centre

Women's 200m Freestyle – Heats

Men's 200m Butterfly – Heats

Women's 200m Individual Medley – Heats

Women's 1500m Freestyle – Heats

Date and Time: Tue 27 July 10:30 – 12:25

Venues: Tokyo Aquatics Centre

Women's 200m Freestyle Semifinals

Men's 200m Freestyle Final

Women's 100m Backstroke Final

Men's 100m Backstroke Final

Men's 200m Freestyle Victory Ceremony

Women's 100m Breaststroke Final

Women's 100m Backstroke Victory Ceremony

Men's 200m Butterfly Semifinals

Men's 100m Backstroke Victory Ceremony

Women's 200m Individual Medley Semifinals

Women's 100m Breaststroke Victory Ceremony

Date and Time: Tue 27 July 19:00 – 21:30

Venues: Tokyo Aquatics Centre

Men's 100m Freestyle – Heats

Women's 200m Butterfly – Heats

Men's 200m Breaststroke – Heats

Men's 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay – Heats

Men's 800m Freestyle – Heats

Date and Time: Wed 28 July 10:30 – 13:05

Venues: Tokyo Aquatics Centre

Men's 100m Freestyle Semifinals

Women's 200m Freestyle Final

Men's 200m Butterfly Final

Women's 200m Butterfly Semifinals

Women's 200m Freestyle Victory Ceremony

Men's 200m Breaststroke Semifinals

Men's 200m Butterfly Victory Ceremony

Women's 200m Individual Medley Final

Women's 1500m Freestyle Final

Women's 200m Individual Medley Victory Ceremony

Men's 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay Final

Women's 1500m Freestyle Victory Ceremony

Men's 4 x 200m Freestyle Victory Ceremony

Date and Time: Wed 28 July 19:00 – 21:30

Venues: Tokyo Aquatics Centre

Women's 100m Freestyle – Heats

Men's 200m Backstroke – Heats

Women's 200m Breaststroke – Heats

Men's 200m Individual Medley – Heats

Women's 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay – Heats

Date and Time: Thu 29 July 10:30 – 13:10

Venues: Tokyo Aquatics Centre

Men's 800m Freestyle Final

Men's 200m Breaststroke Final

Women's 100m Freestyle Semifinals

Men's 200m Backstroke Semifinals

Men's 800m Freestyle Victory Ceremony

Women's 200m Butterfly Final

Men's 100m Freestyle Final

Men's 200m Breaststroke Victory Ceremony

Women's 200m Breaststroke Semifinals

Men's 200m Individual Medley Semifinals

Women's 200m Butterfly Victory Ceremony

Women's 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay Final

Men's 100m Freestyle Victory Ceremony

Women's 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay Victory Ceremony

Date and Time: Thu 29 July 19:00 – 21:30

Venues: Tokyo Aquatics Centre

Women's 800m Freestyle – Heats

Men's 100m Butterfly – Heats

Women's 200m Backstroke – Heats

Mixed 4 x 100m Medley Relay – Heats

Date and Time: Fri 30 July 10:30 – 12:10

Venues: Tokyo Aquatics Centre

Men's 100m Butterfly Semifinals

Women's 200m Breaststroke Final

Men's 200m Backstroke Final

Women's 100m Freestyle Final

Women's 200m Breaststroke Victory Ceremony

Men's 200m Individual Medley Final

Men's 200m Backstroke Victory Ceremony

Women's 200m Backstroke Semifinals

Women's 100m Freestyle Victory Ceremony

Men's 200m Individual Medley Victory Ceremony

Date and Time: Fri 30 July 19:00 – 21:30

Venues: Tokyo Aquatics Centre

Men's 50m Freestyle – Heats

Women's 50m Freestyle – Heats

Men's 1500m Freestyle – Heats

Women's 4 x 100m Medley Relay – Heats

Men's 4 x 100m Medley Relay – Heat

Date and Time: Sat 31 July 10:30 – 12:20

Venues: Tokyo Aquatics Centre

Men's 100m Butterfly Final

Women's 200m Backstroke Final

Women's 800m Freestyle Final

Men's 100m Butterfly Victory Ceremony

Men's 50m Freestyle Semifinals

Women's 200m Backstroke Victory Ceremony

Women's 50m Freestyle Semifinals

Mixed 4 x 100m Medley Relay Final

Women's 800m Freestyle Victory Ceremony

Mixed 4 x 100m Medley Relay Victory Ceremony

Date and Time: Sun 1 Aug. 10:30 – 12:25

Venues: Tokyo Aquatics Centre

Men's 50m Freestyle Final

Women's 50m Freestyle Final

Men's 1500m Freestyle Final

Men's 50m Freestyle Victory Ceremony

Women's 4 x 100m Medley Relay Final

Women's 50m Freestyle Victory Ceremony

Men's 4 x 100m Medley Relay Final

Men's 1500m Freestyle Victory Ceremony

Women's 4 x 100m Medley Relay Victory Ceremony

Men's 4 x 100m Medley Relay Victory Ceremony

Olympic Swimming competition format at Tokyo 2020

Swimming will feature a total of 35 events (17 each for men and women and 1 mixed event) in the pool. This is an increase from the 32 events contested in the previous Olympic Games at Rio.

Another change will see the introduction of morning and afternoon segments, meaning that heats, semi-finals (where applicable), and finals of an event can all happen on different days.

Olympic swimming venue at Tokyo 2020

All swimming events (excluding marathon swimming) will take place at the band new Tokyo Aquatics Centre.

The state-of-the-art facility, which was opened by Rikako Ikee, is located in the Tatsumi-no-Mori Seaside Park with a 15,000-fan capacity.

Following the 2020 Olympic Games in 2021, the venue will host domestic and international swimming competitions.

By the Olympic Channel.

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