Swimming at the 2020 Summer Olympics

Dates 24 July – 1 August 2021
Medal Events 35

The swimming events took place at the Olympic Aquatics Centre in Tatsumi-no-Mori Seaside Park in Tokyo, which was specially built for the 2020 Olympics and opened early in 2020. The Tokyo 2020 Olympics were notable for a man who was not competing, as these would be the first Olympics since 1996 without Michael Phelps, the most dominant swimmer of all-time.

The program had changed slightly since 2016, as the 1,500 metre freestyle was added for women, and the men added the 800 metre freestyle. A mixed 4 x 100 metre medley relay, which had been contested at the World Championships since 2015, was also added.

Australia and the United States have often been the dominant nations in Olympic swimming and that continued at Tokyo. Australia especially shone on the women’s side, winning 8 gold medals, and 13 medals, although the American women won more medals with 18, but only won three events. The USA men won 12 medals and 8 events, and overall, the United States led Australia in gold medals, 11-9, and medals won, 30-20. Behind Australia and the US, Great Britain had its best ever swimming Olympics with 8 medals and 4 golds.

The most dominant swimmers of the Tokyo Olympics came from these same two countries. Australia’s Emma McKeon won seven medals, with four gold medals. McKeon’s seven medals at one Olympics matched the all-time record for women set in 1952 by Soviet gymnast Mariya Gorokhovskaya. For the men, USA sprinter Caeleb Dressel won five gold medals, the most ever by a male swimmer not named Michael Phelps or Mark Spitz, and equalling Matt Biondi’s haul from Seoul in 1988.

Behind McKeon and Dressel, four swimmers won four medals, led by Australia’s Kaylee McKeown, with three gold medals. Also winning four medals, along with two gold medals, were American Katie Ledecky, Australian Ariarne Titmus, and China’s Zhang Yufei, with Great Britain’s Duncan Scott also winning four medals, with a single gold.

Only two individual world records were set in Tokyo, as Caeleb Dressel won the 100 metre butterfly in 49.45 to better his own mark from the 2019 World Championships, and South Africa’s Tatjana Schoenmaker won the 200 metre breaststroke in 2:18.95, bettering the mark of 2:19.11 set by Denmark’s Rikke Møller Pedersen at the 2013 World Championships. There were also four world records set in relays at Tokyo.

Events

Event Status Date Participants NOCs
50 metres Freestyle, Men Olympic 30 July – 1 August 2021 73 66
100 metres Freestyle, Men Olympic 27 – 29 July 2021 70 62
200 metres Freestyle, Men Olympic 25 – 27 July 2021 39 30
400 metres Freestyle, Men Olympic 24 – 25 July 2021 36 31
800 metres Freestyle, Men Olympic 27 – 29 July 2021 33 28
1,500 metres Freestyle, Men Olympic 30 July – 1 August 2021 28 20
4 x 100 metres Freestyle Relay, Men Olympic 25 – 26 July 2021 70 16
4 x 200 metres Freestyle Relay, Men Olympic 27 – 28 July 2021 73 16
100 metres Backstroke, Men Olympic 25 – 27 July 2021 41 30
200 metres Backstroke, Men Olympic 28 – 30 July 2021 29 23
100 metres Breaststroke, Men Olympic 24 – 26 July 2021 49 38
200 metres Breaststroke, Men Olympic 27 July – 1 August 2021 40 34
100 metres Butterfly, Men Olympic 29 – 31 July 2021 56 45
200 metres Butterfly, Men Olympic 26 – 28 July 2021 38 30
200 metres Individual Medley, Men Olympic 28 – 30 July 2021 45 33
400 metres Individual Medley, Men Olympic 24 – 25 July 2021 29 23
4 x 100 metres Medley Relay, Men Olympic 30 July – 1 August 2021 74 16
50 metres Freestyle, Women Olympic 30 July – 1 August 2021 81 73
100 metres Freestyle, Women Olympic 28 – 30 July 2021 51 42
200 metres Freestyle, Women Olympic 26 – 28 July 2021 29 23
400 metres Freestyle, Women Olympic 25 – 26 July 2021 26 19
800 metres Freestyle, Women Olympic 29 – 31 July 2021 30 22
1,500 metres Freestyle, Women Olympic 26 – 28 July 2021 33 22
4 x 100 metres Freestyle Relay, Women Olympic 24 – 25 July 2021 68 15
4 x 200 metres Freestyle Relay, Women Olympic 28 – 29 July 2021 72 15
100 metres Backstroke, Women Olympic 25 – 27 July 2021 41 34
200 metres Backstroke, Women Olympic 30 – 31 July 2021 27 22
100 metres Breaststroke, Women Olympic 25 – 27 July 2021 45 38
200 metres Breaststroke, Women Olympic 28 – 30 July 2021 31 24
100 metres Butterfly, Women Olympic 26 – 28 July 2021 33 27
200 metres Butterfly, Women Olympic 27 – 29 July 2021 16 13
200 metres Individual Medley, Women Olympic 26 – 28 July 2021 27 20
400 metres Individual Medley, Women Olympic 24 – 25 July 2021 17 13
4 x 100 metres Medley Relay, Women Olympic 30 July – 1 August 2021 79 16
4 x 100 metres Medley Relay, Mixed Olympic 29 – 31 July 2021 76 16
875 (477/398) 182 (176/158)

Medals

Event Gold Silver Bronze
50 metres Freestyle, Men Caeleb DresselUSA Florent ManaudouFRA Bruno FratusBRA
100 metres Freestyle, Men Caeleb DresselUSA Kyle ChalmersAUS Kliment KolesnikovROC
200 metres Freestyle, Men Tom DeanGBR Duncan ScottGBR Fernando SchefferBRA
400 metres Freestyle, Men Ahmed HafnaouiTUN Jack McLoughlinAUS Kieran SmithUSA
800 metres Freestyle, Men Robert FinkeUSA Gregorio PaltrinieriITA Mykhailo RomanchukUKR
1,500 metres Freestyle, Men Robert FinkeUSA Mykhailo RomanchukUKR Florian WellbrockGER
4 × 100 metres Freestyle Relay, Men United StatesUSA ItalyITA AustraliaAUS
4 × 200 metres Freestyle Relay, Men Great BritainGBR Russian Olympic CommitteeROC AustraliaAUS
100 metres Backstroke, Men Yevgeny RylovROC Kliment KolesnikovROC Ryan MurphyUSA
200 metres Backstroke, Men Yevgeny RylovROC Ryan MurphyUSA Luke GreenbankGBR
100 metres Breaststroke, Men Adam PeatyGBR Arno KammingaNED Nicolò MartinenghiITA
200 metres Breaststroke, Men Zac Stubblety-CookAUS Arno KammingaNED Matti MattssonFIN
100 metres Butterfly, Men Caeleb DresselUSA Kristóf MilákHUN Noè PontiSUI
200 metres Butterfly, Men Kristóf MilákHUN Tomoru HondaJPN Federico BurdissoITA
200 metres Individual Medley, Men Wang ShunCHN Duncan ScottGBR Jérémy DesplanchesSUI
400 metres Individual Medley, Men Chase KaliszUSA Jay LitherlandUSA Brendon SmithAUS
4 × 100 metres Medley Relay, Men United StatesUSA Great BritainGBR ItalyITA
50 metres Freestyle, Women Emma McKeonAUS Sarah SjöströmSWE Pernille BlumeDEN
100 metres Freestyle, Women Emma McKeonAUS Siobhán HaugheyHKG Cate CampbellAUS
200 metres Freestyle, Women Ariarne TitmusAUS Siobhán HaugheyHKG Penny OleksiakCAN
400 metres Freestyle, Women Ariarne TitmusAUS Katie LedeckyUSA Li BingjieCHN
800 metres Freestyle, Women Katie LedeckyUSA Ariarne TitmusAUS Simona QuadarellaITA
1,500 metres Freestyle, Women Katie LedeckyUSA Erica SullivanUSA Sarah KöhlerGER
4 × 100 metres Freestyle Relay, Women AustraliaAUS CanadaCAN United StatesUSA
4 × 200 metres Freestyle Relay, Women People's Republic of ChinaCHN United StatesUSA AustraliaAUS
100 metres Backstroke, Women Kaylee McKeownAUS Kylie MasseCAN Regan SmithUSA
200 metres Backstroke, Women Kaylee McKeownAUS Kylie MasseCAN Emily SeebohmAUS
100 metres Breaststroke, Women Lydia JacobyUSA Tatjana SchoenmakerRSA Lilly KingUSA
200 metres Breaststroke, Women Tatjana SchoenmakerRSA Lilly KingUSA Annie LazorUSA
100 metres Butterfly, Women Maggie Mac NeilCAN Zhang YufeiCHN Emma McKeonAUS
200 metres Butterfly, Women Zhang YufeiCHN Regan SmithUSA Hali FlickingerUSA
200 metres Individual Medley, Women Yui OhashiJPN Alex WalshUSA Kate DouglassUSA
400 metres Individual Medley, Women Yui OhashiJPN Emma WeyantUSA Hali FlickingerUSA
4 × 100 metres Medley Relay, Women AustraliaAUS United StatesUSA CanadaCAN
4 × 100 metres Medley Relay, Mixed Great BritainGBR People's Republic of ChinaCHN AustraliaAUS

Medal table

NOC Gold Silver Bronze Total
United States USA 11 10 9 30
Australia AUS 9 3 8 20
Great Britain GBR 4 3 1 8
People's Republic of China CHN 3 2 1 6
Russian Olympic Committee ROC 2 2 1 5
Japan JPN 2 1 0 3
Canada CAN 1 3 2 6
Hungary HUN 1 1 0 2
South Africa RSA 1 1 0 2
Tunisia TUN 1 0 0 1
Italy ITA 0 2 4 6
Hong Kong, China HKG 0 2 0 2
Netherlands NED 0 2 0 2
Ukraine UKR 0 1 1 2
France FRA 0 1 0 1
Sweden SWE 0 1 0 1
Brazil BRA 0 0 2 2
Germany GER 0 0 2 2
Switzerland SUI 0 0 2 2
Denmark DEN 0 0 1 1
Finland FIN 0 0 1 1