Katie Ledecky and Caeleb Dressel came into the 2021 Tokyo Games as the stars of the American swimming team. On Friday, they proved why that’s the case.
Dressel started the night off by setting a world record in the 100-meter butterfly, finishing the race at 49.45 to top his previous world record mark of 49.50. Two events later, Ledecky won her second Olympic gold medal at this year’s games and her seventh overall when she held off rival Australian Ariarne Titmus in the 800 freestyle, winning the race with a time of 8:12.57.
But the night wasn’t over for Dressel. He earned the top seed in the men’s 50 freestyle final on Saturday with a time of 21.42 and then nearly helped power the United States to a medal on the mixed 4×100 medley relay, but could only bring the team up from eighth to fifth on the final 100 meters. Great Britain, China and Australia took home the three medals. American Abbey Weitzeil also clinched a spot in the women’s 50 freestyle when she placed second in the second semifinal of the race.
Canada’s Kylie Masse picked up her second silver medal at the Olympics, as she finished second in the women’s 200 backstroke behind Australian Kaylee McKeown (who also previously came away with the top spot in the 100 backstroke).
Sporting News provided live updates and highlights from each event during the seventh day of Olympic swimming finals.
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Olympics swimming results
|9:30 p.m.||Men’s 100 Butterfly (Final)||Caeleb Dressel (United States)||Kristof Milak (Hungary)||Noe Ponti (Switzerland)|
|9:37 p.m.||Women’s 200 Backstroke (Final)||Kaylee McKeown (Australia)||Kylie Masse (Canada)||Emily Seebohm (Australia)|
|9:46 p.m.||Women’s 800 Freestyle (Final)||Katie Ledecky (United States)||Ariarne Titmus (Australia)||Simona Quadarella (Italy)|
|10:11 p.m.||Men’s 50 Freestyle (Semifinal 1)||Florent Manaudou (France)||Bruno Fratus (Brazil)||Thom de Boer (Netherlands)|
|10:16 p.m.||Men’s 50 Freestyle (Semifinal 2)||Caeleb Dressel (United States)||Kristian Gkolomeev (Greece)||Benjamin Proud (Great Britain)/Michael Andrew (United States)|
|10:32 p.m.||Women’s 50 Freestyle (Semifinal 1)||Pernille Blume (Denmark)||Sarah Sjoestroem (Sweden)||Ranomi Kromowidjojo (Netherlands)|
|10:37 p.m.||Women’s 50 Freestyle (Semifinal 2)||Emma McKeon (Australia)||Abbey Weitzeil (United States)||Katarzyna Wasick (Poland)|
|10:43 p.m.||Mixed 4×100 Medley Relay (Final)||Great Britain||China||Australia|
Live swimming updates, highlights from 2021 Olympics
Mixed 4×100 medley relay (final)
10:51 p.m.: Great Britain wins gold at 3:37.58 with a world record. China takes the silver (3:38.86) and Australia (3:38.95) wins the bronze. Dressel swims the United States up to fifth place at 3:40.58.
10:50 p.m.: Dressel will swim with the United States in eighth place.
10:50 p.m.: The U.S. down to seventh with 150 meters left.
10:49 p.m.: Lydia Jacoby’s goggles have fallen off during the breaststroke and the U.S. falls down to sixth at the halfway point. Italy leads the field.
10:48 p.m.: The U.S. takes the lead with Murphy swimming the backstroke after the first 100 at 52.23 in a tie with Italy.
10:44 p.m.: Time for the first mixed event in Olympic swimming history. The U.S. will send out Ryan Murphy on backstroke, Lydia Jacoby on breaststroke, Torri Huske on butterfly and Caeleb Dressel on freestyle.
Women’s 50 freestyle (semifinal 2)
10:41 p.m.: Weitzeil will swim as the fourth seed in the 50 free final on Saturday. Manuel misses the final.
10:40 p.m.: Australia’s Emma McKeon finishes first at 24.00 for an Olympic record. Weitzeil finishes second at 24.19 and Poland’s Katarzyna Wasick places third at 24.19. Simone Manuel is tied for sixth at 24.63.
10:39 p.m.: Two American women competing in this with Abbey Weitzeil and Simone Manuel racing in Lanes 6 and 7.
Women’s 50 freestyle (semifinal 1)
10:34 p.m.: Denmark’s Pernille Blume wins the first semifinal with a time of 24.08. Sweden’s Sarah Sjoestroem takes the second spot at 24.13 and Netherlands’ Ranomi Kromowidjojo finishes third at 24.29.
Men’s 50 freestyle (semifinal 2)
10:21 p.m.: Dressel earns the top seed in the 50 freestyle final on Saturday. Andrew will also qualify as he and Proud are tied for the fifth seed.
10:19 p.m.: Caeleb Dressel wins the second semifinal easily with a time of 21.42. Greece’s Kristian Gkolomeev finishes second at 21.60 and, in a tie for third, Great Britain’s Benjamin Proud and U.S.’s Michael Andrew finish at 21.67.
Men’s 50 freestyle (semifinal 1)
10:14 p.m.: Manaudou finishes first at 21.53 with Brazil’s Bruno Fratus second at 21.60 and Netherlands’ Thom de Boer third at 21.78.
10:14 p.m.: France’s Florent Manaudou wins the first heat of the 50 freestyle after leading the entire race.
Women’s 800 freestyle (final)
9:59 p.m.: Ledecky takes the gold at 8:12.57, Titmus finishes with the silver at 8:13.83 and Quadarella wins bronze at 8:18.35. Grimes places fourth at 8:19.38.
9:57 p.m.: Italy’s Simona Quadarella wins the bronze.
9:57 p.m.: Ledecky has won the gold medal in the 800 freestyle. Titmus will take silver.
9:56 p.m.: Ledecky is starting to pull away here with one last lap. She is up 2.43 seconds over Titmus.
9:55 p.m.: With four more lengths to go, Ledecky leads over Titmus by 1.72 seconds.
9:53 p.m.: Ledecky is now up by about a body length on Titmus — 1.22 seconds — halfway through the race.
9:51 p.m.: Ledecky’s lead is now up over a second at 1.08 ahead of Titmus through 250.
9:51 p.m.: Through 200 meters, Ledecky leads Titmus by 0.95 seconds.
9:50 p.m.: The top three remains the same at the end of the first 100.
9:49 p.m.: Ledecky finishes the first 50 just ahead of Titmus and Grimes.
9:44 p.m.: Katie Ledecky broke onto the world stage with a win in the 800 freestyle in the 2012 London Games. She won it again in 2016, when she set the world and Olympic records. She’s set to go for her third straight Olympic gold in the race as she swims from the fourth lane. American teammate Katie Grimes, a 15-year-old distance swimmer, takes the fifth lane as the second seed.
Women’s 200 backstroke (final)
9:42 p.m.: McKeown powers home for the gold at 2:04.68. Masse takes silver at 2:05.42 and Australian Emily Seebohm takes the bronze at 2:06.17. White finishes fourth at 2:06.39 and Bacon finishes fifth at 2:06.40. McKeown has now swept the women’s backstroke events.
9:41 p.m.: Masse holding onto the lead with 50 meters left to go. McKeown and Bacon are in second and third.
9:41 p.m.: Masse and McKeown still in first and second, but Bacon moves up to third.
9:40 p.m.: Masse leads the field at 29.30 after the first 50 with Australian Kaylee McKeown in second and White in third.
9:39 p.m.: Masse with the quickest reaction time at 0.54 second.
9:38 p.m.: There will be two Americans and two Canadians swimming for gold in the women’s 200 backstroke: Phoebe Bacon and Rhyan White (USA); Kylie Masse and Taylor Ruck (Canada). Bacon will swim in lane five and White will be in lane three. Masse will swim in lane six and Ruck will swim in Lane 1.
Men’s 100 butterfly (final)
9:34 p.m.: Milak comes in second at 49.68 and Switzerland’s Noe Ponti is third at 50.74.
9:34 p.m.: It’s a new world record for Dressel and his third Olympic gold medal of the race. 49.45 from the American.
9:33 p.m.: Dressel hits the wall first at 23 seconds. Kristof Milak is second behind him.
9:33 p.m.: Dressel is the quickest off the wall at 0.60.
9:30 p.m.: This will be the first of three events for Caeleb Dressel to swim tonight. He has the chance to leave today with two gold medals and a spot in the final in the 50 freestyle tomorrow.
Caeleb Dressel anchors US mixed medley relay, so he has three swims in 80 minutes. Struggling to think of another swimmer who tripled at an Olympics. Phelps never did. Dressel has done it at worlds.
9:30pm ET 100 butterfly final
10:16 50 free semis
10:43 Mixed medley relay
— Nick Zaccardi (@nzaccardi) July 31, 2021
Olympics swimming schedule 2021
With the exception of July 31, each day will begin with heats starting at 6 a.m. ET and will end with finals races starting up at 9:30 p.m. ET each day. The USA Network will carry the heats in the United States and NBC will have the finals, while CBC will provide coverage of both events in Canada.
Those in the United States hoping to see replays of the qualifying heats can tune into NBC every afternoon to see how swimmers performed earlier in the morning.
Friday, July 30
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Saturday, July 31
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