Swimming at Tokyo Olympics: The Conclusion; How Did Australia vs USA Rivalry Fare?

Swimming at Tokyo Olympics: The Conclusion; How Did Australia vs USA Rivalry Fare?

Swimming at Tokyo Olympics

Swimming at the Tokyo Olympics came to and end on day 9, after many electrifying matches. Swimming was held at the Tokyo Aquatics centre from 23rd July to 1st August. It saw the debut of several new and talented swimmers and it was the swan song for many others. With Michael Phelps retiring, the US was hoping to maintain its dominance in the field, while Australia’s new program had hopes of improving from their previous disappointing Olympics.

One of the most memorable Olympics for several swimmers, it saw the debut of women’s 1500m freestyle, men’s 800m freestyle and the 4x100m mixed medley relay events. The athletes were on point, and the races saw a total of 11 Olympic Records and 6 world records being broken, amongst certainly one of the most highly talented fields in swimming at Tokyo Olympics.

USA had won 33 medals at the Rio Olympics, of which a whopping 16 were gold. Australia had its worst performance 5 years ago, winning only 10 medals of which 3 were gold. The preparations were on for Tokyo Olympics, and it saw the rise of some of the best swimmers in the world, with intense rivalries in the pool.

USA Retains its Glory in Swimming at Tokyo Olympics; Veterans like Caeleb Dressel and Katie Ledecky Shine

Swimming at Tokyo Olympics
Swimming at Tokyo Olympics; USA veterans

USA had a fantastic showing at the Tokyo Olympics, winning an overall 30 medals, 11 of which were gold. The men took home 8 golds for country, while the women picked up 3 gold medals.

United States of America3011109

Tokyo was a shining point for the veterans of USA, with Caeleb Dressel and Katie Ledecky stealing the show. Dressel took golds in the 50m and 100m freestyle after a Herculean effort, and broke both the Olympic records in the process. But that was not all, as he was fired up for the 100m butterfly, breaking the world record along with another gold in his bag. Robert Finke was no less, taking 2 gold medals in the 800m and 1500m freestyle.

Chase Kalisz picked up a gold in the 400m individual medley, while the USA team shined in relay races. They took gold in the 4x100m freestyle relay. The last race of swimming at Tokyo Olympics, the 4x100m medley relay was the most memorable of them all, as USA took gold and shattered the world record in the process.

Katie Ledecky had a wonderful run, and she took home an overall 4 medals, 2 silver and 2 gold. Ledecky known for her long distance freestyle swimming, delivered, winning golds in the 800m and 1500m freestyle. Lydia Jackoby took the gold in 100m backstroke, and the US women’s team took home 2 silver medals.

The likes of Ryan Murphy, Lilly King, Zac Apple, Regan Smith and others took home several medals adding to their medal tally.

The Start of a New Era for Swimming in Australia; Ariarne Titmus and Emma McKeon lead a young squad

Swimming at Tokyo Olympics
Swimming at Tokyo Olympics; Australia’s women shine

Australia turned over a new leaf at the Tokyo Olympics, redeeming themselves from the disaster at the Rio Olympics. The team doubled their medal tally, winning a total of 20 medals, of which 9 were gold.


The Australian women absolutely dominated the pool, taking home the chunk of the medals. Ariarne Titmus won 2 gold medals in the 200m and 400m freestyle and broke Olympic record in the latter. The competition between the Titmus and Ledecky was intense, and Titmus dethroned Ledecky in the freestyle events in a fierce race. Emma McKeon added to her achievements as she broke the Olympic record while taking gold in the 100m and 200m freestyle event.

Kaylee McKeown was the third Australian woman to pick up 2 individual gold medals, in the 100m backstroke (OR) and the 200m backstroke. The Australian women’s team took home two golds in the 4x100m freestyle relay and the 4x100m medley relay. They were also the bronze medal winners in the mixed medley relay.

The men’s side brought home six medals, with Izaac Stubblety-Cook bringing home the lone gold medal for the men in the 200m breaststroke while breaking Olympic record. The likes of Kyle Chalmers, Emily Seebohm, Cate Campbell and Matthew Temple also added to the medal tally.

The Rise of Great Britain, Italy, China, Japan and other Countries in Swimming at Tokyo Olympics

Swimming at Tokyo Olympics
Swimming at Tokyo Olympics

The Tokyo Olympics also saw the rise of several other countries, with memorable medals and world records in several events. Great Britain had a wonderful showing, with a total of 8 medals, 4 gold, 3 silver and 1 bronze. Thomas Dean and Duncan Scott took home a gold and silver in the 200m freestyle, while Adam Peaty dominated in the 100m breaststroke. The biggest gold medal surprise came in the men’s 4x200m freestyle relay, where Great Britain clinched gold over ROC and Australia. They bagged their last gold medal in the 4x100m mixed medley relay.

China had an exceptional performance in swimming at Tokyo Olympics, finishing with 3 gold medals, 2 silver medals and 1 bronze medal. Wang Shun of China took home a gold in the 200m individual medley, while Yufei Zhang shined on the women’s side. She broke the Olympic record as she won the 200m butterfly and took a silver in the 100m butterfly. Their big moment came when the women won the 4x200m freestyle relay and broke the world record, inching out both Australia and USA.

Italy and Canada took home 6 medals each, and Canada’s Maggie Mac Niel took gold in the 100m butterfly. ROC had a total haul of 5 medals, and Evgeny Rylov took home a double gold in the 100m and 200m backstroke. Japan also won 2 gold medals, with Yui Ohashi winning a double gold in the women’s 200m and 400m individual medley.

Netherland’s Arno Kamminga also had a good showing, taking home 2 silver medals in the 100m and 200m breaststroke. Hungary’s Kristof Milak took home one gold and one silver in the 200m butterfly and 100m butterfly respectively. Tatjana Scheonmaker of South Africa shined as she set a world record in the 200m breaststroke, winning a gold medal. Countries like Tunisia, Ukraine and Hong Kong also had a good showing at the Olympics.

Final Medal tally and Winners in Swimming at Tokyo Olympics

Here is the top 10 of the final medal tally for swimming at Tokyo Olympics, with USA topping the tally, and Australia a close second.

CountryMedal count
Great Britain8
South Africa2

Also read: