Home Swimming

Tokyo Olympics: Who will rule swimming after Michael Phelps? 5 swimmers to watch out for

With Michael Phelps not being in the picture for Tokyo Olympics, here are the top 5 swimmers to watch out for this year. With record-breaking times and accolades, let us take a look at those who stand a chance to rewrite history.


Swimming is one of the most anticipated events in the Olympics. As Japan gears up to hold the Olympic swimming events at the Tokyo Aquatic Centre, there are many speculations about who will rule swimming this year. While the final list of swimmers qualified for the Tokyo Olympics is yet to be finalised, some swimmers have garnered quite a bit of attention and stood out with their performances in the last few years.

With Michael Phelps, the reigning Olympic champion out of the picture, let us take a look at who will rule the swimming pool, in the Tokyo Olympics.

The top 5 swimmers to watch out for in the Tokyo Olympics –

5) Sun Yang – China

Sun Yang

The Chinese swimmer who made his debut in the 2008 Beijing Olympics has 3 Olympic gold medals, 2 silver and 1 bronze medal. While there is a lot of controversy regarding his qualification for the Olympics this year due to the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) ban for his involvement in a doping incident, there is no denying that he is one of the most skilled swimmers.

Being the first Chinese man to win a gold medal in swimming, the 29-year old specializes in freestyle stroke. After winning multiple gold medals in the World Championships, he would be a strong competitor in the Tokyo Olympics, should the ban on him be lifted.

4) Daiya Seto – Japan

Daiya Seto

The Japanese swimmer who specializes in the individual medley, butterfly, breaststroke, and freestyle stroke won the bronze medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics in the 400m individual medley race. The 27-year old, who broke the record with his performance in the 200m and 400m individual medley in 2020, was ranked no. 1 in three events in 2019 and 2020. Representing his nation in his home Olympics gives him an edge over the others, as he aims to achieve his childhood dream of being an Olympian.

3) Gregorio Paltrinieri – Italy

Gregorio Paltrinieri

The 26-year-old Italian swimmer who initially specialized in breaststroke and later converted to freestyle made his 1st Olympic debut in the 2012 Olympics. He won a gold medal in the 1500m freestyle event in the 2016 Rio Olympics. He also won 2012, 2014, and 2016 European Aquatics Championship in the 1500m freestyle event.

At the 2021 European Championships where Gregorio Paltrinieri won the gold medal in the 5km, 10 km team race swimming event while silver in 800m and 1500m. He holds a good chance of winning gold at the Tokyo Olympics.

2) Adam Peaty – Great Britain

Adam Peaty

The British swimmer Adam Peaty specializes in breaststroke and has won multiple gold medals in the European Championships. The 26-year old who won the gold medal in the 100m breaststroke event in the 2016 Rio Olympics, has proven time and again that he is unbeatable in breaststroke. In the 2020 International Swimming League, he broke the world record in the short course 100m breaststroke in the semi-final and then beat his own record at the final with a time of 55.41 seconds. With these achievements under his belt, he is sure to be a top contender in the Tokyo Olympics.  

1) Caeleb Dressel – United States of America

Caeleb Dressel

Hailing from the same country as Michael Phelps, the 24-year old Caeleb Dressel is well on his way to becoming one of the most decorated swimmers in history. The American swimmer who won the gold medal in the 4x100m medley and 4x100m freestyle event specializes in the freestyle and butterfly stroke. Dressel showed that he is good form in the International Swimming League in 2020 as broke the world record for the 100m butterfly and 50m freestyle event. He was also the first swimmer to complete the individual medley in less than 50 seconds. Being in his prime age, he will prove to be a tough contender in the Tokyo Olympics.

Also Read : 10 Biggest Medal Prospects for India at Tokyo Olympics

Also Read : Summer Olympics: Top 10 countries with most medals in Olympic Games