U.S. swimmers received extra medals on the Tokyo Olympics than the ones from every other united states through far: Thirty. (For reference, there are 111 swimming medals given out in 37 events.) However, a few have been questioning if American swimmers have been dropping their dominance withinside the sport.
Michael Phelps Medals – Hold my beer, stated Caeleb Dressel, who received gold and set a brand new Olympic file of 21:07 withinside the 50-meter freestyle and set an international file withinside the 100-meter butterfly (49.45) and an Olympic file withinside the 100-meter freestyle in his 2nd Olympics. He turned into additionally a part of the gold-medal-triumphing 4×100 freestyle and 4×100 medley relay groups (the latter additionally set an international file) Michael Phelps Medals. His emotional responses to his wins and facts have been a touching sight given the strain such a lot of athletes were below for the last, unsure year.
And we noticed Katie Ledecky win a first rate 1/3 immediately gold medal withinside the 800-meter freestyle and promise us she could vie for extra in 2024 and perhaps in 2028. She toiled quietly withinside the shadow of different American stars in her preceding Olympics however cemented her popularity as legend in Tokyo, wherein she additionally received gold withinside the debut of the girls’ 1,500-meter freestyle.
Jae C. Hong/Associated Press – Michael Phelps Medals
Still, simply eleven of the Americans’ 30 medals have been gold. Australia has received 20 medals; 9 have been gold. Great Britain has received 8 general medals, 4 of which have been gold. Half of China’s six medals and of Japan’s 3 were gold.
But the problem the U.S. faces withinside the water going ahead is much less one in every of strength than of supermegacelebrity strength, Ledecky and Dressel notwithstanding.
Team USA headed to Tokyo with out its largest name, Michael Phelps, who competed in 5 Olympics and retired after the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro. Phelps is the maximum adorned Olympian of all time, with 28 general medals, 23 of which can be gold. His effect and affect on American swimming are possibly unparalleled.
Also lacking turned into Ryan Lochte, a veteran of 4 Games and the 2nd-maximum adorned male American swimmer with 12 medals. Phelps and Lochte have been competitors in numerous events, raising each in their profiles. Lochte’s submitting of a fake police file in Rio overshadowed his talent withinside the water, and he didn’t make the Tokyo crew.
Matt Slocum/Associated Press – Michael Phelps Medals
In 2016, the U.S. received 33 swimming medals, sixteen of which have been gold. Five golds belonged to Phelps alone. He ruled withinside the IMs, of course, however additionally in butterfly and withinside the freestyle and medley relays. There turned into now no longer tons room atop medal podiums for different nations or different stars. The next-closest crew, Australia, had handiest 10 medals.
The 2012 London (31 American medals, sixteen gold) and 2008 Beijing (31 American medals, 12 golds, 8 of them famously belonging to Phelps) Games had performed out similarly. The American fields have been large however shallow on the top. The absence of America’s swimming stars in Tokyo left doorways open for brand new expertise each locally and across the world and for rising international locations at the pool scene, appreciably China and host united states Japan, to take a few large wins.
China’s Wang Shun crashed via one of these doorways to win gold in one in every of Phelps’ and Lochte’s signature events, one wherein the 2 stars memorably battled in 2016: The 200-meter person medley. That podium turned into freed from Americans entirely, with Great Britain’s Duncan Scott taking silver and bronze going to Jeremy Desplanches of Switzerland.
China’s girls received the 4×200-meter freestyle relay and set a brand new international file of 7:40.33, simply 4 hundredths of a 2nd beforehand of the U.S. crew. Zhang Yufei set an Olympic file of 2:03.86 in triumphing the girls’s 200-meter butterfly. China’s swimming delegation turned into smaller than it have been in current years however confirmed sizeable expertise.
After years of groups with Phelps and Lochte triumphing the 4×200-meter freestyle relay, the British guys snagged gold in that occasion, aided through Tom Dean, who had additionally received gold withinside the 200-meter free. The American guys completed off the rostrum withinside the occasion for the primary time in Olympic history, controversially with out Dressel, whose time withinside the prelims could have netted a silver medal for the U.S.
The girls’s 200-meter and 400-meter IMs belonged to Japanese swimmer Ohashi Yui, a super triumph for the Games’ host united states. She received each of Japan’s gold medals.
Eight of Australia’s 9 golds have been received through girls, a triumph after the crew floundered on the Rio Games in 2016. Ariarne Titmus received golds, withinside the 400-meter and 200-meter freestyle, chipping into Ledecky’s storied legacy, and Kaylee McKeown swept the girls’s backstroke events. Emma McKeon received each the 50-meter (23.81) and 100-meter free (51.96) with Olympic facts.
Swimming is constantly an area to peer smaller applications or people with smaller delegations make large splashes, and Tokyo turned into no exception. On the primary day of opposition withinside the pool, Tunisia’s Ahmed Hafnaoui made a spectacular, consistent benefit from lane 8 on his American and Australian competitors to win the guys’ 400-meter freestyle. South Africa’s Tatjana Schoenmaker set a international file of 2:18.ninety-five withinside the 200-meter breaststroke, scary American favorite Lilly King.
Matthias Schrader/Associated Press – Michael Phelps Medals
Team USA has many different swimmers developing the ranks who confirmed large promises in Tokyo. Chase Kalisz received gold and Jay Litherland silver withinside the 400-meter person medley. The occasion turned into previously a distinctiveness of each Phelps and Lochte, and Phelps nevertheless holds the sector file.
Lydia Jacoby, a 17-year-vintage from Seward, Alaska, received gold withinside the 100-meter breaststroke, unexpected each Schoenmaker and King, who received silver and bronze, respectively. Bobby Finke, 21, received gold withinside the 800-meter and 1,500-meter freestyle; he turned into the primary American guy to win a gold medal withinside the latter in decades.
Distance freestyler Katie Grimes, the youngest American swimmer in Tokyo at simply 15, and 100-meter butterfly expert Torri Huske, 18, narrowly neglected medaling of their events, however it’s far possibly that we’ll see them come again even more potent in 3 years in Paris.
Without the highlight on Phelps and Lochte, American swimming on the Tokyo Games may also have regarded a chunk dimmer than usual. But their absence allowed new stars to flourish from nations both coming across or rediscovering their capabilities withinside the pool, and it uncovered the intensity of the American expertise we can see over the subsequent decade.