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Swimming Day 9 roundup: Dressel and McKeon chase history

Swimming Day 9 roundup: Dressel and McKeon chase history
Posted at 7:05 PM, Jul 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-31 21:46:40-04

After eight days of memorable action from the Tokyo Aquatics Center, the Tokyo Olympics swimming competition comes to a close with the last session of finals Sunday.

But not before Caeleb Dressel puts on one last show. 

Having already amassed three gold medals in the 4x100m freestyle relay, 100m freestyle and 100m butterfly (in which he set a world record), Dressel looks to up his total to five in the 50m freestyle and 4x100m medley relays. He would become the first Olympian not named Michael Phelps to win five gold medals at a single Games since 1988.

Australia's Emma McKeon also has history on the line. Should she place top three in both the women's 50 free and medley relay, she would join Soviet gymnast Maria Gorokhovskaya as just the second woman to win seven medals at single Olympics.

The other big story: can American Bobby Finke, surprise gold medalist in the 800 free, complete the distance double in the men's 1500?

Watch the action LIVE in primetime on NBC beginning at 9:30 p.m. ET or stream the entire session LIVE on NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app.

Men's 50m Freestyle, Final

RESULT

Caeleb Dressel made good on every bit of his potential as an individual swimmer in Tokyo, winning the men's 50m freestyle to complete a three-for-three performance in his solo Olympic events.

Dressel swam the single length of the pool in 20.07, an Olympic record.

A pair of veterans followed Dressel for silver and bronze, 30-year-old Florent Manaudou of France and 32-year-old Brazilian Bruno Fratus. American Michael Andrew finished fourth.

Manadou's silver came .48 behind Dressel, a significant margin for the quickest of all swimming events.

Dressel has the potential for another medal, potentially another gold, later in the night in the men's 4x100m medley relay. Dressel will swim the butterfly leg.

Women's 50m Freestyle, Final

START LIST

Emma McKeon outran a loaded field which included 28 combined Olympic medals across all eight participants.

McKeon touched first in 23.81, an Olympic record. She won her third gold medal and her sixth total medal of the Tokyo Games. She will race for Australia in the women's medley relay.

Sweden's Sarah Sjostrom took silver for her first medal in Tokyo and fourth Olympic medal of her career.

Denmark's Pernille Blume, the Rio 2016 gold medalist in the event, took bronze. 

American Abbey Weitzeil finished eighth in the final.

Men's 1500m Freestyle, Final

START LIST

From the two fastest events to one of the two slowest.

Finke, the American, is positioned well to potentially double up on distance gold after winning the 800 free earlier in the week.

Gregorio Paltrinieri, the Rio 2016 Olympic champion, will race right beside Finke in Lane Six.

Women 4x100m Medley Relay, Final

START LIST

The first of two medley relays to close out the Games is likely a three-team contest between Canada, the United States and Australia.

Canada fielded the strongest lineup of the three in prelims, leaving room for improvement for the other two teams who have Olympic medalists waiting in the wings.

Men's 4x100m Medley Relay, Final

START LIST

If the U.S. squad is going to help get Caeleb Dressel another gold medal in the last event in Tokyo, they're going to have to do so from Lane Eight after a lackluster performance in the heats.

Of course, those heats did not include Dressel, who has been saved for the final. Even with him, though, it will be a tall order for the Americans to vault six other nations for gold.

Great Britain, with X-factor breaststroke swimmer Adam Peaty, are the favorites for gold.

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