(★ Friends: The new bill for server and support costs has arrived. If you would like to support our coverage, please donate here. Your enthusiasm is the reason this site continues. Thank you. ★)
The penultimate day of the U.S. Olympic Trials in Omaha showcased the two superstars of the American team for Tokyo: Caeleb Dressel and Katie Ledecky.
Dressel left no doubt in his first event, the men’s 100 m Butterfly final, storming to a win by more than a second in 49.87 over Tom Shields (51.19) and Luca Urlando (51.19). Not quite as fast as his world-leading 49.76 in the semis, but still the no. 5 performance in history. Dressel now owns eight of the top 11 times in this event ever.
He then had the 50 m Freestyle semifinals 37 minutes later, and watched Michael Andrew dominate the first race, winning in 21.55 – no. 3 in the world for 2021 – trailed by Bowe Becker (21.83).
Dressel and 2012 Olympic 100 m Free champ Nathan Adrian – now 32 – were next to each other in semi two, with Dressel taking the lead at about 20 m and won by daylight in 21.51, making him no. 3 for 2021, with Adrian out-dueling Michael Chadwick for second, 21.78 to 22.01. Dressel is well positioned for win no. 3 tomorrow night, but can veteran Adrian out-swim newcomer Andrew for second?
There was no doubt that Katie Ledecky was going to win in the women’s 800 m Freestyle. And she delivered in 8:14.62 for her fourth win, with the second-fastest time of the season (she’s already the world leader). The race for the second spot was tight between open-water star Haley Anderson and 15-year-old Katie Grimes, who scored a huge lifetime best of 8:20.36 to get second, with Anderson at 8:20.51. Grimes is now no. 5 in the world for 2021.
Rhyan White finished second to Regan Smith in the women’s 100 m Backstroke, but got to the touch first in the women’s 200 m Backstroke final in 2:05.73, no. 3 in the world for 2021. Smith – the world-record holder in the event – got out in front and led at 150 m, but White passed her on the final lap as did Phoebe Bacon, who got second by 2:06.46-2:06.79, the nos. 4-5 performers on the year list. But Smith will not be swimming this event in Tokyo.
The winner of the men’s 800 m Freestyle – Bobby Finke – led the men’s 1,500 m Freestyle heats in the morning in 15:04.66, ahead of 400 m Free runner-up Michael Brinegar (15:07.93) and open-water star Jordan Wilimovsky (15:14.67). The final is Sunday.
In the women’s 50 m Freestyle, Rio co-100 m champ Simone Manuel had the second-fastest time in the morning heats, then won the first race, out-touching Erika Brown, 24.50-24.57 with Catie Deloof third in 24.68. Manuel will be the sentimental favorite for tomorrow.
Heats leader Abbey Weitzeil won the second semi in 24.27, no. 9 on the 2021 world list, just ahead of Torri Huske (24.45).
Only three events on the final night of the Trials tomorrow: the men’s and women’s 50 m Freestyles and the men’s 1,500 m Freestyle.
You can receive our exclusive TSX Report by e-mail by clicking here. You can also refer a friend by clicking here, and can donate here to keep this site going.
For our 649-event International Sports Calendar for 2021 and beyond, by date and by sport, click here!