The Opening Ceremony is in the books and the 2020 Olympic Games are officially here – albeit a year later than intended. The festival of sport that brings recognition to events and competitors that don’t usually have the spotlight is always a great time on the sporting calendar and one of the sports that garners much of the attention is swimming. Here is a look at some of the marquee events that will be taking place inside the Tokyo Olympic Aquatics Centre.
Women’s 100m Backstroke
This one should be fun. Kaylee McKeown went 57.45 seconds back in June as she set a new world record in the event. This makes here the odds on favorite at 13/20 for Olympic gold. There are, however, two serious contenders in the pool with her here as both former world record holder Regan Smith and big event swimmer – and two-time world champion – Kylie Masse have broken 58 seconds this year too.
Men’s 100m Backstroke
There are four names that stand out in this vent and realistically any of the four could win if they are at their best on the day. Evgeny Rylov (18/10) is the favorite, but expect Kliment Kolesnikov (2/1), Ryan Murphy (3/1), and Xu Jiayu (4/1) to all be factors when it comes to the sharp end of the final. Murphy is the one moving in the betting – the world-record holder cruising to 52.22 trials while seemingly completely at ease is the kind of visual any punter is looking for – while the two Russians rank first and second in the world this year in terms of best time.
Men’s 200m Freestyle
This is the event to watch – and bet on – if you are looking to get lucky from a crowded field of contenders. The top seven in the world this year are all within a second of each other in terms of time meaning that the last 50/25 meters here are set to be chaos. Duncan Scott is the favorite at 3/1 which should say all you need to know about how competitive this field actually is. Watch out for 21-year-old Brit Tom Dean who went sub-1:45 in April and appears to be peaking at just the right time.
Pick: Tom Dean at 4/1.
Women’s 50m Freestyle
Swimmings shortest event is often the hardest to pick as anyone can have a good – or terrible – start and with less than half a minute separating the start and the end of the race it really is anyone’s to win. Swede Sarah Sjostrom is the No. 1 ranked swimmer in the field but watch for Australians Emma McKeon and Cate Campbell who are the only two women to have gone sub-24 seconds this year. The biggest question is if the Aussies can break the trend of their swimmers peaking at the trials before underdelivering at the Games.
Other Swimming Picks
|Men’s 100m Breaststroke||Adam Peaty (20/1)|
|Women’s 1500m Freestyle||Katie Ledecky (1/9)|
|Men’s 400m Freestyle||Gabriele Detti (4/1)|
|Men’s 50m Freestyle||Caleb Dressel (1/7)|
|Women’s 400m Freestyle||Katie Ledecky (16/10)|