Tokyo Olympics: Peaty up and running, woe for Seto and Aussies rule in the pool

By Sports Desk July 24, 2021

Adam Peaty set an early benchmark but home hope Daiya Seto suffered a shock on a busy first day of swimming at Tokyo 2020, one that saw Australian duo Brendon Smith and Emma McKeon shine.

Peaty is aiming to become the first British swimmer to defend an Olympic title having taken gold at Rio 2016, while Seto made an inauspicious start to the Games.

Here is a round-up from Saturday's opening heats at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre.

EASY PEATY! RECORD HOLDER SAFELY THROUGH

Peaty has not been beaten in a 100m breaststroke race since 2014 and is aiming to lower his own record time of 56.88 seconds, which was set at the World Championships two years ago.

The dominant 26-year-old posted a 57.56 in a solid start to his Games, qualifying fastest ahead of Dutch rival Arno Kamminga (57.80). 

Peaty produced the eighth fastest time in history, while Kamminga set a Dutch record and is the only other swimmer who has broken 58 seconds in the event.

 

WOE FOR SETO AS SMITH STARS

These Games were meant to be about redemption for home medal hope Seto, the bronze medallist in a men's 400m individual medley race won by compatriot Kosuke Hagino four years ago.

Seto was the favourite in the race and seeking to atone after being barred last year after his involvement in an extramarital affair. He won world gold in the 400IM two years ago, but he sensationally failed to make it out of the heats at these delayed Olympics.

Seto, who returns to the pool next in the 200m butterfly on Monday, said: "It hurts and I'm frustrated at myself. It's my mistake and I have to owe up to it. What's done is done and not a whole lot I can do about it."

By contrast, it was Smith who qualified fastest, clocking a 4:09.27 to set a new Australian and Oceanic record. New Zealander Lewis Clareburt was second quickest, winning a tight third heat over 2016 silver medallist Chase Kalisz.

Smith's compatriots Elijah Winnington and Jack McLoughlin both made it through the men's 400m freestyle, with Germany's Henning Muhlleitner (3:43.67) fastest, just ahead of Austrian Felix Auboeck (3:43.91).

MCKEON, ZHANG SET THE MARK

There was more Aussie promise in the women's 100m butterfly – a seemingly wide-open event with three competitors having gone under 56 seconds this year.

McKeon – a winner of four medals in Rio, including relay gold in the 4x100m – and China's Zhang Yufei were two of those to achieve the feat and both recorded a 55.82 to top the timesheets in the heats, the former setting an Australian record for good measure.

Sarah Sjostrom, who holds the world record, was not even certain to race in this event after fracturing her elbow earlier this year, but posted an impressive 56.18 to go third quickest. The Swede was ahead of American Torri Huske (56.29), the third woman who has gone under 56 seconds this year.

Australia were also dominant in the women's 4x100m freestyle, their time of 3:31.73 almost two seconds better than the Netherlands.

Teenager Emma Weyant bettered her personal best with a 4:33.55 to comfortably post the best time in the women's 400 individual medley prelims. The 19-year-old - a winner at the U.S. Olympic trials - was almost two seconds quicker than Great Britain's Aimee Willmott (4:35.28).

Related items

  • FIU's Kelsie Campbell to compete for Jamaica at Commonwealth Games FIU's Kelsie Campbell to compete for Jamaica at Commonwealth Games

    Florida International University (FIU) swimmer Kelsie Campbell has been selected for Jamaica’s team for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England from July 28-August 8.

    “Happy to announce that I’ve been selected to represent Jamaica at the Commonwealth Games this summer,” said the British-born 24-year-old on her Instagram page.

    “To those who have supported me this far…I’m in the best shape of my life and I owe you all thanks for getting me here,” the FIU senior added.

    Campbell helped the FIU Women’s Swimming and Diving team finish second overall at the CSCAA (College Swimming Coaches Association of America) National Invitational Championship in Indiana on Thursday.

    FIU finished with 623 points behind Ohio State (828 points) and ahead of Tennessee (575.5 points).

    Campbell broke a school record to take silver in the 100 Yard Individual Medley in 55.21.

    She also broke a program record in the prelims of the 50m butterfly with 23.90 on Tuesday.

  • Rubiales denies making Olympic intervention for Pique Rubiales denies making Olympic intervention for Pique

    Luis Rubiales, president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), has rejected claims of wrongdoing after reports that Gerard Pique asked him to intervene in the selection of Spain's squad for the Tokyo Olympics.

    A series of conversations between Rubiales and Pique have been leaked by Spanish publication El Confidencial in recent days, focusing on Pique's involvement in moving the Supercopa de Espana to Saudi Arabia.

    New leaks, however, appear to show Pique asking Rubiales to ensure he was picked for the delayed 2020 Olympic Games, at which he wished to make his Spain return after retiring from international football in 2018.

    Pique is allegedly heard telling Rubiales in one audio message: "You have to do this for me Rubi, you have to get it for me," referencing a spot in the Olympic squad coached by Spain U21 boss Luis de la Fuente. The Barcelona centre-back is also have said to have hit out at Sergio Ramos' more public request to be involved.

    At a news conference held on Wednesday, however, Rubiales denied the messages exposed any wrongdoing from himself or Pique, saying it was "normal" for players, with many of whom he is close, to make such requests.

    "Maybe another one [player] appears who asked me to, and it's not Pique. I'm going to keep talking to them like that. I have a conversation with someone I've known for years and I speak as I speak," Rubiales said.

    "There were more [players] who asked me. He [Pique] announced a long time ago that he did not want to return, and I spoke with Luis de la Fuente so that he would know who had called me. 

    "It is common when one is a great player and he wants to come back [to the national team]. Then Luis made a very different decision. We act with the utmost honesty. He is not the only footballer who has asked me to do so."

    Pique, along with Ramos, was ultimately left out of the squad, with Spain earning the silver medal after a 2-1 extra-time defeat to Brazil in the final.

    Meanwhile, attention has also been drawn to the new four-team format introduced for the Supercopa since it moved to Saudi Arabia, with Rubiales' federation accused of being motivated by a financial need for giants Real Madrid and Barca to remain involved.

    Rubiales admitted that the likelihood of those two clubs being involved did result in greater revenue being generated through TV rights sales, but denied that this amounted to any sort of favouritism.

    "We sell the TV rights to the final all over the world. There are some countries that wait to bid when they are the finalists," Rubiales added. "If there is a derby or Clasico, the offer multiplies a lot. 

    "That adds to the management and would affect the variable. [But] we have no idea who is going to play in the final."

  • Trinidad and Tobago name team for CARIFTA Swimming and Open Water Championships Trinidad and Tobago name team for CARIFTA Swimming and Open Water Championships

    The Amateur Swimming Association of Trinidad and Tobago has named their team for the 2022 CARIFTA Swimming & Open Water Championships in Barbados this month.

    The Championships will run from April 16-19 at the Barbados Aquatic Centre in Wildey, Christ Church while the open water 5k will take place in Carlisle Bay on April 20.

    The team for the pool portion is as follows: Saphire Wong Chong-Achee (Female 11-12), Alejandro Agard, Marcus Alexander (Male 11-12), Zachary Anthony, Giovanni Rivas, Liam Carrington, Liam Roberts (Male 13-14), Nikoli Blackman, Johann-Matthew Matamoro, Zarek Wilson, Aaron Stuart (Male 15-17).

    Blackman, Anthony and Carrington will also compete in the Open Water event while that team also includes Irmani Smith (Female 14-15), Zoe Anthony, Amelia Rajak and Jade Foncette (Female 16-18).

     

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.