The Tokyo Olympic 2020 will not feature Michael Phelps for the first in 21 years in the history of the Summer Games. At the Sydney Games, the 'Flying Fish' made his Olympics debut at the age of 15 By doing so, Phelps became the youngest male US swimmer since Ralph Flanagan in 1932.
Although he didn’t win any medals at that Games, he returned to Athens Olympics in 2004. Since then, Phelps has won 23 gold medals at the Summer Games that includes 13 in individual events.
However, Phelps’ absence doesn’t mean the Tokyo Olympics will be without other big names in swimming. We have seen some of them in previous Summer Games and they are returning to Tokyo to win many more medals.
On that note, let's take a look at the top five swimmers taking part in Tokyo Olympics 2020:
Top 5 swimmers to watch at Tokyo Olympics
#1 Katie Ledecky (USA)
She is the most decorated female swimmer, having won five Olympic gold medals and 15 world championships gold medals. Ledecky, a world record holder in women’s 400m, 800m and 1500m freestyle, also holds the fastest times in women's 500, 1000 and 1650-yard freestyle events. She will be leading Team USA's hopes at the Tokyo Olympics.
At the 2012 London Olympics, 15-year-old Ledecky surprised everyone when she won the 800m freestyle. Ledecky’s continuous success has earned her the Swimming World’s Female World Swimmer of the Year title a record five times.
Also Checkout: Tokyo Olympic 2021 Schedule
#2 Caeleb Dressel (USA)
In the absence of Michael Phelps, all eyes will be on Caeleb Dressel as he leads the men’s events in swimming for Team US at the Tokyo Olympics. He won gold medals at Rio Olympics 2016 as part of the relay team in the 4x100m freestyle and 4x100m medley events. That’s not all, Dressel is a 13-time world champion as well.
Dressel is an American record holder in 100-yard freestyle, 100-yard breaststroke, 100-yard butterfly and 100-yard individual medley, apart from 50m and 100m freestyle, and 50m and 100m butterfly events too.
#3 Adam Peaty (Great Britain)
Adam Peaty won the gold medal in 100m breaststroke at Rio Olympics 2016 to become the first male British swimmer to achieve the feat in 24 years. Peaty also holds the current world record in 50m and 100m breaststroke events.
Peaty has won the World Championships eight times, the European Championships sixteen times and is a three-time Commonwealth Games champion as well. He is fully prepared and is expected to lead in the breaststroke events once again at the Tokyo Olympics.
#4 Sarah Sjöström (Sweden)
The current world record holder in 50m freestyle, 100m freestyle, 200m freestyle, 50m butterfly and 100m butterfly, Sjöström is the only female swimmer to have won five individual medals at a single FINA World Aquatics Championships.
Till 2019, Sjöström had won 16 individual medals in long course at World Championships, more than any other female swimmer in the history of the sport. The only other swimmer to have won more individual medals than her is Michael Phelps with 20.
At Rio Games 2016, Sjöström won the gold medal in 100m butterfly, thus becoming the first Swedish woman to top the Olympic podium in swimming.
#5 Daiya Seto (Japan)
The Japanese swimmer was in the news last year for all the wrong reasons. However, since then, Seto has turned over a new leaf. One of the best swimmers in the world, Seto is ranked number one in the 400m individual medley.
Seto is a gold medal winner in 400m IM at 2012, 2014, and 2016 World Short Course Championships. He also won the gold medals in 400m IM at the 2013 and 2015 World Long Course Championships. The Japanese swimmer holds the world record in 200m butterfly and 400m IM. He is the first Asian swimmer to win a world championship in the individual medley.