Racing means records and the US Olympic Swimming Trials offers the best of both. Top swimmers of the US would want to be the best or the second-best to be eligible to board a flight to Tokyo for the Olympics. When the competition is as tough as this – there is always a danger of records being shattered.
Although the last two US Olympic Swimming Trials broke no world records – they however had five US records being broken – the trend could see a change this year. The next-gen swimmers recorded impressive times in Wave 1 and could well challenge the big guns when Wave 2 begins in Omaha on June 13.
The US Swimming team is not short of firepower. Six-time Olympic medalist Katie Ledecky and two-time Olympic gold medalist Caeleb Dressel lead the field. Meanwhile, the likes of Simone Manuel, Regan Smith and Ryan Murphy all have records against their names.
The US Olympic Swimming trials promise to be a humdinger.
5 records that could be broken at the US Olympic Swimming Trials
Women’s 1500m freestyle
Katie Ledecky 15:20.48 (2018)
The women’s 1500m freestyle will be making its debut at the Tokyo Olympics but Katie Ledecky is already a champion in it. Months before the US Olympic Swimming trials, Ledecky clocked 15:40.55, 20 seconds off her own record at the TYR Pro Swim Series.
For the record, the 10-best times in this sprint are against Ledecky’s name and she will be gunning to add more at the US Olympic Swimming trials.
Men’s 100m backstroke
Ryan Murphy 51.85 (2016)
Ryan Murphy is one of USA’s most celebrated swimmers. He has re-written the record books for close to half-a-decade now and with a timing of 52.95 in 2021, he could well be on course to shatter his own record.
In his debut Olympics at Rio de Janeiro in 2016, he broke the world record in the 100m backstroke and would love to do an encore in Tokyo. But before that, he has to make sure he makes no mistakes at the US Olympic Swimming trials.
Men’s 100m butterfly
Caeleb Dressel 49.50 (2019)
When it comes to world records, Caeleb Dressel needs to have some in his kitty. The world record in this event was owned by Michael Phelps, but Caeleb Dressel snatched it from him at the 2019 World Championships.
His major competitor in this event would be Michael Andrews, who holds the best timing of 2021, clocking 50.80. But Caeleb Dressel would have saved the best for the right time, especially when there is a lot at stake at the US Olympic Swimming trials.
Women’s 100m breaststroke
Lilly King 1:04.13 (2017)
Lilly King hates being the second best. She owns this event and is undisputedly the World No 1 in this event. At the Rio Olympics in 2016, Lilly King won the gold and since then she has always been at the top in every world tournament. She even set a world record in 2017.
Although her best time is 1:05.32 in 2021, the world record is not out of her reach.
Women’s 400m freestyle
Katie Ledecky 3:56.46 (2016)
Katie Ledecky and Leah Smith are the frontrunners in the women’s 400m freestyle at the US Olympic Swimming trials. The duo have dominated the event and Smith will be giving Ledecky a run for her money.
Although the world record is in Ledecky’s name, Smith isn’t far behind. With a best time of 4:04.83 in 2021, Smith would be gunning to break the four-year-old world record this time.