Swimming at the Tokyo Games will comprise 37 medal events (35 pool events and two 10k open water races). The programs for men and women are identical, with both genders swimming the following strokes/distances:

Freestyle Backstroke Breaststroke Butterfly Individual Medley (IM) Relay Open Water
50m
100m 100m 100m 100m 4x100m freestyle
200m 200m 200m 200m 200m 4x200m freestyle
400m 400m 4x100m medley
800m mixed 4x100m medley
1500m 10,000m

New for Tokyo is the mixed 4x100m medley relay. The order of strokes is backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly and freestyle. Teams can choose from either gender for a given stroke, but must have two male and two female swimmers.

Races of 200m and Shorter

PRELIMINARY HEATS

The 16 fastest swimmers advance to the semifinals. If there is a tie for 16th, there will be a swim-off between the tied swimmers.

SEMIFINAL RACES – 2 HEATS

The eight fastest advance to the final, which takes place the morning after the heats session. If there is a tie for 8th, there will be a swim-off for the final spot in final. Heat order: fastest time in 2nd heat, 2nd-fastest time in 1st heat, 3rd-fastest time in 2nd heat, 4th-fastest time in 1st heat, etc.

FINAL – 1 HEAT

Occurs the day after semifinals. Ties are not broken; medals are determined based on time in final only (to hundredths of a second).

Races of 400m and Longer, Plus Relays

PRELIMINARY HEATS

The eight fastest swimmers (or teams) advance to the final. If there is a tie for 8th, there will be a swim-off for the final spot in final.

FINAL – 1 HEAT

Occurs one or two days after preliminary heats. Relays can have different swimmers in heats and final.

Ties are not broken, medals are determined based on time in final only (to hundredths of a second).

Open Water

10k race – mass start format… 25 athletes per gender (max two per country). Race video will determine finish order if necessary; if an order can’t be determined from video, the tied competitors will share the same rank. Time varies by course and conditions, but generally it is about a two-hour race.

 

More information:

Official Tokyo site – Swimming

USA Swimming

International federation