Paris 2024 Swimming Preview: In-form swimmers aim to make big splash -Xinhua

Paris 2024 Swimming Preview: In-form swimmers aim to make big splash

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-07-11 09:40:45

BEIJING, July 11 (Xinhua) -- Four world records have fallen in the last two months, highlighting the in-form swimmers ready to shine at the Paris La Defense Arena during the Olympic Games.

At Paris 2024, the swimming competition will take place from July 27 to August 4, featuring a total of 35 events set up exactly as they were at Tokyo 2020.


During the U.S. Olympic Trials in late June, 21-year-old Gretchen Walsh clocked 55.18 seconds in the women's 100m butterfly, breaking Sarah Sjostrom's world record of 55.48 from the 2016 Rio Olympics. Regan Smith, 22, set a new world record in the women's 100m backstroke with a time of 57.13, surpassing Australian Olympic champion Kaylee McKeown's 57.33 from October 2023.

Ariarne Titmus of Australia refreshed the women's 200m freestyle world record from teammate Mollie O'Callaghan, finishing in 1:52.23 at Australia's Olympic Trials, more than half a second faster than O'Callaghan's previous record of 1:52.85 set at the Fukuoka 2023 World Championships.

Seventeen-year-old Summer McIntosh from Canada demonstrated her versatility by recording a new world record of 4:24.38 in the women's 400m individual medley during the national trials in mid-May.

Earlier in February, Chinese 19-year-old star Pan Zhanle set a men's 100m freestyle world record with a time of 46.80 during the Doha World Aquatics Championships.


As two of the world's swimming powerhouses, the rivalry between the U.S. and Australia continues. The U.S. is sending 48 swimmers and Australia 41 to the competition.

The U.S. topped the swimming medal table in Tokyo with 11 gold, 10 silver, and 9 bronze medals, while Australia finished second with 9-3-8.

This year, American swimmers hold dominant positions in nine events and feature several top-three world rankings with a star-studded lineup that includes Olympic champions Ryan Murphy, Katie Ledecky, Caeleb Dressel, and Bobby Finke.

Australia, led by nine Olympic champions, including defending champions Kaylee McKeown, Ariarne Titmus, Emma McKeon, and Zac Stubblety-Cook, also aims to top the medal tally in the pool.

Swimmers from other teams, such as Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden, Tatjana Schoenmaker of South Africa, Kristof Milak of Hungary, Arno Kamminga of the Netherlands, and David Popovici of Romania, also have strong chances to win gold medals.

Leon Marchand, 22, who broke Michael Phelps' men's 400m individual medley world record last year in Fukuoka and has collected five golds from the previous two World Championships, is a strong contender for gold in the 200m IM, 400m IM, and 200m breaststroke for host nation France.


China placed fourth on the medal tally in the Tokyo Olympics, behind Britain, with 3-2-1. They aim for better results in Paris.

China's 31-member team includes six Olympic champions: Zhang Yufei, Ye Shiwen, Li Bingjie, Yang Junxuan, Tang Muhan, and Wang Shun, as well as world champions Pan Zhanle and Qin Haiyang.

Pan Zhanle's men's 100m freestyle, Wang Shun's men's 200m IM, and Tang Qianting's women's 100m breaststroke currently hold the world-best results this year.

"Every athlete dreams of becoming an Olympic champion. I have dreamed of this since I started swimming. I expect to have a hard battle with all the top swimmers in the world," said the 19-year-old Pan.