The Olympic Games 2020 are almost here, after being postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. There are many popular events that take part in the Olympics, but one of the most anticipated events are the swimming competitions. This year, the swimming program will run for nine days, from July 24 to August 1.

Swimming has been part of the programme of the Games since 1896, with women’s competition starting in 1912. Swimmers try to cover a designated distance in the fastest time possible using a specific stroke. There are individual events and teams events (relay). 

In Tokyo 2020, there will be 35 swimming events, with the addition of three new competitions: men's 800m freestyle, women's 1,500m freestyle and, for the first time, there will be a mixed event, the 4×100m medley relay. Also, there will be open water marathon events which will be held at the end of the games. This year, all heats will be held in the evening session. 

What are the Olympics swimming events? 

In the Olympic Games, there are events with four strokes: freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly. While in the freestyle, there isn’t a designated stroke, most swimmers use the crawl, that it’s the fastest one. Also, the competitions are divided between men and women, and, from this year there will be a mixed event, where men and women may swim against each other at the same time. 

There are four strokes in the Olympic swimming competitions (Getty).

In the individual medley competition, a swimmer uses all four strokes in this order: butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, freestyle. On the other hand, in the medley relay a team of four swimmers complete the event. Each swimmer will use a stroke, in this order: backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly and freestyle. Here, is the swimming programme for Tokyo 2020: 

  • 50m Freestyle (Men/Women)
  • 100m Freestyle (Men/Women)
  • 200m Freestyle (Men/Women)
  • 400m Freestyle (Men/Women)
  • 800m Freestyle (Men/Women)
  • 1500m Freestyle (Men/Women)
  • 100m Backstroke (Men/Women)
  • 200m Backstroke (Men/Women)
  • 100m Breaststroke (Men/Women)
  • 200m Breaststroke (Men/Women)
  • 100m Butterfly (Men/Women)
  • 200m Butterfly (Men/Women)
  • 200m Individual Medley (Men/Women)
  • 400m Individual Medley (Men/Women)
  • 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay (Men/Women)
  • 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay (Men/Women)
  • 4 x 100m Medley Relay (Men/Women)
  • 4 x 100m Mixed Medley Relay