A Special Kind of Dominance: A Look At the Power of Katie Ledecky, Adam Peaty, Caeleb Dressel & Kristof Milak

Jul 28, 2021; Tokyo, Japan; Katie Ledecky (USA) celebrates after winning the women's 1500m freestyle final during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

A Special Kind of Dominance: A Look At the Power of Katie Ledecky, Adam Peaty, Caeleb Dressel & Kristof Milak

It’s been a little more than two weeks since the completion of the Olympic Games, a stretch of time that has allowed for analysis and appreciation for what unfolded inside the Tokyo Aquatics Centre. With the COVID-19 pandemic denying spectators the opportunity to witness the action in person, there was certainly a different atmosphere to the competition.

Still, the athletes answered the call and produced memorable performances, from Emma McKeon claiming seven medals to Caeleb Dressel winning five gold medals. There were also surprises, such as Tunisia’s Ahmed Hafnaoui surging to victory in the 400 freestyle to Lydia Jacoby charging to the title in the 100 breaststroke.

As of the end of the Tokyo Games, it’s worth noting that four athletes – three men and a woman – own at least the top-three performances in a specific event. That type of dominance is difficult to come by and is reserved for the greatest names in the sport during their heydays – the likes of Johnny Weissmuller, Dawn Fraser, Mark Spitz, Janet Evans, Krisztina Egerszegi and Michael Phelps qualifying for the club.

Here is a look at the athletes who have a unique rule on specific Olympic events.

Katie Ledecky (800 Freestyle)

katie ledecky, olympics, Jul 31, 2021; Tokyo, Japan; Katie Ledecky (USA) reacts after winning the women's 800m freestyle final during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre. Mandatory Credit: Grace Hollars-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Courtesy: Grace Hollars/USA Today Sports

Katie Ledecky joined a special club at the Olympic Games when she won the 800 freestyle for the third straight time, joining Dawn Fraser, Krisztina Egerszegi and Michael Phelps as athletes to three-peat. Ledecky possesses the 23-fastest times in the event, and her world record of 8:04.79 is 9.04 seconds faster than history’s No. 2 performer, Australia’s Ariarne Titmus (8:13.83).

The Ledecky Chart

8:04.79
8:06.68
8:07.27
8:07.39
8:09.13
8:10.32
8:10.70
8:10.91
8:11.00
8:11.08
8:11.21
8:11.35
8:11.50
8:11.70
8:11.98
8:12.57
8:12.68
8:12.86
8:13.02
8:13.20
8:13.25
8:13.58
8:13.64

Katie Ledecky (1500 Freestyle)

Jul 28, 2021; Tokyo, Japan; Katie Ledecky (USA) competes in the women's 1500m freestyle final during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre. Mandatory Credit: Grace Hollars-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Courtesy: Grace Hollars/USA Today Sports

Dominating one Olympic event is not enough for Katie Ledecky, who captured gold in the inaugural women’s 1500 freestyle at the Tokyo Games. The American owns the 12-fastest times in the metric mile, headlined by her world record of 15:20.48. That time stands 18.40 seconds clear of Denmark’s Lotte Friis, who is the second-fastest performer of all-time.

 

 

 

 

The Ledecky Chart

15:20.48
15:25.48
15:27.71
15:28.36
15:29.51
15:31.82
15:34.23
15:35.35
15:35.65
15:35.98
15:36.53
15:37.34

Adam Peaty (100 Breaststroke)

Jul 26, 2021; Tokyo, Japan; Adam Peaty (GBR) is congratulated by Nicolo Martinenghi (ITA) after seeing the results of the men's 100m breaststroke final during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Courtesy: Robert Hanashiro/USA Today Sports

British superstar Adam Peaty has won back-to-back Olympic titles in the 100-meter breaststroke and owns the 16-fastest performances in the history of the event. The topper is Peaty’s world record of 56.88 from the 2019 World Championships, and his winning time of 57.37 from the Tokyo Games is No. 5 all-time. Dutchman Arno Kamminga, at 57.80, has the 17th-fastest effort in history.

The Peaty Chart

56.88
57.10
57.13
57.14
57.37
57.39
57.47
57.55
57.56
57.59
57.62
57.63
57.66
57.67
57.75
57.79

Caeleb Dressel (100 Butterfly)

Jul 31, 2021; Tokyo, Japan; Caeleb Dressel (USA) after winning the men's 100m butterfly final during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Courtesy: Rob Schumacher

The only individual world record on the men’s side at the Tokyo Olympics was the 49.45 popped by Caeleb Dressel in the 100 butterfly. Dressel needed that type of scintillating performance to hold off Hungary’s Kristof Milak, who set a European record of 49.68 for the silver medal. Dressel owns the three-fastest times in the 100 fly, and five of the six-fastest outings. He has also been sub-50 on seven occasions.

The Dressel Chart

49.45
49.50
49.66

Kristof Milak (200 Butterfly)

Jul 28, 2021; Tokyo, Japan; Kristof Milak (HUN) with his gold medal during the medals ceremony for the men's 200m butterfly during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Courtesy: Rob Schumacher

Following in a long line of Olympic champions from Hungary, Kristof Milak won the 200 butterfly in overwhelming fashion in Tokyo. Milak clocked 1:51.25 in his prime event, which was 2.48 seconds faster than the silver-medal time of Japan’s Tomoru Honda. Milak’s world record sits at 1:50.73 from the 2019 World Championships and he has the four-fastest marks ever clocked.

The Milak Chart

1:50.73
1:51.10
1:51.25
1:51.40

1 comment

  1. avatar
    Gail Jomaoas

    They made us all so proud!

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