Olympic Semifinals: Emma McKeon Leads Siobhan Haughey, Cate Campbell into Women’s 100 Free Final

Jul 29, 2021; Tokyo, Japan; Emma McKeon (AUS) after the women's 100m freestyle semifinals during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Photo Courtesy: Rob Schumacher/USA Today Sports

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Olympic Semifinals: Emma McKeon Leads Siobhan Haughey, Cate Campbell into Women’s 100 Free Final

Emma McKeon has been busy in Tokyo — and fast.

McKeon was having a strong meet, already having been part of a winning relay, and earned a bronze medal in the 100 butterfly. But she saved her best for the 100 free, breaking the Olympic record in the prelims session.

In the semifinals, McKeon took the top seed in 52.32, winning the second semifinal heat and will enter the finals in the middle of the pool, eyeing a gold medal.

It is a completely stacked final with tons of big names aiming for gold.

Siobhan Haughey took the first heat in the 100 free to continue her strong Olympic breakout meet. Haughey finished in 52.40 to hold off Cate Campbell in the first semifinal heat.

Jul 29, 2021; Tokyo, Japan; Siobahn Bernadette Haughey (HKG) in the women's 100m semifinals during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

Siobhan Haughey. Photo Courtesy: Rob Schumacher/USA Today Sports

Haughey is coming off of a stellar swim in the 200 free, where she won the silver medal, the first ever Olympic medal in Hong Kong history.

Campbell took the third seed in 52.71 ahead of world record holder Sarah Sjostrom (52.82) and defending Olympic gold medalist Penny Oleksiak (52.86).

Oleksiak has medaled in Tokyo already and is one medal away from breaking the all-time Canadian record for Olympic medals.

Meanwhile, Abbey Weitzeil swam a lifetime best of 52.99 and earned the seventh seed, behind Femke Heemskerk (52.93) and ahead of Anna Hopkin (53.11).

“I’m happy to go a best time there,” Weitzeil said. “Finally broke the 53 barrier, which gives me a lot of confidence that I’m in a god spot right now. I just wanted to get in the final for Team USA, and I’m really excited to give it a shot.”

Team USA’s Erika Brown made the semifinal field after a couple swimmers withdrew and she won a swim off for the final spot but did not qualify for the finals.

The Finalists

1 Emma McKeon, Australia, 52.32
2 Siobhan Haughey, Hong Kong, 52.40
3 Cate Campbell, Australia, 52.71
4 Sarah Sjostrom, Sweden, 52.82
5 Penny Oleksiak, Canada, 52.86
6 Femke Heemskerk, Netherlands, 52.93
7 Abbey Weitzeil, USA, 52.99
8 Anna Hopkin, Great Britain, 53.11

 

Women’s 100 Freestyle

World Record: Sarah Sjostrom, Sweden, 51.71 (2017)
Olympic Record: Emma McKeon, Australia, 52.13 (2021)

The Setup

In the preliminaries of the 100-meter freestyle, Emma McKeon ripped an Olympic record of 52.13, good for the eighth-fastest time in history, to secure the top seed for the semifinals. Already a member of Australia’s gold-medal 800 freestyle relay and the bronze medalist in the 100 butterfly, McKeon is riding a wave of momentum. She will be joined in the semifinals by countrywoman Cate Campbell, who went 52.80 for the fourth seed.

The fact that Emma McKeon emerged from prelims as the fastest performer was hardly a shock, given that she split 51.35 in the 400 freestyle relay. She was followed in the second position by Hong Kong’s Siobhan Haughey, who went 52.70 while following up a silver medal in the 200 freestyle during the morning session. The third seed is Great Britain’s Anna Hopkin, who clocked a British record of 52.75.

In fifth was Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom, the world-record holder who is looking sharp despite suffering a fractured elbow earlier this year that interrupted her training. Sjostrom touched in 52.91, just ahead of the 52.95 of Canada’s Penny Oleksiak, who was the joint champion in the event in 2016, sharing the gold medal with Simone Manuel. Also dipping under the 53-second barrier was Denmark’s Pernille Blume in 52.96.

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