Only 17 Swimmers Entered in Women’s 200 Butterfly for Tokyo Olympics

hali-flickinger, 200 butterfly
Hali Flickinger -- Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

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Only 17 Swimmers Entered in Women’s 200 Butterfly for Tokyo Olympics

As we approach the start of the fourth day of preliminaries at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, we arrive to the event that has only 17 swimmers entered – the women’s 200 butterfly. The event will be swum in three rounds: Prelims, semifinals and finals. With just 17 swimmers in the event, only one swimmer will be cut from the first round to the second.

The “A” cut in the 200 fly is 2:08.43, and 13 of the competitors entered have achieved that time during the Olympic qualifying period. Three of the remaining four swimmers entered are seeded with times in the 2:08-high or 2:09-low range, but the 17th swimmer is Honduras’ Julimar Avila Mancia, seeded at 2:18.38, so she is likely to be the only swimmer to not advance from the preliminaries.

The top seed in the event is China’s Zhang Yufei at 2:05.44, followed by the United States’ Hali Flickinger at 2:05.85. Hungary’s Boglarka Kapas was the 2019 world champion in the event after she chased down Flickinger on the final 50 in that race. Defending Olympic gold medalist Mireia Belmonte of Spain will be in Tokyo but not competing in the 200 fly.

The 200 fly often boasts a small field as only 28 swimmers were entered in the event at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, and only 27 competed with Katinka Hosszu scratching. It took 2:09.21 to make it back for semifinals in 2016, and given that only 16 swimmers have been faster than 2:18 in the event, swimmers should be able to conserve energy in the prelims.

It is worth noting some swimmers not in the field, particularly 17-year-old Australian Elizabeth Dekkers. Dekkers finished second in the event at Australia’s Olympic Trials in 2:08.57, a little bit off the “A” cut, but earlier this year she swam as fast as 2:07.25, which ranks her eighth in the world rankings. However, Swimming Australia chose not to select Dekkers for their Tokyo team, which is an especially significant bummer now that the event has so few entrants.

3 comments

  1. avatar
    Leander

    Let me guess. Mary T would be seeded about 5th in this event even though she raced in what is now a practice suit.

    • avatar
      Anonymous

      spot on

  2. avatar
    Jon L

    I’m thinking the lack of qualifiers may be because of the pandemic. I don’t know if these qualification standards were set before the pandemic even started, but I think that’s it.