Swim Poll of the Week: How Many Individual Events Will Michael Andrew Swim in Tokyo?


This is the Swim Poll of the Week for Thursday May 27, 2021, sponsored by Strechcordz Swim Training Products. In our last poll, we wanted to know: How many individual events will Michael Andrew swim in Tokyo?

In 2020, Michael Andrew appeared poised to finally put the pieces together, fulfill his massive potential that he had flashed since he was a young teenager and storm his way onto his first Olympic team. At the TYR Pro Swim Series in Des Moines, Iowa, in March, Andrew swam lifetime bests in two of his signature events, the 100 breast (59.14) and 200 IM (1:56.83). That turned out to be his last meet before the COVID-19 pandemic arrived and shut down the sports world.

After competition resumed, Andrew struggled to return to his previous splendid form from the spring. During the International Swimming League bubble, a racing-heavy short course format suited to his skillset, Andrew finished in the top three just nine times in 25 individual races over the course of the season and recorded just a single victory. Andrew said of that ISL experience, “I was very physically unready, which was unfortunate.”

His first few long course meets of the 2021 season were solid but nothing spectacular, as he topped out at 22.13 in the 50 free, 1:00.03 in the 100 breast, 52.43 in the 100 fly and 1:57.98 in the 200 IM. Then he swam Thursday morning at the TYR Pro Swim Series in Indianapolis and provided a jaw-dropping moment: He became just the third American man to break 59 in the 100 breast, and the first in almost four years.

Andrew’s morning time of 58.82 broke Adam Peaty’s Pro Series record, and in the final, he swam a 58.67 that broke the U.S. Open record and missed Kevin Cordes’ American record by just three hundredths. Andrew jumped up to fourth in the 2021 world rankings, a tie for 11th all-time and into the status as favorite in the event for the U.S. Olympic Trials next month. For Andrew, the swim was a validating moment and a surge of momentum heading into the all-important test.

“It’s huge,” Michael Andrew said after the race. “I felt like I had a lot of confidence, even with the 1:00.03 I swam in Coronado the other week. So bringing that into this with a really fast pool, really good atmosphere, it’s been huge. Going to Trials, we’ve got three and a half weeks. It’s exactly what we needed, what I needed, but overall, just really thrilled. We’ve been putting a lot of work into this, physically, mentally, spiritually, doing everything we can, no stone unturned, and to see it come together like this, it’s just really nice.”

The following day, Michael Andrew would swim a 50.80 in the 100 fly, breaking 51 for the first time and moving to second in the world this year. World record-holder Caeleb Dressel remains the heavy favorite in the event at Olympic Trials, but Andrew actually swam faster than the 51.15 Dressel posted at the Atlanta Classic. Andrew will certainly be a favorite for the No. 2 spot at Olympic Trials.

On the meet’s final day, Andrew won the 200 IM in 1:56.84, a slim one hundredth off his lifetime best from last year and good enough to cement his status as a favorite to qualify for Tokyo in this event, too. Andrew moved to fourth in the world in the event, and he is the fastest American in 2021 by more than two seconds.

The difference in his swimming in Indianapolis compared to his previous meets since the post-pandemic resumption, Michael Andrew said, was consistency in his training, which had been lacking at times over the past year due to circumstances related to the pandemic. Sometimes the answers are very simple and straightforward, particularly in a year with as much global turmoil and uncertainty as the last one. Simply finding a way to get back to his normal helped put Andrew back on track.


How many events will Michael Andrew make for the Olympics?

1 – 4%

2 – 52%

3 – 44%




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