Swimming At The 2016 Olympic Games – The Complete Schedule



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Swimming At The 2016 Olympic Games – The Complete Schedule

For the second time in three Games, the sessions will be conducted at unusual hours to accommodate for NBC’s preference of broadcasting finals live in prime time in the United States; after the 2008 Olympics in Beijing featured evening preliminaries and morning finals, the Rio Games will feature 1 p.m. start time preliminary heats and 10 p.m. finals each of the eight days of competition.

But the order of events should be familiar to fans as it will be the exact same as the schedule used at each of the past three Olympics. The 32 finals in the pool will be evenly split with four per day beginning on Saturday, August 6 and running until the following Saturday, August 13. The entire schedule of finals are listed below.

All events 200 meters and shorter will include preliminary and semifinal heats conducted the day before the final. 400 meter events and longer – including relay events – are prelims-finals only. Heats of the 400 free, 400 IM, 400 and 800 free relay events will be same-day, and heats of the distance events (women’s 800 and men’s 1500) and medley relays will go off the day before.

Event Schedule by Day (Finals only)

August 6 – men’s 400 IM, men’s 400 free, women’s 400 IM, women’s 400 free relay
August 7 – women’s 100 fly, men’s 100 breast, women’s 400 free, men’s 400 free relay
August 8 – men’s 200 free, women’s 100 back, men’s 100 back, women’s 100 breast
August 9 – women’s 200 free, men’s 200 fly, women’s 200 IM, men’s 800 free relay
August 10 – men’s 200 breast, women’s 200 fly, men’s 100 free, women’s 800 free relay
August 11 – women’s 200 breast, men’s 200 back, men’s 200 IM, women’s 100 free
August 12 – women’s 200 back, men’s 100 fly, women’s 800 free, men’s 50 free
August 13 – women’s 50 free, men’s 1500 free, women’s 400 medley relay, men’s 400 medley relay

The U.S. Olympic Trials, being conducted June 26 through July 3 in Omaha, Neb., will follow the same event lineup, although relays will not be contested. (Other countries such as Australia followed the same pattern at their recent selection meets.) The program gives athletes a good chance to get a feel for what they should expect when they arrive in Brazil.

The event schedule was one huge factor behind Michael Phelps winning a record-setting eight gold medals eight years ago in Beijing. Only once did two of Phelps’ gold medal swims fall on the same evening, and the 200 fly and 800 free relay were among his most dominant events. Phelps had to swim both a final and a semifinal on three separate evenings, but the final came first on two of those instances, and he had a break of over an hour between the 200 free semifinal and 800 free relay final.

The schedule did not do as many favors for Ryan Lochte. Lochte has held world records and won World titles in both the 200 back and 200 IM, but the two finals have been inconveniently scheduled just a half hour apart at the Olympics. Lochte has competed in both in the past two Olympic Games, but the strategy has never paid off as he has been unable to challenge Phelps in the 200 IM on either occasion.

Four years ago in London, Missy Franklin faced a daunting double, with the semifinals of the 200 free coming just before the 100 back final; only the men’s 200 free final was in between. But Franklin did exactly what she needed to do in the 200 free, finished fourth in the second semifinal to get into the final by just two tenths of a second, and after a quick warm-down in the diving well – rather than the facility’s main warm-down pool – she touched out Emily Seebohm for gold in the 100 back.

A day later Franklin almost found her way onto the podium in the 200 free, finishing just one one-hundredth of a second behind bronze medalist Bronte Barratt. And Franklin will again have to navigate this back-to-back in London as she will be a favorite for a medal in each of these two events.

Katie Ledecky, going for history of her own in Rio as she attempts to become the first woman to ever sweep the 200, 400 and 800 freestyle events. The schedule largely works in her favor, even if she is called upon for relay duty in the two free relays. The 400 free relay comes up on day one, before she would kick off her individual lineup with the 400 free on day two, and the 800 free relay falls on day five, a night after her individual 200 free final and hours before her 800 free preliminary swim.

Adding in the individual 100 free seems like a long-shot for Ledecky at this point – even if she does finish in the top two at Trials, she may choose to skip the individual event a la Dara Torres – but that still wouldn’t be so bad with the event schedule. The 100 free prelims and semifinals come on the same day as the 800 free relay (with the individual semifinals more than an hour before the relay final), and the final would be her only swim in that evening’s session.
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HEATS                                         SEMIFINALS/FINALS



Men’s 400m IM

Women’s 100m Fly

Men’s 400m Free

Women’s 400m IM

Men’s 100m Breast

Women’s 4 x 100m Free Relay




Men’s 400m IM – Final

Women’s 100m Fly – Semifinal

Men’s 400m Free – Final

Women’s 400m IM – Final

Men’s 100m Breast – Semifinal

Women’s 4 x 100m Free Relay – Final




Women’s 100m Back

Men’s 200m Free

Women’s 100m Breast

Men’s 100m Back

Women’s 400m Free

Men’s 4 x 100m Free Relay






Women’s 100m Fly – Final

Men’s 200m Free – Semifinal

Women’s 100m Breast – Semifinal

Men’s 100m Breast – Final

Women’s 400m Free – Final

Men’s 100m Back – Semifinal

Women’s 100m Back – Semifinal

Men’s 4 x 100m Free Relay – Final




Women’s 200m Free

Men’s 200m Fly

Women’s 200m IM








Women’s 200m Free – Semifinal

Men’s 200m Free – Final

Women’s 100m Back – Final

Men’s 100m Back – Final

Women’s 100m Breast – Final

Men’s 200m Fly – Semifinal

Women’s 200m IM — Semifinal




Men’s 100m Free

Women’s 200m Fly

Men’s 200m Breast

Men’s 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay







Men’s 100m Free – Semifinal

Women’s 200m Free – Final

Men’s 200m Fly – Final

Women’s 200m Fly – Semifinal

Men’s 200m Breast – Semifinal

Women’s 200m IM – Final

Men’s 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay – Final




Women’s 100m Free

Men’s 200m Back

Women’s 200m Breast

Men’s 200m IM

Women’s 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay







Men’s 200m Breast – Final

Women’s 100m Free – Semifinal

Men’s 200m Back – Semifinal

Women’s 200m Fly – Final

Men’s 100m Free – Final

Women’s 200m Breast – Semifinal

Men’s 200m IM – Semifinal

Women’s 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay – Final




Men’s 50m Free

Women’s 800m Free

Men’s 100m Fly

Women’s 200m Back







Men’s 50m Free – Semifinal

Women’s 200m Breast – Final

Men’s 200m Back – Final

Women’s 200m Back – Semifinal

Men’s 200m IM – Final

Women’s 100m Free – Final

Men’s 100m Fly – Semifinal





Women’s 50m Free

Men’s 1500m Free

Women’s 4 x 100m Medley Relay

Men’s 4 x 100m Medley Relay






Women’s 200m Back – Final

Men’s 100m Fly – Final

Women’s 800m Free – Final

Men’s 50m Free – Final

Women’s 50m Free – Semifinal




No Preliminaries



Women’s 50m Free – Final

Men’s 1500m Free – Final

Women’s 4 x 100m Medley Relay – Final

Men’s 4 x 100m Medley Relay – Final

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Steven Munatones
7 years ago

The 10 km marathon swims will be held in the mornings at 8 am in Copacabana Beach on August 15th (women) and 16th (men).

7 years ago

“Katie Ledecky, going for history of her own in Rio as she attempts to become the first woman to ever sweep the 200, 400 and 800 freestyle events. ”

Debby Meyer (Mexico City,1968) deserves a re-write of this excerpted paragraph, if not a bit of an apology, for SW forgetting her previous accomplishment of the triple described as being pursued for a first performance by Katie.

I’m suspecting Katie is among the many in the sport who are familiar with Debby’s triple; Katie arguably surpassed Debby’s feat, except for those non-swim fans to whom there is only one swim competition each quadrennium, by her Kazan WC performance, winning those three plus the 1500, which was unavailable to Debby in her Olympics (I’m betting Debby would have won that one too if given the opportunity.)

Thanks for the schedule!