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Swimming Day 9 preview: Dressel chases two more golds on final day in the pool

Swimming Day 9 preview: Dressel chases two more golds on final day in the pool
Posted at 5:50 AM, Jul 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-31 12:25:51-04

After eight days of memorable action from the Tokyo Aquatics Center, the Tokyo Olympics swimming competition comes to a close with the last session of finals Sunday.

But not before Caeleb Dressel puts on one last show. 

Having already amassed three gold medals in the 4x100m freestyle relay, 100m freestyle and 100m butterfly (in which he set a world record), Dressel looks to up his total to five in the 50m freestyle and 4x100m medley relays. He would become the first Olympian not named Michael Phelps to win five gold medals at a single Games since 1988.

Australia's Emma McKeon also has history on the line. Should she place top three in both the women's 50 free and medley relay, she would join Soviet gymnast Maria Gorokhovskaya as just the second woman to win seven medals at single Olympics.

The other big story: can American Bobby Finke, surprise gold medalist in the 800 free, complete the distance double in the men's 1500?

Watch the action LIVE in primetime on NBC beginning at 9:30 p.m. ET or stream the entire session LIVE on NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app.

Men's 50m Freestyle, Final

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The first of five straight finals to close out the Tokyo swimming program is the men's "splash and dash."

Dressel is the favorite, having won the event at the past two world championships and qualifying with the best semifinal time.

His biggest test is likely to come from 2012 Olympic gold medalist Florent Manaudou of France, who'll swim beside him in Lane Five.

Great Britain's Ben Proud, a sprint specialist, should also contend for the podium.

Women's 50m Freestyle, Final

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A staggering 28 combined Olympic medals — A.K.A. an entire Michael Phelps — can be found within this loaded final which features some of the greatest female sprinters of all-time.

View social media post: https://twitter.com/Goodman/status/1421501690151374854

Emma McKeon, already a five-time medalist at these Games, has the slight edge based on current form, but the margins will be so tight that any predictions are simply guesses.

Sarah Sjostrom, Pernille BlumeCate CampbellRanomi Kromowidjojo and Abbey Weitzeil are all in with a chance at gold.

Men's 1500m Freestyle, Final

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From the two fastest events to one of the two slowest.

Finke, the American, is positioned well to potentially double up on distance gold after winning the 800 free earlier in the week.

Gregorio Paltrinieri, the Rio 2016 Olympic champion, will race right beside Finke in Lane Six.

SEE MORE: Bobby Finke wins 1st Olympic men's 800 from out of nowhere

Women 4x100m Medley Relay, Final

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The first of two medley relays to close out the Games is likely a three-team contest between Canada, the United States and Australia.

Canada fielded the strongest lineup of the three in prelims, leaving room for improvement for the other two teams who have Olympic medalists waiting in the wings.

Men's 4x100m Medley Relay, Final

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If the U.S. squad is going to help get Caeleb Dressel another gold medal in the last event in Tokyo, they're going to have to do so from Lane Eight after a lackluster performance in the heats.

Of course, those heats did not include Dressel, who has been saved for the final. Even with him, though, it will be a tall order for the Americans to vault six other nations for gold.

Great Britain, with X-factor breaststroke swimmer Adam Peaty, are the favorites for gold.

SEE MORE: U.S. men 4th in medley relay heat, barely makes final