Fri, 17 Sep 2021

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America's dominance in the pool faced a big challenge as swimming competitions at Tokyo 2020 concluded.

CANBERRA, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) -- Swimming at the 2020 Summer Olympics has concluded after nine scintillating days at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre.

The United States won three of Sunday's five finals to secure top spot on the swimming medal tally for the consecutive Olympics, finishing with 30 medals including 11 gold.

However, America's dominance in the pool faced a bigger challenge than it has at any games in recent editions of Olympics.

The 11 American gold medals were the country's fewest in swimming since the 1992 Olympics while the medal tally painted a picture of a field that has improved dramatically.

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Australia won a record nine gold medals to finish in second place, capping off its best-ever Olympic Games in the pool.

Britain in third won four gold medals while Chinese swimmers won three events - two more than five years ago in Rio.

The strong competition between the teams brought out fast times, quashing fears that holding finals in the morning local time would result in fewer records.

It included a new world record set by Britain in the final of the mixed 4x100m medley relay, which received praise after making its Olympic debut at the Tokyo Games.

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One of the most impressive time of the swimming events belonged to China in the women's 4x200m freestyle relay, as the country's top swimmers smashed the previous world record by 1.17 seconds to beat favorites Australia and the U.S. in one of the best races of the meet.

Women swimmers claimed three world records, with Australia breaking their own mark in the 4x100m freestyle relay and South Africa's Tatjana Schoenmaker shattering the record in 2013 in the 200m breaststroke.

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American phenom Caeleb Dressel was the only swimmer to set two world records, doing so in the 100m butterfly final and in the last event on the card - Sunday's 4x100m medley relay final.

They were two of five gold medals for Dressel, 24, who also triumphed in the 50m and 100m freestyle and 4x100m freestyle relay.

While Dressel was the most dominant male swimmer of the Games, Australia's Emma McKeon was the best among the women.

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McKeon, 27, became the first female swimmer to win seven medals at one Olympics, finishing with gold in the 50m and 100m freestyle and the 4x100m freestyle and medley relays as well as bronze in the 100m butterfly, mixed relay and 4 x 200m freestyle relay.

It takes McKeon's career Olympic medal tally to 11, including five gold, making her the most successful swimmer in Australian Olympic history.

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Earlier in the week, McKeon's compatriot Ariarne Titmus claimed victory in one of the most anticipated duels of the games, beating American Kathleen Ledecky in the 200m and 400m freestyle finals.

Despite the disappointing start to the meet, Ledecky bounced back to cement herself among the greatest female distance swimmers in history by winning the third straight gold in the 800m freestyle since London Olympics and becoming the first-ever female Olympic gold medallist in the 1,500m freestyle.

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