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Rio gold medalist not entered in 200m butterfly as U.S. eyes ending drought

Mireia Belmonte

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 10: Mireia Garcia Belmonte of Spain celebrates winning the Women’s 200m Butterfly on Day 5 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium on August 10, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

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Spain’s Mireia Belmonte is not entered to defend her Olympic 200m butterfly in Tokyo. The rest of the top five from Rio are also absent, opening the door for the U.S. to potentially end its longest Olympic medal drought in any swimming event.

In 2016, Belmonte became the first Spanish woman to win an Olympic swimming title. She backed that up with the world title in 2017, then bowed out in the semifinals at 2019 Worlds.

The U.S. earned zero Olympic medals in the women’s 200m fly since Misty Hyman‘s shock gold at Sydney 2000. Americans made the podium in all other Olympic pool events in either London or Rio, and most at both Games.

But this year, the U.S. boasts two of the world’s four fastest women in Hali Flickinger and Regan Smith.

Belmonte is entered in the 800m and 1500m frees and the 400m individual medley.

Also on the Olympic entries, Hungarian Katinka Hosszu is not entered in the 100m back, one of three events that she won in Rio. Hosszu is entered in her primary events, the 200m and 400m IMs, which she won at every Olympics and worlds dating to 2013.

Hosszu did not compete in the 100m back at the 2019 Worlds and withdrew after the heats at 2017 Worlds.

The youngest swimmer entered in Tokyo is 14-year-old Estonian Eneli Jefimova. The oldest is 37-year-old Canadian Brent Hayden, the 2007 World champion and 2012 Olympic bronze medalist in the 100m free.

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