What Is the Longest Swimming Event at the Olympics?

August 10, 2022 3 min read

There are many ways to measure swimming distance. In this article, we'll take a look at the 1,500-meter freestyle, the 10K open-water swim, and the 400-meter medley relay. Which event is longest? A quick Google search will reveal the answer. Listed below are some of the world's longest Olympic swimming events. Read on to find out which one is your favorite!

1,500-Meter Freestyle

The 1,500-meter freestyle is the longest event in the Olympic swimming program. The event is so long, in fact, that it's often referred to as "the mile race" by the aquatic community. The race involves swimming at least 30 laps of an Olympic pool. The race has been contested at world championships for years and has become a fixture at the summer Olympics. Katie Ledecky has claimed all of the top-ten finishes in this event.

The 1,500-meter freestyle was introduced to the Olympic program this year after being a men-only event for a long time. Ledecky made this event a staple at the world championships when she outran the field by six seconds in the prelims. Her mark set an Olympic record. She won the event by more than two minutes, so it's not surprising to see it on the Olympic program.

Ledecky, a three-time Olympic champion, won the 800-meter freestyle in Rio and won gold in both the 200-meter and 400-meter freestyle finals. Her first 1,500-meter gold since the 2016 Games in Rio, Ledecky will have a tough task. In the final, she will most likely compete against Titmus, her main rival. So if Ledecky wins in the final, she'll surely be the best in the world.

10K Open-Water Swim

If you are considering an 10K Olympic open-water swim, you will need to be familiar with the swimming environment. The distance is typically 10K and you can expect to swim up to four hours if you are comfortable with the water temperature. You will need to wear a good wetsuit that fits tightly. A pair of goggles is also important. In general, the water is about 72-76 degrees. Participants should have the right amount of water weight for their height and weight.

Elite swimmers usually spend the entire race with the pack, conserving energy by swimming in the slipstream. They then wait for a perfect time to make a late break. However, at the 2016 Rio Olympics, Jarrod Poort broke away from the pack and led the men's 10K race for over a minute halfway through. Unfortunately, the pace was too much for him and he fell back to 25th place.

The selection process for the Olympic 10k has been long. The starting list for the men's event was chosen from the top 10 finishers of the 2019 World Championships and the top 15 finishers from the qualifier last month in Setubal, Portugal. Vitaly Khudyakov, a Russian, will be competing for the gold in the men's race. He finished 21st in Rio. The other top ten finishes will go to the Netherlands and Great Britain.

400-Meter Medley Relay

The 400-meter medley relay is the most time-consuming swimming event at the Olympics, but it is a classic event that never fails to impress. In fact, the United States has never lost in the 400-meter medley relay event, and Great Britain seemed to be their biggest challenge. Their second leg, by two-time Olympic champion Adam Peaty, was expected to be almost two seconds faster than the American's.

The four-person medley relay consists of four different strokes. Each swimmer may only swim one leg of the relay, and the swimming is done in the order of backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, and freestyle. If you watch a medley relay, you may even see a world record in the 100-meter backstroke. American swimmer Jeff Rouse set the world record in 1991, while he was a member of the United States' Pan Pacific Championships team. He also went on to set a world record in 1992 in Barcelona, and his time stands at a mere one-second.

In the women's four-person medley relay, the United States is the favorite to win. A second-place finish from Natalie Manuel for the United States puts the team on the right track for a bronze. It is possible that the U.S. might take gold, but that is unlikely. The 400-meter medley relay is an incredibly tough event and the United States should aim higher than third.

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