Olympics, the biggest sporting stage of all, is a platform for countries to display their calibre against the best Nations across the Globe. The elusive medal table at the Olympics is a sight of pride as it shows how different countries rank overall. With 35 Gold medals up for grabs, Swimming might become the kingmaker in separating nations on the medals table.
Across all swimming events, here is a look at the top 5 Female Swimmers you should look out for at the Tokyo Olympics.
1. Ariarne Titmus
Ariarne Titmus, 20, who is about to participate in her first Olympics, already has the burden of carrying Australia's Olympic swimming hopes. Titmus, a freestyle specialist, will be competing in the 200m, 400m and 800m Freestyle events. The style in which Titmus obliterated the competition at the Australian Olympic Swimming trials gives us a taste of what is about to come.
She covered 400m of the pool in 3:56.90s, which is less than half a second off of Katie Ledecky's World record, announcing herself as a threat to Ledecky's crown. Titmus also set the second-fastest time in the 200m Freestyle with a 1:53.09, just a tenth of a second off of Federica Pellegrini's World record.
Mind you, the 200m Freestyle World record was set during the now banned Polyurethane suit era. Titmus might not be 'the' favourite for 800m Freestyle, but Ledecky might have to watch over her shoulder to avoid a possible upset.
2. Katie Ledecky
The Queen of the US Swim team, Katie Ledecky, will be competing in 200m, 400m, 800m, 1500m Freestyles and the 4*200m Freestyle relay at her third Olympics in Tokyo.
Katie was established as the Youngster to look out for at the 2012 London Olympics after she snatched a surprising 800m gold defeating British favourite Rebecca Adlington on her home turf.
Katie, who is still 24 years old, has the 400m, 800m and 1500m Freestyle World records under her belt. Another incentive to watch Ledecky would be that she might become the first American woman to win 5 Olympic golds at a single Olympics.
Ledecky faces imminent threat from Ariarne Titmus of Australia after posting two 2nd fastest of all times in 200m and 400m Freestyle. Ledecky already has five golds and one Silver in her Olympic repertoire and looks to add to an already impressive tally.
3. Lilly King
Olympic swimming battles usually happen in a pool, but Lilly King, 24, has already ruffled a few feathers leading up to the Olympics. Lilly said the US could win every single gold available for contention in swimming at the Olympics.
This did not sit well with a few Australian swimmers who had broken a World record, set two 2nd fastest all times and posted World lead timings for 2021. Lilly, however, isn't afraid to speak her mind. King, the reigning 100m Breaststroke Olympic champion, is on track to become the first woman ever to win the event in successive Olympics.
King is undefeated in her event since 2015, and her last defeat came at the hands of Yulia Efimova. King won the US trials with an impressive 1:04.79 and looked to be in fine form and a league of her own. Lilly also has the World record in 100m Breaststroke of 1:04.13s.
4. Kaylee McKeown
Kaylee McKeown, 20, was always overshadowed by the USA's Regan Smith in the Backstroke events. McKeown finally rose above Smith after setting a World record in 100m Backstroke with a quick 47.45s at the Australian Olympic trials. McKeown, who lost her father to Brain cancer last year, improved on the previous record of 57.57 set up by Regan Smith in 2019.
Kaylee, who hails from Queensland, Australia, has the best timings of the year in 200m Backstroke and 200m Medley. Kaylee's sister, Taylor, has already won Silver in the relay medley event in Rio 2016; now, the McKeown family hopes to bring the yellow coloured medal home.
5. Katinka Hosszu
One of the 2016 Rio Olympics stars, Katinka Hosszu, is now far from her best form for 2021. Katinka set the World record of 4:26.36s in the 400m Medley event. She also set the 200m individual Medley Olympic record at 2:06.58 in Rio.
Katinka's exploits in Rio ended with three Gold medals and one silver medal, 100m and 200m Backstroke events being the other two. Katinka looks far from her form that earned her the nickname "The Iron Lady" in Rio 2016. Never underestimate the heart of a champion; ruling out Katinka from winning a medal shall be done at one's own risk.