Tokyo Olympics 2021: Which Country Has the Best Swimmers?

Published 07/04/2021, 12:37 PM EDT
The Olympic Rings monument is seen outside the Japan Olympic Committee (JOC) headquarters near the National Stadium, the main stadium for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games that have been postponed to 2021 due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Tokyo, Japan June 23, 2021 on the day to mark one month until the opening of the Olympic Games. REUTERS/Issei Kato

In terms of Olympic events, no other sport is as exciting as swimming and athletics. The number of famous athletes the sport has produced is exemplary. Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt, and Shelly-Ann are some athletes who have graced the arena with their talents. Swimming, which started as recreation, is one of the most famous sports in the world. FINA (Federacion Internationale de Natation) organizes swimming events for the International Olympic Committee. Likewise, the latest edition of the Tokyo Olympics will showcase the new superstars in swimming.


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Many nations produce excellent swimmers every year. But, some countries lead the charts in terms of medals won. The criteria for entering the list is for the gold medal won by swimmers in major competitions in the world.

BEIJING – AUGUST 11: Michael Phelps of the United States celebrates finishing the Men’s 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay Final in first place to win the gold medal held at the National Aquatics Center on Day 3 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 11, 2008 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Tokyo Olympics set to showcase Caeleb Dressel


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No other country is as dominant as the United States of America in terms of swimming events. Notably, the US has won 462 titles in international swimming events. Moreover, the presence of Michael Phelps solidifies their position as the best nation with swimmers. The regulatory body which organizes their events is USA Swimming. Despite the low salary being paid for athletes, the country has an array of swimmers for different stokes and swimming styles.

Significantly, Caeleb Dressel and Katie Ledecky have shown their dominance in recent years.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – AUGUST 09: Caeleb Dressel of the United States looks on in the first Semifinal of the Men’s 100m Freestyle on Day 4 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium on August 9, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)


The swimmers from Germany come next to the list. They have won 145 titles in their events like Water Polo, Diving, and Open Water swimming. In earlier times, the country competed against each other when they were two separate nations before; West and East Germany. But after the Berlin Wall was demolished, the two nations compete together as Germany now.

One of the best female swimmers ever comes from Germany- Kristin Otto. Otto won an unbelievable six gold medals in the 1988 Seoul Olympics.


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Another nation to compete with the US in the Olympics is China. These two nations battle it out every four years against each other for supreme dominance on top of the Olympic charts. While the US dominates the track and field events, China commands table tennis, badminton, and other indoor sports. In addition, they also have some of the best divers in the world. Wu Minxia is one of the most famous divers in the world for the elegant way in which she enters the water. Similarly, Sun Yang is the current world record holder in the 1500 meter-freestyle event.

With 140 titles in water sports, China ranks third.


The Athens Olympics 2004 showcased probably the most exciting swimming race of all time. The 200 meter-freestyle event featured the former gold medalist Pieter van den Hoogenband, the favorite to win the competition-Ian Thorpe, and the future swimming god, Michael Phelps. Thorpe won the race and set foot in the swimming hall of fame. Having one of the most fluid strokes in the world, Ian Thorpe from Australia was a bonafide superstar.


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The continent from down under has claimed 136 titles and still continues to produce world-class swimmers. Ariarne Titmus is the latest swimmer from the conveyor belt.

Some of the honorable mentions are Russia, Hungary, and the Netherlands with excellent swimmers competing in the Olympics.

While these nations produce incredible swimmers, the determination of these athletes is applaudable. To sum up, the Olympics is home to excellent swimmers, as these four nations always dominated the sport from the start.


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Jacob Gijy

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Jacob Gijy is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Gijy finished his Masters in Counselling Psychology and worked in a hospital for 2 years before his passion for sports compelled him to find his way to sports journalism. A fan of the great Tim Duncan, he is always ready to pick up a debate with anyone who does not offer the centre the respect he deserves.