2020 Tokyo Olympics swimming: Caeleb Dressel wins gold in 100m; Ledecky leads U.S. to silver in 4x200 relay

Swimming has certainly been one of the most exciting sports throughout the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. We've seen America's Katie Ledecky, Australia's Ariarne Titmus and Japan's Yui Ohashi all making headlines in the women's competition.

Wednesday offered another chance for the Team USA swimmers to be in the spotlight. It was all about Caeleb Dressel and Ledecky.

The American women, who were not favorites to win, finished second in the 4x200 relay final thanks to a blistering anchor leg by Ledecky. She was not fast enough for America to finish before China, which took gold in an upset. 

China won the gold with a world record time of 7:40.33, while the United States was right behind with a time of 7:40.73. Team USA did take silver and finish ahead of bronze medalist Australia. Australia, led by Titmus, were the favorites to win it all but finished third.

Before that, Dressel won the gold medal in the 100-meter freestyle final in 47.02 seconds, which is a new Olympic record. If that weren't impressive enough, the American swimmer edged out Australia's Kyle Chalmers by just .06 of a second.

Here is a look at the thrilling finish:

After winning his first individual Olympic gold medal, Dressel provided another great moment when he was interviewed on NBC and was overcome with emotion.

Dressel wasn't the only United States swimmer to have success on the night. Bobby Finke won the gold medal in the 800-meter freestyle after trailing for nearly the entire race. Italy's Gregorio Paltrinieri led the majority of the way, but Finke made a sensational charge over the final 50 meters to win the race:

It marked the second gold medal in Tokyo for Dressel as he earned another gold medal in the 4x100-meter freestyle race earlier this week. After winning a record eight medals and six gold at the 2019 World Aquatics Championship, Dressel has looked like a star in the post-Michael Phelps era.

Below are recaps of the other finals that took place.

800-meter freestyle final

Gregorio Paltrinieri jumped out to an early lead and had a multiple-length advantage throughout the first 200 meters of the race. Paltrinieri had a comfortable lead throughout the bulk of the race, but United States swimmer Bobby Finke really made a charge over the final 50 meters of the race. Finke was able edge out Paltrinieri with a final time of 7:41 87 to win the gold medal, which was an American record. It also marked the first time that the men's 800-meter freestyle was run in the Olympics.

200-meter breaststroke final

Zac Stubblety-Cook won the gold medal in the 200-meter breaststroke with a time of 2:06.38. The big story was Dutch swimmer Arno Kamminga, who was on pace to beat the world record out of the gate. However, Kamminga faded down the stretch and ended up only earning a silver medal.

Women's 200-meter fly final

Zhang Yufei jumped out to a huge lead in the early going and never relinquished it. Zhang finished with a time of 2:03.86, an Olympic record. However, the American swimmers weren't going to be left off the podium. Regan Smith and Hali Flickinger won the silver and bronze medals, respectively. Flickinger was in second place down the stretch, but Smith was able to edge out Flickinger in the final 50 meters to win the silver medal.

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China wins the gold medal with a time of 7:40.33 and the United States earns silver with a time of 7:40.73. Once again, Katie Ledecky proves that she's one of the best in the world. What a comeback.

July 29, 2021, 3:54 AM
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What an incredible performance by Katie Ledecky to make it a close race. She really turned it on down the stretch and gave China all that they could handle. The United States win the silver medal.

July 29, 2021, 3:52 AM
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Katie Ledecky is doing all that she can to get the United States back into this as the anchor. What a performance we're seeing right now. One more leg to go!

July 29, 2021, 3:51 AM
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Australia and China are currently on a world record pace. It certainly wouldn't be a surprise to see a new world record set when it's all said done.

July 29, 2021, 3:48 AM
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China has the lead in the first 100 meters, but it's still a very tight race. Australia, Canada, and the United States are all very much in it.

July 29, 2021, 3:45 AM
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@NBCOlympics via Twitter
July 29, 2021, 3:44 AM
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@NBCOlympics via Twitter
July 29, 2021, 3:44 AM
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Ledecky will anchor the United States team and swim in Lane 5. Seeing Australia and the United States go head-to-head should be sensational.

July 29, 2021, 3:44 AM
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Katie Ledecky is set to compete in the 4x200 free relay final as she seeks her second gold medal of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Ledecky is fresh off of winning a gold medal in the women's 1,500-meter freestyle on Tuesday.

July 29, 2021, 3:41 AM
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@NBCOlympics via Twitter
July 29, 2021, 2:59 AM
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Dressel gets extremely emotional when they show his family back in the United States. The American swimmer is having a sensational week in Tokyo.

July 29, 2021, 2:45 AM
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Caeleb Dressel gets out to the early lead in the 100-meter freestyle and never looks back. Dressel wins the gold medal in an extremely impressive fashion and sets an Olympic record in the process with a time of 47.02. He just edged out Australia's Kyle Chalmers in a photo finish.

July 29, 2021, 2:41 AM
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The moment we've been waiting for is finally here. Caeleb Dressel is attempting to win a gold medal in the 100-meter freestyle final. He'll be in Lane 5 for this one.

July 29, 2021, 2:39 AM
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Zhang Yufei wins the gold medal in the women's 200-meter fly final. Yufei led the whole way, but Americans Regan Smith and Hali Flickinger earned silver and bronze medals respectively. Smith overtook Flickinger in the final 50 meters to win silver.

July 29, 2021, 2:36 AM
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