|Sprouting Dive Start!|
|Rōmaji||Mebuki no Daibu Sutāto！|
|Air Date||July 11, 2018|
|Animation Director||Yūko Akami|
|Opening||Heading to Over|
|← Episode 25||Episode 27 →|
Sprouting Dive Start! (芽吹きのダイブスタート！ Mebuki no Daibu Sutāto!) is the first episode of season three of the Free! anime and the twenty-sixth episode of the overall series. It aired on July 11, 2018.
Haruka Nanase begins training at his new university, Hidaka University in Tokyo. Here, he reunites with his Junior High teammate, Asahi Shiina. While in Tokyo, Haru catches up with Asahi, Makoto Tachibana, & Kisumi Shigino, where they all begin reminiscing about their past. Eventually, the group begin discussing their old teammate, Ikuya Kirishima.
List of characters in order of appearance: