Quick recap of the very lopsided session of finals and then a look at tomorrow:
- Phelps actually had a really good swim today! 1:43.2 is really awesome considering the shape he's in. I think we're looking at a 1:51-low to mid tomorrow in the 200 fly. I think it will take under 1:53 to medal, even without Laszlo Cseh.
- With two races, two golds, and two vaunted world records taken down, Biedermann will swim the 100 free tomorrow. Based on what we've seen so far, I think he actually has a strong chance to make the finals and go under 48.
- Kirsty Coventry dead last in the 100 back? When that happens, you know something's up...
- The 100 back final proved only that Peirsol is still the best backstroker in the world. I think he has a really good chance to win the 200 back at this point, especially with a disappointing swim by Irie tonight. I actually hope the Americans are next to Japan on the medley relay, so Peirsol can swim right next to the world champ and crush him, along with the world record.
- Hopefully that 1-3 in the women's 100 breast is what the Americans need to get the ball rolling!
Women's 50 Back: There are quite a few contenders in this one. The favorite has to be Anastasia Zueva, the owner of the fastest time ever, who already posted a meet record in this on her way to silver in the 100 back. There is also official world record-holder, Germany's Daniela Samulski, the Aussie duo of Sophie Edington and Emily Seebohm, the U.S.'s Hayley McGregory, China's Gao Chang and Zhao Jing, as well as 100 gold medalist Gemma Spofforth.
Men's 100 Free: The clear favorite is Olympic champ Alain Bernard, who is also the only man to ever break 47 in this race. He will be pushed by Brazil's Cesar Cielo, who almost broke the world record leading off the relay on night 1. Bernard's French teammate Fred Bousquet has been 47.15, but had a very disappointing relay swim, but still expect him to be in medal contention. Other contender's for medals include Germany's Biedermann, Australia's Matt Targett, Russia's Andrey Grechin, Sweden's Stefan Nystrand, co-defending champs Filippo Magnini of Italy and Brent Hayden of Canada, and also "Jason Lezak Junior," Nathan Adrian of the U.S., the short course world champ.
Women's 200 Fly: After brilliant times earlier in the 100 fly, China's Jiao Liuyang and Australia's Jessicah Schipper look to be the swimmers to beat, having gone 2-3 in this event in Beijing. Also watch out for Great Britain's Ellen Gandy, the only swimmer under 2:05 this year. China's world record-holder Liu Zige also looms as a threat. Others to watch include Kathleen Hersey of the U.S. and France's Aurore Mongel.
Men's 200 IM: Without 3-time defending champ Phelps, this event appears to be firmly in the hands of Ryan Lochte, who was second to Phelps two years ago in Melbourne. He may be able to track down Phelps' world record of 1:54.23. Competition will come from Hungary's Laszlo Cseh, who took silver in this event in Beijing, but Cseh has been ill as of late and his pre-race fitness is not known. Another to watch is American Eric Shanteau, the third fastest swimmer in history, already fourth in the 100 breast in Rome. Other possibilities to sneak into the equation are South African Darian Townsend, Japan's Ken Takakuwa, Great Britain's James Goddard, and Brazil's Thiago Pereira.