Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Roma 09: Day 4 Finals

A few notes about tonight:


- Men's 100 free, women's 50 back and women's 200 fly will all be dogfights tomorrow. Almost anyone in all of the field could win medals. More tomorrow morning...

- Great day for the Americans! Finally on top of the medals count. (The Americans have led the gold count for a while, but the Aussies were led all medals until they won zero medals today, to the Americans' four!) Things are starting to get better after a somewhat mediocre start to the meet, especially for the men. The ladies are beginning to asert themselves as a much better all-around team than we saw in Beijing, and they could be on track to win a relay tomorrow, something we didn't see in Beijing.

- Men's 200 IM shapes up to be a big fight between Lochte and Cseh tomorrow, but I thought Cseh looked REALLY tired tonight, while Lochte looked like he had plenty left.

- Women's 200 free: 1:52 out of Pellegrini... beating Schmitt by 2 seconds on her way to becoming the second fastest swimmer in history...

- Men's 800... WOW! I really hope Hackett's 1,500 record lives on, but it's not looking likely right now...

As we look ahead to tomorrow:

Women's 100 Free: Looks like a re-match from Beijing, Steffen vs. Trickett, with Trickett at an obvious disadvantage, after saying she will stick with the LZR for her individual swims. Also watch out for Sarah Sjostrom, coming off her brilliant 100 fly. She should be the favorite for bronze, with Marleen Veldhuis having scratched. Also watch out for Fran Halsall, who swam a 53.02 on her prelim relay lead-off.

Men's 200 Back: The top three backstrokers in history face off in this one: Lochte, Peirsol, Irie. Peirsol and Irie are both trying to bounce back from disappointing swims in the 100 back, while Lochte has not yet swum an individual final. All three could break 1:53...

Women's 200 Breast: Already the world champ in the 100, Rebecca Soni comes in as the clear favorite for the 200, although she will have competition, especially from Annamay Pierse, the 3rd fastest swimmer in history; Mirna Jukic, who was fourth in Beijing; Yuliya Efimova, who blazed the backhalf in the 100 (actually faster than Soni) on her way to silver in that event; and others. Look for the first 2:19 in history!

Men's 200 Breast: The favorite for this event is Eric Shanteau, the second-fastest swimmer in history, who already set an American record in finishing fourth in the 100. Shanteau could very well eclipse Kosuke Kitajima's world record of 2:07.51. His main challengers will come from Australia's Brenton Rickard and France's Hugues Duboscq, who finished 1-2 in the 100 earlier, as well as a 2-3 behind Kitajima in this event in Beijing. Also watch out for Hungary's Daniel Gyurta, the silver medalist in this event in Athens; his 100 time earlier is a sign of a blazing 200 to come. Other contenders include Brazil's Henrique Barbosa and Germany's Marco Koch.

Women's 800 Free Relay: This relay will be a two-country race: the Brits versus the Yanks. Great Britain is led by Rebecca Adlington and Joanne Jackson, who took 2-3 behind Pellegrini in the 400 free, while Americans Allison Schmitt and Dana Vollmer took 2-3 behind Pellegrini in the 200. The race will depend on the 3rd and 4th swimmers. Brits Caitlin McClatchey (9th in the 200) and Jazmin Carlin look to fill those slots, while the Americans will probably turn to 200 IM gold medalist Ariana Kukors and teen phenom Dagny Knutson. Look for those two countries to be well ahead of the field, while a dogfight for bronze unfolds. Contenders include Italy, with Pellegrini and Alessia Filippi; China, with Pang Jiaying and Yang Yu; and France, led by Coralie Balmy. Australia took bronze in this event in Beijing, but they only return 2 of the 4 swimmers from Beijing, and both of those two are off form from last summer. With Meagan Nay out of the meet, they should swim Ellen Fullerton (1:57.4 in the 200 free semis), Stephanie Rice, Bronte Barratt, and Felicity Galvez, with Merindah Dingjan their alternate.

1 comment:

  1. Australia won gold in Beijing (US got bronze), but agreed, they are not contenders here. The US will smash the WR, with Vollmer, Schmitt and Super Suit Kukors.