Thursday, August 19, 2010

Pan Pacs: Day 2

Garrett McCaffrey described this morning's prelims session as "a pretty exciting prelim session, as prelim sessions go." More fast racing in hopes of earning a finals spot. Here is Swimming World's written recap of the session, as well as a video recap and finals preview. A lot of phenomenal swims by Americans and foreigners alike, but the men's 400 IM captured most of the excitement this morning.

In that 400 IM, Michael Phelps would compete in his first race at the distance since the Beijing Olympics. Many highly anticipated his return. However, things did not go Phelps' way. In the first heat, teammates Ryan Lochte and Tyler Clary posted the two fastest times in the world in the event, 4:08.77 and 4:09.20. Phelps could only muster a 4:15.38, leaving him fourth overall (Brazil's Thiago Pereira posted a 4:15.35), but third-best American and out of the championship final. Phelps went onto scratch the B-final to focus on swimming the 4x200 free relay tonight, allowing Robert Margalis a chance to swim a second time. Before the race, Swimnetwork's Mike Gustafson talked up the prospects for the Phelps-Lochte race in the final, while Casey Barrett of Swimnetwork and John Lohn of Swimming World both wrote columns about Phelps' failure to final and attempted to explain the circumstances.

On the other side of the coin, awesome swims from both Lochte and Clary. Lochte dropped more than a second from his Nationals swim (4:09.98), looking fairly easy in his swim, while Clary demolished his 4:14.12 at Nationals, where he completely fell apart the last 150. Should be an awesome finals race tonight, with possibly Pereira challenging the Americans.

After the prelim race Phelps spoke to the media, once again talking about his poor physical shape and the amount of pain the race caused.

In the ladies' 400 IM, Elizabeth Beisel dropped the hammer. After finishing fourth at Nationals in 4:39.08, Beisel demolished that time with a 4:34.04 in prelims. (She must have known I picked her to win!) Going into finals, she sits more then five seconds ahead of fellow American Caitlin Leverenz, with the pair a good bet to finish 1-2 in the finale. Look for another great swim from Beisel tonight, possibly near her personal-best time of 4:32.87 (from Olympic Trials), as well as in tomorrow's 200 back.

I screwed up the prediction scores big time yesterday. After being awake since 5am, I calculated the scores at midnight (eastern). For some reason, if someone picked Dana Vollmer or Allison Schmitt to win the 200 free, they got full points. Scores have been adjusted.

1. Jerry 84
2. Matt 81
3. Me 76
3. Tom 76
5. G. John 71
6. John 68
7. Priyant 67
8. Shawn 64
9. Braden 55
10. Katie 43

Some updated predictions for tonight's finals:

Women's 100 Free
1. Dana Vollmer
2. Natalie Coughlin
3. Yolane Kukla

Men's 100 Free
1. Nathan Adrian
2. Cesar Cielo
3. Brent Hayden

Women's 100 Breast
1. Rebecca Soni
2. Leisel Jones
3. Satomi Suzuki

Men's 100 Breast
1. Kosuke Kitajima
2. Ryo Tateishi
3. Mark Gangloff

Women's 400 IM
1. Elizabeth Beisel
2. Caitlin Leverenz
3. Samantha Hamill

Men's 400 IM
1. Ryan Lochte
2. Tyler Clary
3. Thiago Pereira

Women's 4x200 Free Relay
1. USA (Vollmer, Scroggy, Hoff, Schmitt)
2. Australia (Evans, Barratt, Nay, Palmer)
3. Canada (Wilkinson, Samur, Cheverton, Jardin)

Men's 4x200 Free Relay
1. USA (Phelps, Vanderkaay, Berens, Lochte)
2. Australia (Ffrost, D'Orsogna, Monk, Fraser-Holmes)
3. Japan (Matsuda, Okimura, Uchida, Kobori)

Finals get underway at 6pm (pacific). Once again, live video will be available at Omega Timing has live results and full results. Also keep an eye on my Twitter and Facebook pages for updates throughout the meet. In addition, Swimming World TV has TONS of video interviews and recaps from the meet, highly recommend checking it out.

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