Sunday, July 24, 2011

Shanghai 2011: Day Two Finals Predictions

I know that I have not yet shared my swim-geeking about these FINA World Championships in Shanghai, and I deeply apologize to the hoard of you who sat at your computers all day waiting for my blog. I have spent the weekend at my State Championship meet, swimming fast (though certainly not nearly as fast as the swimmers I am writing about). I did not even get a chance to watch most of this morning/last night’s finals live! But don’t worry; I will be up to watch live tomorrow morning, and then I’ll share my full thoughts on both sessions of finals. The lack of sleep combined with the lactic acid from my last race going to my head (yes, I skimped on warm-down) will cause me deliria tomorrow, but who cares?

This morning, we saw two very different results from two defending champions in the two women’s 100-meter races. One of them blasted the fastest time in the world to lead qualifiers by a second and a half. A loss in this race would be a monumental upset. The other, sick with food poisoning this weekend, finished 23rd in a time nearly four seconds slower than world record that she set in Rome in 2009. Such is the nature of our sport and the results that Rebecca Soni and Gemma Spofforth achieved today, respectively. Oh how drastically things can change in just two years. That said, wishing the best to Spofforth down the line.

Meanwhile, some updated predictions for finals:

Women’s 100 Fly
1. Dana Vollmer
2. Sarah Sjostrum
3. Alicia Coutts
*Vollmer looks too good to be stopped.

Men’s 50 Fly
1. Cesar Cielo
2. Geoff Huegill
3. Matt Targett
*Expect some outsider smoke from Targett and Fred Bousquet.

Women’s 200 IM
1. Yi Shiwen
2. Ariana Kukors
3. Stephanie Rice
*Top three looks solid but really could go in any order. Sticking with my original pick.

Men’s 100 Breast
1. Alexander Dale Oen
2. Kosuke Kitajima
3. Brenton Rickard
*Standing by my same top-three as before; they’ve done nothing to change my mind.

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