Monday, 22 February 2010
200m Freestyle: Biedermann vs Phelps
You can find my race-by-race recap of the Great Britain Vs. Germay duel day one here and day two here. Full results (without splits) are here.
Biedermann vs Phelps
Great to see Paul Biedermann back in action at the GBR Vs. GER duel. He looked in tremendous physical condition. He mentioned that he'd lost 1.5kg and that he still had more a bit more to lose. His modesty shone through after the race too when the inevitable questions about Phelps came up. He dealt with them admirably calling Phelps the "greatest swimmer in the world" and that he hopes to face him later in the year either at the Monaco leg of the Mare Nostrum series in June or at the World Shortcourse Champs in Dubai in December.
Why Phelps vs Biedermann is so intriguing is the fact that Phelps' famous last 50m speed, where he has won so many races, is less effective against Biedermann. Normally if Phelps goes into the final turn level or just behind a swimmer, you still expect him to win. However, take a look back at the 200m Final in Rome last year and see Biedermann's final 50m. This is the first time I can remember seeing anyone pulling away from Phelps on a final 50m. 9 minute version here with full build up and post-race analysis.
This is the way Biedermann swims and I believe he's strong enough to match Phelps on the final 50m of a 200m Free. Phelps may need to change his approach to the 200m and take the race out (possibly sub-50 seconds) if he wants to beat Biedermann.
The one criticism I have of Biedermann is his starts. He loses out everytime on them and his starting weakness was evident again this weekend. The worrying aspect for his rivals is that this is something that can be improved upon.