The NOVAQUATICS - SPEEDO Grand Challenge takes place from May 28th to May 30th. The field is stacked with quality swimmers and we should see a number of top times as world swimming starts to enter its summer season.
Swimmers to Watch
Morozov is coming off his recent National High School records in the 50y and 100y Freestyle. This meet will give the swimming world a chance to see what he can do over LC metres. One thing is for sure, Morozov is in top form. He has the added incentive of being able to show some of his future USC teammates what they can expect next year. Morozov has a tough 6-event schedule (200 Free, 200 IM, 50 Free, 100 Fly, 100 Back, 100 Free). The good news for US Swimming... Although born and raised in Russia, he wants to represent the USA in international competition.
(Check out highlights of his recent swims in the video below - Hat tip to OC Varsity for the video)
Morozov isn't the only recent National High School record breaker. Cindy Tran also set a new mark in the 100y Back. Like Morozov, Tran has a busy schedule and is down to compete in the 50m Free, 100m Fly, 200m Back, 100m Back and 100m Free. Tran, who will head to California-Berkeley next year, looks to have a real chance in the 100m Back at this meet.
Rebecca Soni & Jessica Hardy
Training partners Rebecca Soni and Jessica Hardy will continue their friendly rivalry. Soni has been one of world swimming's top performers in 2010 with stunning (untapered) times in the 100m (1:05.90) and 200m Breast (2:22.21).
Hardy on the other hand has just been given the excellent news that she successfully fended off the appeal from WADA to increase her anti-doping ban to 2 years. Whilst her participation in the 2012 Olympics is still in the balance this news should give Hardy a huge psychological lift going into this weekend. For those wanting a much better insight into what Hardy has been going through, I suggest reading Dominik Meichtry's blog.
For as long as Kitajima continues to swim he will appear as a 'swimmer to watch' in every meet he competes in. The Japanese Breaststroke star has a few questions to answer after some mixed results at the Japanese Nationals. After setting a new Japanese record in the 50m Breast semis (27.30) and a strong showing in the 100m Breast (59.91) there is no problem with his speed. However, the wheel's came off in the 200m Breast final and it was not his first loss of the year in that event. Competition will come from NCAA Champ Damir Dugonjic. Irish fans should keep an eye on what kind of form Andrew Bree is in.
Thiago Perreira/Markus Rogan/Tyler Clary
World Class swimmers Pereira, Rogan and Clary will face each other in a variety of events. 200 IM (Rogan & Pereira), 200 Back (Rogan & Clary), 400 IM (Clary & Pereira). Rogan and Pereira have been in fine form so far in 2010. Clary took silver in the 400 IM at the World Champs in Rome last year.
Nathan Adrian & Jason Lezak
Adrian and Lezak will lock horns in the 50m and 100m Free. It will be fascinating to see where Adrian and Lezak will end up in the 2010 world rankings. Setting the pace this year are Fred Bousquet with 21.71 in the 50m Free and Alain Bernard with 48.32 in the 100m Free.
Chloe Sutton vs Katie Hoff
Sutton and Hoff will resume their battle in the 400m Free. Sutton has prevailed in the 400 Free meetings so far in 2010. The 400m Free is an event with a logjam in the world rankings with a number of swimmers between 4:05 and 4:10. Sutton's best time of 2010 is 4:07.41 (9th) whilst Hoff has posted 4:10.57 (23rd), both women can move up several places with slight improvements on those times.
UPDATE - From Twitter - @csutswim - Speedo Grand Challenge tomorrow! Getting there at 630 to do a workout for 2 hours then swimming the 400. I'll be scratching finals.
British distance freestyler Richard Charlesworth goes into the 1500m ranked second behind the tough American Chad La Tourette. Michael Klueh will also pose a threat having been in good form this year on the US Grand Prix circuit.
Psych Sheet - Here
Live Results - Here