Thursday, 19 August 2010

Thoughts from Pan Pacs Swimming - Day One

I won't be running through the top three of each event, if you want results check them out here. If you want to watch the races, see them here.

- I picked Yolane Kukla to win the 50m Butterfly, one spot ahead of Marieke Guehrer. I'm going to say I was half right. Kukla won the B final in 25.99, the exact same time that Guehrer won the A final in. Emily Seebohm took second in the A final just 0.09 behind Guehrer. At Pan Pacs where only 2 per nation can go into the A final and a third swimmer can only swim in the B final, the women's 50m Fly was as close to a 1-2-3 for Australia as we're going to see.

- Cesar Cielo looks like he's on form. He won the 50m Fly in a rapid 23.03 that also included a bit of a glide in to the wall. Cielo's finish had nothing on Roland Schoeman who took his last stroke with a good 3m still to swim. Good thing Schoeman has long arms.

Cielo's time must be making Fred Bousquet sit up and pay attention. Bousquet had been no.1 in the 50m Free with a time of 21.71 earlier this year. Cielo took that down a notch when he swam 21.55 in Paris in June before Bousquet turned in a stunning 21.36 at Europeans last week. Will we see the mantle of the world's best sprinter change hands once again at Pan Pacs?

- Pretty dominant win for Allison Schmitt on the 200m Free. Schmitt won silver last year at World's behind Federica Pellegrini and is now ranked second in the world this year behind Pellegrini (by a clear distance to Dana Vollmer in third). Is it safe to say now that she is the number two 200m Freestyler in the world?

Sidenote - Pleased to see Haruka Ueda make the 200m Free final as I have her pegged in for bronze on the 100m Free. Interesting fact about Ueda, last year at world's she was 30th in 55.91, this year she is already down to 54.87... suits, what suits?

- Stat-head's rejoice. Here's your virtual Ryan Lochte vs Paul Biedermann 200m Free race.

Despite the overall times coming up pretty close (just 0.17 seconds in it), both men swam the race very differently. Lochte got out a lot faster on the first 50, with both men swimming almost identical second 50s. Lochte made another strong move on the third 50 that broke the field in Irvine and was 0.3 seconds faster than Biedermann's third 50. On the way home though Lochte was hanging on whilst Biedermann was flying. Biedermann came home almost a second faster than Lochte. Just a shame we won't get to see Lochte v Biedermann (and ofcourse Phelps) this year. Both guys are big-time racers and you know that Lochte would have raised his game on the final 50 against the German, just as Biedermann wouldn't have let Lochte get so far ahead at 150m.

Lochte vs. Biedermann splits
Lochte         - 24.77, 51.65 (26.88), 1:18.12 (26.47), 1:45.30 (27.18)
Biedermann - 25.53, 52.37 (26.84) , 1:19.14 (26.77), 1:45.47 (26.33)

- Impressive swim by Emily Seebohm to win the 100m Back. Seebohm now has 3 of the top 4 swims in the world this year over 100m Back.

At 70m I thought Natalie Coughlin would hold on for victory, but she faded over the last metres. Still an awesome job in her first major international meet back after a year's break.

- Classic Peirsol swim. Wait until people start to write him off, rely on Ryan Lochte scratching the final to swim, then win the whole thing. There is one thing that does need to be brought up. This is the American team's big meet of the year and the backstroke boys have ended up well behind Camille Lacourt. Lacourt swam 1.2 seconds faster than Peirsol to win Europeans, almost breaking his WR in the process. Think Lacourt's swim was a one-off or a fluke? He's been faster than Peirsol's winning time 5 times this year.

Tough crowd for David Plummer, outstanding job to qualify for the final in a time of 53.33 which would have been good enough for second in the final. He couldn't quite match that in the evening finishing 5th in 53.80.

Quiz time - Who is the fastest American 100m Backstroker in 2010? Clue... He didn't qualify for the Pan Pac team.

- Great battle in the 200m Fly between Jessicah Schipper and Teresa Crippen. Both ladies went for it and were suffering in the last 5 metres. 3rd (Schipper) and 6th (Zsuzsanna Jakabos) in the world this year are separated by just 0.16 of a second. China's Jiao Liuyang is well out infront with an impressive 2:05.46

- Never thought I'd say this but..... sort your turns out Mike. Michael Phelps put up a much stronger showing in the 200m Fly at Pan Pacs than he did at US Nationals. It was the dominant win you expect everytime from Phelps over 200m Fly, but he still completely missed his first and third turns. 

- Epic battle on the women's 800m Free. Kate Ziegler, Chloe Sutton and Katie Goldman all held the lead at various points of the race but it was Ziegler's strong second half (out 4:11.4/back 4:10.1) that clinched it. The signs have been there for a while now but Ziegler is definitely back to her best form. Her time moves her to 2nd in the world this year, just behind Rebecca Adlington. Sutton also had a great swim to take her first international medal in the pool, one of many you suspect. Katie Goldman showed that she will be Rebecca Adlington's number one competitor at Commonwealths later this year.

- Ryan Cochrane was dominant on the 1500m Free. I'd be surprised if his time of 14:49 is bettered this year. Not sure what happened to Ous Mellouli. He trailed in last place in a time of 15:24. Mellouli's entered into the 10k open water, you hope endurance isn't his problem in California.

1 comment:

  1. Cielo 21.2 50 free, Cielo is typically one step ahead of Fred and I think he still continue this trend.

    Nice split comparison between Lochte and Biedermann, I never would have thought Biedermann's last 50 was so much faster.