Wednesday, 3 November 2010

FINA/Arena Swimming World Cup - Stockholm

FINA/Arena Swimming World Cup - Stockholm - 6-7 November

The World Cup series will look to go out with a bang this weekend at the final leg in Stockholm.

The start list has been released and there are some intriguing battles shaping up.

Races to watch out for

Duje Draganja v Roland Schoeman v Steffen Deibler - 50m Fly

Schoeman and Deibler have been battling it out all World Cup series in the 50m Fly but in Stockholm they will be challenged by short course expert Draganja. Qatar's Croatia's Draganja has had a quiet year by his high standards only managing 24.26 at Europeans, however in Stockholm he returns to the shorter pool where he has had so much success.

Draganja will also swim the 50m Free, 100m Free, 100m Fly and 100m IM.

Alain Bernard v Lyndon Ferns v Steffen Nystrand v Draganja v Schoeman v Deibler - 100m Free

Alain Bernard will see World Cup action for the first and only time in 2010 in Stockholm. Down to swim the 50m, 100m & 200m Free, it will be the 100m Free that should throw up the best race (although it will be very interesting to see what he goes over 200m v Biedermann).

So far nobody has been able to get close to Cesar Cielo's stunning 45.87 set in Brazil in September. Schoeman, Deibler and co. have all had a fair few attempts now so I wouldn't expect huge improvements from them. Bernard, however, could have a shot at Cielo's time.

Sebastien Rouault vs Pal Joensen - 1500m Free

After their epic battle in Budapest this summer, we'll get to see Rouault v Joensen Part II. In one of the best races of the European Champs, Joensen led for 1350m with Rouault trailing by up to 3 seconds during the race, however the Frenchmen reeled in Joensen to win in a time of 14:55.17 to 14:56.90.

Joensen on home turf (kind of, still in Scandinavia) has his chance for revenge and has more SC racing this year under his belt, Rouault though is a product of the US collegiate system won't have any problems in SCM.

Camille Muffat v Coralie Balmy v Ophelie Cyralie Etienne v Lotte Friis- 400m Freestyle

The women's 400m Free is one of the most interesting races in world swimming right now. Federica Pellegrini is out in front right now, but there is an extremely strong (and deep) group chasing her.  In Stockholm we will get the see the best France has to offer as well as European Bronze medalist, Lotte Friis.

In 2010 the French trio of Balmy, Etienne and Muffat's best times in the 400m Free LC are split by just 0.09 (4:05.40 to 4:05.49, joint 4th and 7th in the world), which should lead to a great race this weekend. My money would be on Muffat who can swim great untapered. Worth watching out for German youngster Silke Lippok too who continues to impress, although 400m could be too far for her.

Dana Vollmer v Sarah Sjoestrom v Therese Alshammar - 100m Fly

Vollmer's 100m Fly in Berlin (55.59) was one of the swims of 2010. Just half a second shy of the world record, she took down the World Cup points leader Alshammar in the race. However, you know that Alshammar will not want the same result when she swims in front of her home crowd. Sjoestrom too will have home support. Should be close, but you have to favour Vollmer on this one though.


  1. Definitely go for Vollmer in the 100 fly. Sjoestrom is not a great short course flyer. I'd say her best short course event is the 200 free. Alshammar died really bad at the end of her 100 fly in Berlin and had a terrible finish. It's great that she's trying to add a longer race to her program, but the 50s will always be best suited to her, especially at this age. (Remember, she did win silver in the 100 free in 2000, ahead of Dara Torres.)

    Don't think anyone has a shot of 45.8 in Stockholm. Cielo and Adrian should beat that at World Short Course (though I'm not 100% sure Cielo's swimming that meet...), and maybe even Bernard too, but not here, not yet. Can't imagine anyone touching Bernard. I think he will be 46-high (or thereabouts), and no one else below 47-mid. Schoeman has given up the 100 free for all except relay purposes. He hasn't done 100 free at a World Cup since Durban (the first stop) last year. The 50 breast, especially without van der Burgh, is an easy win for him. Just a changing of priorities at an older age, I guess. To be honest, he might even get bumped off the relay with Louw, Moore, Ferns, and Townsend.

  2. etienne just lost her mum this weekend so she won't be in stockholm.