Saturday, 18 December 2010
Thoughts from World Short Course Champs - Day Four
After three thrilling days of competition, Day Four in Dubai offered a bit of a breather...
- The Dutch quartet took Gold in the Women's 4 x 100m Free relay, but missed out on the World Record by 0.32 seconds.
You could see their mixture of emotions. Happiness to win, but disappointment that they didn't break the record. Their disappointment was trumped by just one other person... myself. After a spectacularly well thought out prediction before the competition started, I had a self-congratulatory blog all ready to go. This was supposed to be my Watergate moment. The Pullitzer prize givers probably already started to engrave my name on the medal. Sadly, it wasn't to be.
Frankly, they should have cleared the record comfortably. Femke Heemskerk led off 0.15 seconds slower than her individual final time from last night and Ranomi Kromowidjojo swam just 0.03 seconds faster than her final time, despite the benefit of having a relay take over. Inge Dekker and Hinkelein Schreuder both had solid legs, if not spectacular legs.
- Ryan Lochte gave Peter Mankoc's world record a scare in the semi final of the 100m IM. Lochte's time of 50.81 was just 0.05 seconds shy of the veteran Slovenian's mark. I'm not sure if it was pleasant experience or not for Mankoc, but he was able to 'enjoy' Lochte's swim the lane next to him.
The scheduling is not conducive for the record to go tomorrow as Lochte will have the 200m Backstroke final just minutes before the 100m IM final, with only the Women's 200m Breaststroke final in between the two finals. If anyone can pull off that kind of double, its Lochte. He's been racing tough all year in domestic meets, swimming multiple events on short rests. Hopefully the meet organisers will throw in some medal presentations to pad out the amount of rest the American can get.
- Mireia Belmonte added the 200m IM crown to her golds in the 200m Fly and 400m IM, as well as her 800m Free silver (had the race been 805m Free we would be talking about a four-time individual gold medallist). Eurosport had satellite problems so I didn't see the race, which is a shame because from the splits it looked like a great race. Katinka Hosszu led after the fly, the lead then passed to Missy Franklin after the back, Ariana Kukors was in the top spot after the Breastroke before Belmonte and Ye Shiwen stormed clear of the field on the Freestyle.
Belmonte is no stranger to success on the international stage, but this competition has taken her to a new level. It will be interesting to see in the coming months whether this is a breakthrough meet for the Spaniard that leads to greater success in the Long Course pool, or whether she is predominantly a Short Course specialist.