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.


  1. You were absolutely right about The Netherlands team, it's just Kromowidjojo (what a name) underperformed. She should have been 50.9 or so, based on her 100 victory.

  2. Yes Kromowidjojo underperformed but what a stormer for Schreuder....I was just waiting for Hardy & Pang to pull her back but she just chugged away, well swam for her, 52.32 that is how you up your game in a relay, 53.6 individual this year!! Well done to them, i am sure it will go when Veldhuis comes back.
    Can you imagine having Schreuder/Dekker not swimming in your 400FR relay team!

  3. Pretty brutal when you have the fastest split of the entire relay and its seen as underperforming... the fact remains that expectations were higher than 51.4.

    Looking at the splits, the first 50m was right on schedule. 24.46 was exactly 0.5 seconds faster than her 100m final split, however tonight she came back in 26.96 compared to 26.49 in yesterday's final.

    From Kromowidjojo's twitter, using google translate, it looks like she might have had some kind of cold. (Any Dutch speakers might be able to help out with that one!)