Monday, 13 December 2010

World Short Course Swimming Championships - Dubai - Prediction Time

As another major competition rolls around, it can mean only one thing.... Prediction time.

The World Short Course Champs get underway in Dubai on Wednesday (Dec 15th). Full start lists can now be found HERE.

Men’s 200 Free
1. Ryan Lochte
2. Paul Biedermann
3. Yannick Agnel

Should be a fantastic race. Lochte’s underwaters will prevail though.

Women’s 50 Breast
1. Yulia Efimova
2. Rebecca Soni
3. Leiston Pickett

Men’s 100 Back
1. Camille Lacourt
2. Stanislav Donets
3. Nick Thoman

Hard to bet against Donets after European SC, but Lacourt is having a special year.

Women’s 200 Fly
1. Liu Zige
2. Katinka Hosszu
3. Mireia Belmonte Garcia

Men’s 100 Breast
1. Cameron van der Burgh
2. Felipe Silva
3. Fabio Scozzoli

Women’s 100 Back
1. Zhao Jing
2. Natalie Coughlin
3. Gao Chang

Another superb contest on the horizon. Zhao Jing is in top form, but then again, Coughlin is the queen of short course swimming.

Men’s 100 Fly
1. Steffen Deibler
2. Evgeny Korotyshkin
3. Joeri Verlinden

Sorry Geoff, prove me wrong.

Women’s 400 IM
1. Ye Shiwen
2. Hannah Miley
3. Li Xuanxu

Men’s 400 Free Relay
1. Russia
2. USA
3. France

It will be billed as USA v France. I think Russia wins.

Women’s 800 Free Relay
1. Australia
2. USA
3. China

Very close relay. Hungary and Netherlands also have good shots.

Women’s 100 Free
1. Ranomi Kromowidjojo
2. Femke Heemskerk
3. Dana Vollmer

Kromowidjojo is in a different league to the rest of the field right now.

Men’s 400 IM
1. Ryan Lochte
2. Tyler Clary
3. Laszlo Cseh

Women’s 50 Fly
1. Therese Alshammar
2. Inge Dekker
3. Marieke Guehrer

Men’s 50 Free
1. Fred Bousquet
2. Cesar Cielo
3. Nathan Adrian

Potential classic here. Bousquet wins it for me, but Cielo, Adrian, Schoeman, Josh Schneider and Steffen Deibler will all challenge.

Women’s 100 IM
1. Hinkelien Schreuder
2. Evelyn Verraszto
3. Missy Franklin

Schreuder has dominated this event for a few years now.

Men’s 800 Free Relay
1. Russia
2. USA
3. Germany

If I’m picking Russia to win the 4 x 100 Free, no reason why they shouldn’t win the 4 x 200 Free as well.

Women’s 800 Free
1. Federica Pellegrini
2. Kate Ziegler
3. Katie Goldman

Very tough race to call. Pellegrini hasn’t yet proven herself over 800m, but her 8:15 from Europeans suggests there is a good swim in her in Dubai.

Men’s 50 Back
1. Camille Lacourt
2. Stanislav Donets
3. Aschwin Wildeboer

Very hard to bet against a guy who just came close to the SC WR (Donets)… but I will.

Women’s 200 Back
1. Alexianne Castel
2. Missy Franklin
3. Femke Heemskerk

Heemskerk could win this by 5m or not make the final at all.

Men’s 50 Fly
1. Roland Schoeman
2. Steffen Deibler
3. Fred Bousquet

Schoeman was beating Deibler throughout the World Cup series.

Women’s 100 Breast
1. Rebecca Soni
2. Leisel Jones
3. Yulia Efimova

Top two breaststrokers in the world go head to head once again.

Men’s 400 Free
1. Paul Biedermann
2. Yannick Agnel
3. Peter Vanderkaay

Revenge for Biedermann after his defeat to Agnel at Europeans.

Men’s 200 IM
1. Ryan Lochte
2. Markus Rogan
3. Markus Deibler

Women’s 400 Free
1. Federica Pellegrini
2. Katie Hoff
3. Chloe Sutton

My heart tells me that Chloe Sutton might get amongst it in the 400m Free, I just worry about the turns… for that reason I’m taking Hoff ahead of Sutton.

Men’s 200 Breast
1. Naoya Tomita
2. Daniel Gyurta
3. Eric Shanteau

Women’s 400 Medley Relay
1. United States
2. Netherlands
3. Australia

As is the norm in international relays, it will come down to the Breaststroke. Soni > everyone else.

Women’s 50 Back
1. Gao Chang
2. Zhao Jing
3. Alexandra Herasimenia

Men’s 100 Free
1. Cesar Cielo
2. Nathan Adrian
3.Danila Izotov

Cielo… big competition performer.

Women’s 100 Fly
1. Therese Alshammer
2. Dana Vollmer
3. Inge Dekker

Alshammer v Vollmer should be one of the races of the competition.

Men’s 100 IM
1. Ryan Lochte
2. Markus Deibler
3. Kenneth To

Women’s 50 Free
1. Ranomi Kromowidjojo
2. Jessica Hardy
3. Hinkelien Schreuder

Women’s 200 IM
1. Ye Shiwen
2. Katinka Hosszu
3. Ariana Kukors

I’m going for the young Ye Shiwen over the established stars.

Men’s 50 Breast
1. Cameron van der Burgh
2. Felipe Silva
3. Roland Schoeman

Schoeman’s ranked fastest in the world this year, but Cameron VDB and Felipe Silva should up their game.

Women’s 400 Free Relay
1. Netherlands
2. United States
3. Australia

The Dutch team should be unstoppable. I’m predicting a World Record. You heard it here first.

Men’s 200 Back
1. Ryan Lochte
2. Arkady Vyatchanin
3. Ryosuke Irie

High class field. Camille Lacourt could be strong, even though the distance might be too long. Hard to overlook Tyler Clary too.

Women’s 200 Breast
1. Rebecca Soni
2. Leisel Jones
3. Annamay Pierse

Pierse was struck down with Delhi Belly at the Commonwealths, should be back on form… still won’t be good enough to down Soni & Jones though.

Men’s 200 Fly
1. Kaio Almeida
2. Pawel Korzeniowski
3. Laszlo Cseh

Women’s 200 Free
1. Federica Pellegrini
2. Dana Vollmer
3. Femke Heemskerk

Men’s 400 Medley Relay
1. Brazil
2. Russia
3. France

Brazil have a dynamite team. Guido, Silva, Almeida and oh yeah... Cesar Cielo. Russia & France are also stacked. Is it possible that USA don’t medal in the 4 x 100m Medley relay?

Men’s 1,500 Free
1. Sebastien Rouault
2. Pal Joensen
3. Federico Colbertaldo

Tough race to call. Ous Mellouli and Peter VDK lurk prominently but haven’t shown great form in the 1500 this year.


  1. To drown your predictions, I'll start with the 400 free relay. Evgeny Lagunov and Andrey Grechin aren't swimming (in either the 50 or 100, so I doubt the relay). Will be tough for them to beat the Americans in the 800 relay as well. As for Australia in the women's 800, they don't have any 200 freestylers besides Blair Evans and Felicity Galvez, so I think it's between the USA and Hungary. Edge USA.

    You hit the nail on the head for the men's 50. I have pretty much the exact same contenders, though I changed my pick last minute to Cielo over Bousquet. Bousquet hasn't beaten Cielo since before Beijing - in fact, a sectionals meet three weeks before.

    Cielo always performs at the big meets. Like at Pan Pacs. Could see him winning, but I'm gonna stick with Adrian. He has so much upside, and he just keeps getting better. If he has continued to rest since Nationals, he will be so fast here. His time from Nationals converts to a bit faster than Cielo's from that weekend, actually.

    I did not know Camille Lacourt even swam 200 back. I can't imagine him medaling to be honest. This one will be interesting, with short course specialists like Rogan and Vyatchanin, and then long course specialists like Irie and Clary.

    Naoya Tomita in the 200 breast? I thought we learned about picking inexperience Japanese breaststrokers to win international races after Ryo Tateishi's performance at Pan Pacs.

    After what I saw Ous Mellouli do at the Minneapolis Grand Prix, I feel like he's back. I picked him for double gold, but we'll see, that could be a bit of a stretch.

    Interesting pick of Pellegrini in the 800. I'm not convinced of her capabilities in that yet. I put her third behind Ziegler and Friis, but that's another one that can go in many ways. I will say: if Kate Ziegler is close with a 50 to go, watch out.

    Very interesting Brazil pick in the medley relay. I just feel like each American is around the same as each Brazilian. Thoman > Guido, Alexandrov = Silva (watch out, he should medal in the 100), McGill/Phillips/Lochte = Almeida, and Adrian is close to, if not better than Cielo. I will say this: in their second race of the day, I would give the advantage to 200-specialist Adrian. Also helps that Alexandrov (Klein beat him by a couple tenths at out selection meet, LONG COURSE nationals - explain that one...) has the day off while Silva has the 200 breast.

    That said, I have Russia winning the medley relay in a close one with the USA and France. Korotyshkin kicks butt in short course fly, even if they don't have an awesome breaststroker.

    If the U.S. loses the women's medley relay, they should just leave the meet. I can't imagine a more dominant team.

    Some non-entries you should know about: Muffat 400 free (it's Balmy and Etienne for France) and Gilot 100 free.

    For the most part, my picks are fairly similar, though I have some clear American bias (since Americans always come through when it counts haha). I will say this: with the huge snowstorms in Minnesota, David Plummer missed the U.S. flight to Dubai. As far as I know, he still has not left. If the U.S. is to replace him, the nod would go to LOCHTE. Nine gold medals this week? To be honest, in short course, it wouldn't shock me.

  2. Two more things. Jones is not listed on the entry list for the 200 breast, although she probably should be - only Katsoulis is right now for Australia. I picked her for silver, same as you. But thought you should know.

    Also, please email me a list of your winners by 10pm eastern time tomorrow. So anytime tomorrow, since you're overseas. Only winners please.

  3. Nice comments. Definitely made me rethink a few picks.

    The obvious ones first...

    - Chloe Sutton replaces Camille Muffat in the 400m Free. Fingers crossed on those turns.

    - Damn the French and their selection policy. Gilot is out, Izotov in (not a bad replacement).

    - When I say Cielo performs at major meets, I don't count Pan Pacs in the same class as Worlds or Olympics...

    - Men's medley relay will be fascinating (and close). Could go to Brazil, USA, Russia or France. I take your points onboard but I think I'll stick with my Brazil pick. If Korotyshkin is 1.5-2 seconds faster than the rest of the field though... race over. Almeida's form over 100m will be the key leg for the B-Boys.

    - My case for Tomita..
    Very strong on the World Cup legs he swam. Faster LC time than Gyurta this year.
    Fastest time SC this year 2:03.18 (rapid) to Gyurta's 2:06.34 (average).
    Gyurta will improve and is proven in big finals... but going into the competition Tomita is the in-form swimmer.

    Finally... I'm very confident with my prediction of a World Record in the women's 4 x 100m Free.

  4. I might have a wrench to throw in for your 400 free relay world record pick. I'm not 100% sure Marleen Veldhuis is swimming. She's not doing individual events, and it will be really tough to get that world record (and even win, possibly) without her. Unconfirmed, so we might wanna check that out. The U.S. team, in my opinion the easy second-best in the world in the 400 free relay, will have all of its components (Coughlin, Vollmer, Hardy, Joyce or Weir), but I'm not convinced they have world record potential. Maybe, though. Those four are good, especially with Coughlin's short course skills (the reason I picked her over Vollmer for bronze in the 100 free).

    Cielo is still a question mark for me. I heard a rumor (someone commented on my blog) that he took a month out after he went 20.8/45.8, and he isn't primed for this meet. Adrian, I've heard, has been going 19-second 50-yard frees in practice, which means he still has lots of rest to come from Nationals. Will be quite a duel there. As for the bronze, I picked Izotov there too.

    My case against Tomita: 2:08.94 (.01 faster than Gyurta) at a college meet between Pan Pacs and Asian Games. 2:10.36 at Asian Games and slower at Pan Pacs. Plus the fact that you picked Tateishi at Pan Pacs, and he almost got caught by Elliot Keefer in the B-final - and this is the weakest event for the U.S. I picked Gyurta/Silva/Shanteau, but I feel like Shanteau is a long shot. I'd definitely pick Alexandrov if he was swimming it; he's so good short course, but due to the stupid qualifying procedure, we have Adam Klein.

    Medley relay will be close indeed. Mostly comes down to how the U.S. butterflyers swim (very up in the air) and if/how Lochte is used (fly, like in Manchester?). Other legs will be solid.

  5. Not a wrench at all... look at the latest post. I'm calling the world record on the basis of Veldhuis not being there, with Schreuder replacing her. That WR is on!

    Also, your kidding yourself if you think the US team will get close on that one, the Dutch will blow everyone away.

    Those are sick times for Adrian in practice if accurate... however, I'm picking Bousquet on the 50m who could swim 19 second 50 yds in his sleep.

    (As much as it pains me to say it, my one concern with my picks is that I havent picked enough Americans)

  6. Wow. Ok then never mind. The thing with the U.S. is, none of these ladies ever swim short course, and all of them have been lights-out lately. Convert their long course times, and I think they're within a second and a half. Winning? Probably not. With all of this said, if Veldhuis can compete, I'd use her over Schreuder, and they could crush it by more!

    Don't get me wrong, I like Bousquet as well, and I will be rooting for him (along with the Americans of course!), but I feel like Cielo has a mental edge ever since he won Olympic gold. In the lead-up to Beijing, Bousquet beat Cielo at least three times head-to-head: B-final of 2007 U.S. Short Course Nationals (foreigners couldn't swim in the A-final), Ohio State Grand Prix, and a sectional meet three weeks before. If Bousquet had been able to swim the 50 in Beijing, he might have won, and things might have been different. However, he has not beaten Cielo since, despite having the fastest time in the world this year. Don't get me wrong, I love Fred (he better come to Charlotte this year...), but he will have to show some newfound mental toughness to get the win here.

  7. Heya, a little digression from the great discussions & predictions going on here...

    Ummm, would anyone happen to know if SC Worlds will be streamed online anywhere at all, pretty please?

    afaik, there won't be any TV broadcasts in America, either live or recaps (likely cause a certain Mr. Phelps won't be swimming)...and apparently neither Swimnetwork nor Universal will be covering the races videowise either... :(

    Have already posed this question to Braden Keith over at the Swimmers Circle, hopefully Tom here or Braden or David wll be able to sniff out a working link for us fans who may be shut out!

    Thanks :)

  8. I heard something somewhere about a Universal Sports highlights show, but it wouldn't be live, and it certainly wouldn't show all the races.