Saturday, 19 March 2011
New Vote: Who Will Win The 400m Freestyle at this Year's World Championships?
If the 200m Freestyle is the most stacked event with storylines on the men's side, for the women it is surely the 400m Freestyle.
The event includes the most popular swimmers, male or female, of two major European nations, Rebecca Adlington and Federica Pellegrini. Two high-profile American women with two contrasting backgrounds. A young Chinese contingent with no apparent ceiling to their talent. France's major medal hopes on the women's side and a couple of Australian's putting together some impressive major competition results.
The Main Contenders
Rebecca Adlington - Double Olympic Champion from Beijing. European and Commonwealth Champion last year. Has just swam the event's fastest time since the suit laws were changed.
Federica Pellegrini - Only woman ever to swim under 4:00 long course and reigning World Champion. Had consistency issues last year and is now training with Laure Manaudou's former coach.
Chloe Sutton - The former open water swimmer has transitioned seamlessly to the pool. Has improved many technical aspects. Can keep pace with anyone else in the world between the flags.
Katie Hoff - Last year's World Short-Course Champion has returned to her best form after a post-Beijing dip. The best start and turns of anyone in the event.
Camille Muffat - Multi-talented 21-year old, has been improving steadily over the last few years. Looks set for a break-out in 2011.
Coralie Balmy - 8th on the all-time list. Underperformed at European's last year and has subsequently changed coaches. No shortage of talent.
Li Xuanxu - Just 17 years old. 6th at the World SC Championships which was also her LC world ranking last year. Watch out for the Chinese at a home World Championships.
Yiwen Shao - 16 year-old dominated last year's Asian Games winning by over 3 seconds in her first international competition. Watch out for the Chinese at a home World Championships.
Bronte Barratt - 8th in the world last year, but just 0.1 seconds shy of 4th. Has been on the international scene for some time, but is still just 22 years old.
Kylie Palmer - Strong performances in the major competition's last year. Silver medalist behind Hoff in Dubai. Beat the likes of Pellegrini, Sutton, Balmy and Li Xuanxu. Also won silver at the Commonwealth Games behind Adlington.
Other - Plenty of other hopefuls in this event, including the likes of Jaz Carlin, Ophelie-Cyrielle Etiene, Blair Evans, Lotte Friis, Mireia Belmonte (although the event clashes with 200m IM), Erika Villaecija plus any unknown talents poised for a breakthrough (looking at you China).
Cast your vote now. If clicking vote isn't enough, make the case for your pick in the comment section below.