At the Brazilian Championships today, Rebecca Soni had her closest race since the switch to textile suits. The challenge came from a rejuvenated Jessica Hardy. Soni was still able to win the race by 0.34 seconds (1:05.79 to 1:06.13), which isn’t exactly ‘close’… but the fact that Hardy has regained her form in this event makes things a lot more interesting looking ahead to London. Although Soni is currently in a class of her own, Hardy’s pure speed poses a legitimate threat.
This result should also shift Hardy’s focus back onto Breaststroke. For a while it looked as though she was morphing exclusively into a sprint Freestyler.
During the recent Olympic roundtable discussion I took Yulia Efimova ahead of Hardy, but after being cleared to compete in 2012 and today’s swim I’m moving Hardy up to 3rd, behind Soni and Jones. For anyone playing along at home, I suggest moving Hardy up a few spots on your cheat sheet. Unfortunately the American didn’t qualify in this event for Shanghai so we won’t get a chance to see all the contenders rumble until we reach the big show next year.
Best to let Hardy have the last word: