Tuesday, 19 July 2011
Poll Results: Which Women's Event Are You Most Looking Forward to in Shanghai?
100m Free - 59 votes (25.1%) - Nothing could split the traditional blue ribbon event (100m Free) and the 'All Star' newcomer (200m IM). Interestingly the 100 Free is the most anticipated race on both the men's and women's schedule.
200m IM - 59 votes (25.1%) - Stacked with star names from the swimming world's superpowers: Rice, Coutts, Kukors, Ye Shiwen, Belmonte, Miley, Hosszu, Coventry. In terms of glitz and glamour, this is the women's equivalent of the men's 200m Free.
400m Free - 25 votes (10.6%) - An intriguing race that was shaping up to be a head-to-head duel between Rebecca Adlington and Federica Pellegrini, before Camille Muffat, Chloe Sutton, Katie Hoff and Kylie Palmer all staked their claim for the title in the last year.
4 x 100 Free relay - 16 votes (6.8%) - I would imagine most of the votes cast for this race came from the Netherlands. The race between NED, USA, AUS and CHN should be closer than people think, but with two potential medalists in the 100 Free individual event, the Dutch women should have enough firepower to get the job done.
400m IM - 13 votes (5.5%) - Think of this as the 200m IM-lite. With the exception of Arianna Kukors and Alicia Coutts, the other contenders for the 200 IM go in this event.
100m Back - 12 votes (5.1%) - A good chance for a Chinese victory in this race with Zhao Jing, however, she will have to overcome a seriously talented field including Natalie Coughlin, Gemma Spofforth, Aya Terakawa and Anastasia Zueva. Watch out for Holland's Femke Heemskerk (1:00.03 this year, trains with Camille Lacourt) for an upset. The one name missing is Missy Franklin, who only qualified for the 200m Back.
200m Breast - 11 votes (4.7%) - One for the world record hunters. There isn't much debate on who the favourite for this event is, the big question is how close Rebecca Soni can get to Annamay Pierse's world record.
200m Free - 8 votes (3.4%) - I think this event should have finished higher up in the results. Pellegrini goes in as the favourite but faces strong challenges from two rapid Australians (Kylie Palmer and Bronte Barratt), Camille Muffat and Allison Schmitt. Outside chances for Heemskerk, Jo Jackson and Sarah Sjostrom. It's going to be tight and it's going to be fast.
100m Breast - 7 votes (2.9%) - Soni goes in as favourite again, but the rest of the world should be able to get closer in this event. Might be foolish to rule out Leisel Jones.
800m Free - 6 votes (2.6%) - Rebecca Adlington appears to be back to her dominant self in her pet event. After finishing 4th at Worlds in 2009, Adlington seems to have now found the right balance between her training and media obligations. The world record (8:14.10) might be too much to ask, but Janet Evans' textile mark (8:16.22) could be in danger.
100m Fly - 5 votes (2.1%) - One of swimming's brightest talents, Sarah Sjostrom, will be looking to defend her world title from Rome. It would quite an acheivement to be a two-time world champion at just 17 years of age.
200m Back - 4 votes (1.7%) - Another wide open event and one where Australia will be looking to Meagan Nay and Belinda Hocking to upset the home favourite Zhao Jing. One of the breakout stars of 2011, Missy Franklin, gets her only chance for a medal in an individual event here.
200m Fly - 4 votes (1.7%) - No shortage of stars going in this event, just a shortage of votes. China leads the way with WR holder Liu Zige (2:01.81 in a LZR), but the chasing pack is full of talented youths and experienced veterans. This is Britain's best chance for two medals in a single event.
50 Free - 3 votes (1.3%) - This race can't quite match the interest of the 100 Free. Therese Alshammar will come into play and challenge the Dutch combo of Ranomi Kromowidjojo and Marleen Veldhuis. The 50 Free possibly represents Britta Steffen's best chance at gold/a medal.
4 x 100 Medley relay - 3 votes (1.3%) - USA, Australia and China will battle it out. It should be a tight race, that ultimately might be decided on the Breaststroke leg. If Moniek Nuijhuis can get close to the leading women on the Breast leg, watch out for Holland's closing speed.
4 x 200 Freestyle relay - 1 vote (0.04%) - Apparently there is very little love for the longest relay on the books. I personally think this will be the most interesting relay on the women's side. The Australians have incredible strength in depth, China has been dominating this event on the global stage recently and the USA have the wildcard that is Missy Franklin. Don't use this event for a tea break!