Thursday, 7 July 2011

World Swimming Championships Predictions - Men

Men's World Championships Predictions - Version 1.1

    50 Free
1    Bousquet
2    Cielo
3    Adrian

Before Cielo's recent failed test for a masking agent, I had him doing the 50 and 100 Free double. His biggest advantage has been his incredible mental strength, and the impact this had on his competitors. Cielo has always had a mental edge over Fred Bousquet especially, now I think the tables have turned. I see Bousquet sensing a chink in the Brazilian's armour and taking advantage of it.    
    100 Free
1    Cielo
2    Adrian
3    Hayden

As the Cielo saga unfolds this choice could change, but he did look on incredible form at the Paris Open. Nathan Adrian has not shown his hand in 2011, but should be a force to be reckoned with after a full taper. Brent Hayden might be the most under rated 100 Freestyler on the planet, the only man to break 48 seconds last year and yet still most people see bronze at best for the Canadian.    
    200 Free (Changing my mind on a daily basis)
1    Park
2    Phelps
3   Lochte

Easily the hardest event to predict in world swimming. Park is my choice for the top spot based on three factors a) he is an Olympic champion, that can never be underestimated, b) he was a full half second faster than the rest of the world last year, and c) he looked in great shape at the Santa Clara meet. Lochte is Lochte and Phelps is Phelps. At this stage its a coin flip between the two of them. I still refuse to rule out Paul Biedermann and he will have a serious point to prove in Shanghai.And then there's the improving Yannick Agnel.... my head is starting to hurt again.

    400 Free
1    Sun Yang
2    Park
3    Agnel

I can't wait for this event. Sun Yang vs Tae-hwan Park, both 3:41 guys, both with a legitimate shot at the world record. Check the comments for John26's assessment of the race, I tend to agree with his theory about Sun Yang being under world record pace before falling off, compared to Park being down at all stages of his race at Asian Games. Agnel should have Ous Mellouli for company for the bronze medal fight.
    800 Free
1    Sun Yang
2    Mellouli
3    Pizzetti

Nobody is talking about Sun Yang breaking compatriot Zhang Lin's WR of 7:32.12, maybe for good reason as it would require two 3:46s back to back. He also 'only' managed 7:47 at last year's Asian Games. My pick of Pizzetti instead of Ryan Cochrane has been questioned, but I can't overlook Pizzetti who seems to have made a step up in class in 2011. European Champion Sebastien Rouault shouldn't be forgotten either.
    1500 Free
1    Sun Yang
2    Mellouli
3    Cochrane

Will Grant Hackett's iconic world record go? I think so. With the greatest of respect to Mellouli, Cochrane and the rest of the 1500 field, I can't see anyone getting within 8 seconds of the new Chinese star.   
    50 Back
1    Lacourt
2    Tancock
3    Thoman

Lacourt is one of the easier picks in both the 50 and 100 Back. Unless his competitors make enormous breakthroughs, or Lacourt has an off meet, he should come away with double gold from Shanghai. Liam Tancock should be good enough for silver with the battle for bronze wide open. Nick Thoman hasn't convinced me of his long course ability (without a tech suit), but I think he may have enough for bronze here.
    100 Back
1    Lacourt
2    Irie
3    Tancock

Irie has been one of the stars of 2011 so far and will look to improve upon his disappointing 4th place at Worlds two years ago. For British hopes next year it would be great to see Tancock pick up a medal here ahead of London next year. The absence of Matt Grevers makes this a relatively straightforward Top 3 to pick.
    200 Back
1    Lochte
2    Irie
3    Clary

These three look the class of the field. Lochte is the obvious choice. Irie is Mr. Consistent, he has the top 5 swims of 2011 (all between 1:54.0 and 1:54.6). Clary reportedly swam 1:54.7 in jammers, in training earlier this year, he could cause a huge shock. Chinese youngster Zhang Fenglin, James Goddard, Chris Walker-Hebborn and Polish phenom Radoslaw Kawecki should all make the final.
    50 Breast
1    V.D. Burgh
2    Silva
3    Feldwehr

Van Den Burgh remains a class apart in the sprint Breaststroke. Time to see another Silver from Silva.   
    100 Breast
1    Kitajima
2    Dale Oen
3    Rickard

"I will never bet against Kosuke Kitajima again", this has been my mantra since I doubted his chances in Beijing. Alexander Dale-Oen and Brenton Rickard I have as the clear choices for silver and bronze. Ryo Tateishi is the danger man to break into the top three if he rediscovers his form from last year.
    200 Breast
1    Kitajima
2    Tomita
3    Gyurta

Despite the aforementioned mantra, I almost went with Tomita in this one. His 2:08.25 earlier this year was spectacular, but how can you bet against Kitajima and his proven excellence at major competitions? Gyurta is the choice for bronze based on his ability to bring it together on the biggest stage. If Christian vom Lehn improves on his German Nationals time, watch out, but Shanghai might have come a year too early for the German youngster. Watch out for him next year.  
    50 Fly
1    Cielo
2    Schoeman
3    Targett

Depends Cielo's participation.
    100 Fly
1    Phelps
2    Cavic
3    Fujii

Cavic hasn't done a lot to inspire confidence, but he and Phelps are still in a league of their own. Phelps could drop a huge swim in this one. He's focusing more on the 100 distance than he ever has before. Bronze is wide open, but Fujii has been excellent in 2011 and owns 5 of the top 14 times this year.
    200 Fly
1    Phelps
2    Matsuda
3    Biczo

We could be looking at the closest 200 Fly final for Phelps in recent years, but given his previous margins of victory that's not saying much. Matsuda  can proudly claim to have has not beaten the greatest ever this year, that honour went to Wu Peng (competing in Shanghai) and Nick D'Arcy (not competing). It would be the shock of the competition if anyone repeated the feat in Shanghai. Bence Biczo has a crowded July with Hungarian Nationals and European Juniors before Shanghai but has looked superb in 2011. Wu Peng has a great shot at a medal but has suffered from poor race tactics in the past.
    200 IM
1    Lochte
2    Phelps
3    Cseh

This could be one for the ages. We have Phelps vs Lochte, and the world record looks vulnerable. Lochte had the better 2010, but Phelps has already shown his class in 2011. It wouldn't surprise me if this is the race he is most motivated for here. This should be close... and fast. Thiago Pereira and James Goddard will be in the race for bronze, but I don't see them stopping Cseh take yet another international medal.
    400 IM
1    Lochte
2    Clary
3    Cseh

This one might be a lot closer than many people think. Clary is a legitimate threat to Lochte. For Cseh, read above. Chengxiang Wang put the cat among the pigeons on home soil.
    4 x 100 Free
1    USA
2    France
3    Australia

However hard I try, I just can't see USA losing out, not that it won't be close. France have the best chance to take on the Americans, and with Yannick Agnel they seem to have a safe hand on the final leg (assuming Agnel swims the relay). The emergence of James Magnussen means Australia have jumped Russia in my opinion for the bronze medal.
    4 x 200 Free
1    USA
2    Russia
3    China

When you have two of the top 200 Freestylers in the world joined by two other Top 10 talents, you have quite a team. Russia might be stronger in the 4 x 200 relay than the 4 x 100 team, while China are boosted by Sun Yang's 1:44 ability. Japan, Australia and France will be the other major strengths.
    4 x 100 Medley
1    USA
2    France
3    Japan

Make no mistakes about it, this race will be close. USA lack strength on the breaststroke, France lack a butterflier while Japan might struggle on the freestyle. When the dust settles, Michael Phelps' dominance on the butterfly will win this for USA, but he will probably have some ground to make up on France and Japan.


  1. Clary doesn't swim 200 IM. Phelps does.

  2. Can I pass that off as a typo? Didn't think so.

    Phelps in for the silver.

  3. Wrong thread i know but just wondering, what are are your views on Amelia Maughan's performances this year on the whole? When she swam 56.51 very early in the year all seemed very promising as she was 1/2 a second up on 2010 pace but she has faltered a fair amount and has under-achieved at yet another meet.

    I think i am being a little harsh as her times are great for a 1996 born 56.0 last year but only managed 57.1 at euro's. I also noticed her relay split (56.38) was well up on her individual times and normally i would put it down to the take over, but her relay takeover was 0.54!!!! pretty awful, actually all the Brits were (Lloyd's was 0.66! should have had her on lead ha!
    On a plus side o'connor smashed another PB (57.1 lead off) and we got a silver.

  4. cochrane for 3rd in 800. The Italian has nothing on him

  5. I agree. Cochrane will kick ass. He is under rated.

  6. 50 free
    1 cielo 21.3
    2 adrian 21.3
    3 bousquet 21.4
    ( I believe that we'll see faster swims in the semis than we will in the finals due to the greater wave quantity and what not, bousquet is the smallest swimmer and he will not benefit from this—especially if he goes all out and pops an extremely fast time in the semis as usual)

    1 adrian 47.7
    2 cielo 47.8
    3 hayden 47.9
    (just for fun)
    4 magnussen 48.1
    5 gilot 48.1
    6 meynard 48.3
    7 lobinstev 48.4
    8 (enter di carli/ lezak/ Roberts/Gretchin……) 48.5
    (obviously a bunch of these swimmers are capable of faster times, but I think the same concept applies as the 50, I change my decision on the top 2 finishers daily)

    1 phelps 143.5
    2 lochte 143.9
    3 park 144.3
    (for fun)
    4 agnel 144.7
    5 biedermann 145.0
    6 izotov 145.4
    7 lobinstev 146.3
    8 fraserholmes 146.7
    (I switch 2+ 3 weekly… but I don’t think #1 if for up grabs, I think atm the only one capable of going that low is Phelps, I’m hesitant of having park going any faster because imagine what that would translate to for the 400!! And those drops in the longer distance, I don’t think are achievable as even Ian couldn’t do it)

    1 Sun 340.2
    2 Park 340.5
    3 Agnel 343.0
    (agnel’s time is pretty hard to call because of his illness but I believe Mellouli would come next with a 343mid, followed by a host of 344’s/low 345s battled between Biedermann, pvk and Napolean. I don’t see Park going much faster than the above time, but I could see Sun under 340 because at Chinese Nationals, he posted splits that look like improved fitness and technical turns can bring him close to that mark. Sun’s technique is not as “perfect” as Parks, I expect him to continue dropping time in the future. For Park to go sub340, he’s need to go out, in the first 300, faster than Thorpe did, which I cant see)

    1 Sun 836
    2 Mellouli 840
    3 Cochrane 845
    (Anything slower for Sun I think would be conservative, he’s going to be over 2 second faster than Hackett at his best at the 400, and at least half a dozen or so seconds faster than 05’ Hackett in the 1500, cracking 835 is shouldn’t be totally shocking but really, its hard to pencil in that prediction because its so much faster than the textile best).

    1 Sun 1432 WR
    2 Mellouli 1439
    3 Cochrane 1445
    (A pretty conservative guess for Sun, but I’m afraid of putting up something too fast and be disappointed when I see, live, a swim I’m certain Ill remember for the rest of my life. I cant see the medals going any other way, but watch out for wildcard Dai Jun from China)

    1 Lacourt 23.8WR
    2 Tancock 24.4
    3 Zandberg 24.7
    (threw in an obscure-r name because I don’t think its going to be a blanket finish behind the big 2)

    1 Lacourt 51.8 WR
    2 Thoman 52.8
    3 Meeuw 53.1
    (Thoman has always posted blistering times in taper, although hes never made an international competition, this time he gets to show it. If Tancock pulls the right stops he should beat Meeuw. I can also see Stravius reaching for this podium. I can’t see Irie making a huge impact here)

    1 Lochte 152.9
    2 Clary 153.7
    3 Irie 154.1
    (I don’t trust Irie to drop any time. Lochte wants to get the 200 back record back at some point in his career, he’d need this if he wants to set himself up to it. Watch for wildcard Zhang from China cuz I think he can blow some big names out of the water)

  7. 50breast
    1 VD Burg 27.0
    2 Silva 27.2
    3 Kitajima 27.3
    (The first two I think will populate the majority of predictions)

    1 Kitajima 58.8
    2 Oen 59.1
    3 Tateishi 59.4
    (I’m looking for Tateishi to make a huge time drop because so far he hasn’t been all that fast this year compared to last year in season. I think it’s a build up. I believe we’re also going so some some other swimmers break out under 60s, there’s only been 5 swimmers to do is, this event has bound to pick up the pace in textile sooner or later)

    1 Kitajima 207.5
    2 Gyurta 208.4
    3 Tomita 208.6
    (I think Tomita might’ve spun his wheels a bit soon this year, I can’t see him making another big time drop (I want to say the say about Vom Lehn). I wouldn’t be too surprised to see him off the podium to be replaced by someone like Shanteau, still I don’t think I’m willing to bet against the Japanese)

    1 Cielo 22.8
    2 targett 23.0
    3 cavic 23.2
    (I can’t see schoeman making an impact here. I see this as cavic’s best chance to medal, as he said that his GOAL is to medal in the 100. Behind Cielo and Targett, I imagine there’ll be a huge scramble for bronze including Cavic, bousquet, huegill, Govorov, Deibler…)

    1 Phelps 50.1
    2 Zhou Jiawei 51.2
    3 Huegill 51.4
    (I think a split of 23.8 + 25.3 +/- 0.1 on each leg looks very likely. Maybe a 50.08 or something is the fastest I can see. I don’t expect him to be challenged. I think Starke has run his wheels a bit at German Nationals, the only one I can see taking bronze other than Huegill is Verlinden who’s looked pretty good. I think Verlinden, Cavic, McGill will all pop a time around 51.7. My prediction earlier this year is that a Chinese swimmer with very little media exposure is going to take a medal in Shanghai, Zhou I smy #1 candidate for this role)

    1 Phelps 151.8
    2 Matsuda 153.4
    3 Wu Peng 153.7
    (Phelps’ swim at panpacs was worth a 153.4 or so with better turns. He has been significantly better this year regardless of what anyone says. I think a textile record is optimistic and shoulnt be shocking. Anyways I had a hard time not choosing Cseh for bronze but Wu Peng looks primed for a break out swim).

    1 Lochte 153.7
    2 Phelps 154.0
    3 Pereira 156.5
    (Phelps’ IM has looked stronger inseason than his other 200’s, being the only one to survive as the top ranking. I think this one is going to be closer than people think. Lochte isn’t running away with this one)
    1 Lochte 405.6
    2 Clary 407.5
    3 Cseh 407.8
    (Its hard to call what Lochte is going to swim, especially at the end of the week and because his slowing down at the end of the race confounded how fast he was in shape to go at panpacs)

    1 US 311.0
    2 France 311.4
    3 Russia 311.9
    (I did some math to get a stab of what each relay is probably going to be able to do. If you were curious I had Aus third in 312.3, then Brazil (+cielo) in 313.4)

    1 US 701.3
    2 China 703.6
    3 Russia 704.0
    (After doing some math, estimates for China and the US are conservative)

    4x1 medley
    1 US 330.3
    2 France 330.9
    3 Australia 331.6
    (Lacourt has enriched the French relay the same way Magnussen has enriched the Australian one. The American relay is pretty much the same as last years but expect much faster splits under pressure.)

  8. (I switch 2+ 3 weekly… but I don’t think #1 if for up grabs, I think atm the only one capable of going that low is Phelps, I’m hesitant of having park going any faster because imagine what that would translate to for the 400!! And those drops in the longer distance, I don’t think are achievable as even Ian couldn’t do it)

    Even Ian Thorpe's coach was expecting Ian to swim 3:38.
    And now Park has even better underwater and turn than Ian.
    I definitely think Ian will swim better than ever in 200 as he has now realized the importance of underwater and turns.

  9. John26, your picks and times are very interesting.
    The times are a bit on the optimistic side, methinks :)
    but we'll see.

  10. ...I hope your wrong or I'll be kinda disappointed when the event comes around. There are certain events I have extremely high hopes for ie 200/400 free. Anyways there was a marked drop in times between 06 and 07, I dont think any of my predictions were outrageous. was there any specific one in particular?

  11. come to think of it, you might be right because I'm calling a textile record in every event except for the 400m free.

  12. There were three things that made 2007 World champs extraordinary:

    1. The introduction of Speedo FS ProII. Some even said the effects were equal to FS proII to LZR.
    2. The first full extensive use of underwater stroke
    3. Phelps was at his highest peak

    This year, all men will only be wearing textile Jammer, while in 2007 they were wearing bodysuits or at least ankle length. And we now know that compression helps.

    In another note, I think many if not most current textile best are slower than they should have been because of the two years disruption on the progress. so I predict that there will still be many if not most textile best broken, although I wouldn't say all of them.

  13. these events are what I think will be slower than your predictions:

    50/200/800 free

    50/100/200 back
    (lacourt might still break the 50 WR, but maybe in 24.00 or 23.9)

    200 breast
    (I cannot see anyone swimming sub 2:08)

    100/200 fly
    (I would think 50.5 and 1:52.5 is more likely)

    400 IM
    (I think Lochte will swim something like 4:06.50)

  14. I call that 400 free WR goes in Shanghai. (pretty please!!!!!)

    Park 3:39.87
    Sun 3:40.66
    Mellouli 3:42.91
    Everyone else 3:44 and later

    And yeah, Park's turns appeared much improved in Santa Clara.
    Based on that, I think he will win 200 as well.

    Park 1:43.50
    Phelps 1:43.75
    Agnel 1:44.90

    Outside of 200 and 400 free, I am most curious to see how low Sun will go in 1500.

    Sun 14:33.44
    Cochrane 14:41.57
    Mellouli 14:43.26

  15. I agree. If there's only one record goes in mens events, I am so hoping that it's 400 free.

    Partly because I'm a big fan of Thorpe, and it sicken me that someone like Biedermann in jaked erased Thorpe's name by 0.01 second.

  16. I am an ardent fan of Park!
    It's proved in Santa Clara that he improved turns significally! So I think he will break his best-record in both 200 meters and 400 meters. But It's difficult to predict which place he's going to be becasue of Yannick Agnel and Sun Yang.
    As long as I know, Park will appear in 100 meter freestyle, which means he is practicing swimming fast and he is very likely to swim fast in the meet!
    So I think Park will win 200 meter freestyle beating Sun Yang and Phelps
    Park>>>>>Sun Yang>Phelps>>>Agnel>>>>>>>>>>>Others
    400 meter freestyle will be a very close game.
    Park>Sun Yang>>Agnel>>>>>>>>>>>>>Others..

  17. I also think Park will win the 200. His 100 in Santa Clara was incredible.

    I hope either Sun yang or Park will break the 400 WR, but I think Sun yang will do it. he is focusing on that because of his rivalry with Park and I don;t think he want to lose again to Park in the 400 after the asian games.

  18. Sun is not swimming 200 in Shanghai, per reports.
    He'll be doing 400, 800, & 1500.
    Zhang Lin, the forgotten man, is swimming 200 though.
    Man, I totally forgot about him myself!

    Agnel, even if it weren't for the recent illness, I wouldn't consider him a gold medal contender in either 200 or 400 just yet.
    He's still young and improving massively, so who knows, but I would pencil him in for 3-4 spot for now.

  19. For the 400m, I dont think there is a solid 3rd place candidate other than Agnel. I think he's proven he's the best nonAsian 400m man. I cant see anyone else beating him for that bronze even if he's obviously not at his full potential yet in this event.

    My confidence in Sun Yang beating Park comes from his splits. Sun was actually faster than Thorpe's WR up to 100, had a slightly slower second 100, was about even on the third 100 and was much slower coming home (understandable as he wasn't fully rested <-- a very important point). His performance was also impeded by technical aspects (like 3 breaths) that he didn't show during the Asian Games, which suggests to me these are training devices (important point #2) that once removed will make him master than Thorpe to the 300m. Lastly once he's fully rested and geared up to take the 1500m crown, his final 100 is going to be faster too (important point #3).

    Park on the other hand was slower in all his 50s splits than Thorpe's WR split-- making it hard to believe he's going to be able to pull it off. Park was slower than THorpe in his final 100m, and I have a hard time he'd be faster to the 300 unless Park could surpass Thorpe's PR in the 100 (144.0) which I looks to be a stretch at this point.

    I can't hope but notice that Agnel has made the same improvements as THorpe did in his early days 346--> 343.85 (in season) --> 341.8 (tapered the same season). With illness I dont think Agnel will do the same, but its helpful to note what is possible.

    Zhang Lin is the other man I believe is capable of going 341 as he did so in a lzr in Rome. If all works well in the lead up to London, we could see one of the most exciting 400m finals in history. I dont think many people would tip the 340barrier to survive the Olympics.

  20. Thorpe did the 3:41.8 when he was 16 turning into 17. How old is agnel now? 19? 20?
    I think relatively, Agnel will be be doing better in 200 as he already has very good 100.

    Also, about sun comparison per 100 with Thorpe. I hope you haven't forgotten that Thorpe's final 100 or 50 were always legendary because that was when he started his famous 6 beat kick. So, sun yang really need to get far ahead of thorpe by 300 if he hopes to go under 3:40

  21. BTW, I'm rooting for Sun to go under 3:40, or at the very least 3:40.06 !!!!!

  22. That's not necessarily true. Thorpe's homecoming split in his final 100 was 27.61 and 27.04. Sun Yang was considerably faster coming home last year at the Asian Championships (27.69 and 26.68).
    From this, I would suggest that to safely break the WR Sun must have about 1.5 seconds under Biedermann's WR pace going into the 300m, and about a second underneath at the 350m.

    This alone will be a challenge, considering he was 1.3 under that pace at the 350 and only 0.3 at the 350.

    The strategy is clear for Sun-- clean up that technical stuff for easier early speed and work on finishing speed through taper and fitness. I believe it is doable.

  23. I'd be thrilled to see 400 WR go, and while Sun Yang is definitely a strong candidate and one no one can go wrong with, I'll root for Park mostly because he's a regular sized (6 feet) guy with a regular sized feet (I assume his are not size 18).

    I mean, he's by no means a dwarf, but I would have to think that he's had to work much harder on his technique to overcome his smallish physique.

    It's just refreshing and eye opening (for me anyway) to see a smaller person topping a bunch of 6'5" semi giants. (A la Justine Henin in women's tennis in her days)

    Also I must thank john26, aswimfan, and others for their breakdowns of these races. WOW
    Looking forward to all the great swimming in two weeks!

    On an unrelated note, I wish Derek Jeter would get his 3,000th hit asap, so that the earth can start spinning again.
    So sick of hearing about it!!

  24. To john26..
    It seems that you ignored the fact that Park had to compete in 100M and 400M in ONE day in Santa Clara. He had to go through 100M prelim and 400M prelim in the morning 100M final and 400M final(one hour later than 100M final) in the afternoon.
    It means that the schedule was tough enough to make him not able to show his consummate performance. In my opinion, without his improved turns and underwater dolphin kicks(he can go up to 13meters underwater compared phelps with 15meter-long uderwater distance), he couldn't have been under 3:45:00 only one hour after 100M final!
    I think Park can go under 3:41:00 in 400M and go under 1:44:00 in 200M! He'll be in 1st place in 200M and in 1st or 2nd place in 400M

  25. "Matsuda can proudly claim to have beaten the greatest ever this year..."

    I think you're getting Matsuda and Wu Peng confused. Phelps and Matsuda last raced at Pan Pacs. And for the record, the 100 fly might be the toughest race of the meet to pick the minor medals.

  26. what do you think of sun yangs technique?
    he breathes 3 times in a row straight of the turn before putting his head down.. iv never seen this before

  27. Anonymous,
    Park's performance splits that I was referring to were from the Asian Games, his most reliable race model (also his fastest). Park's inseason swims like Santa Clara are unreliable for judging his performance in 2 weeks because he tends to negative split his in season swims. Against Sun (or if he wants to break the WR) he cant afford to do so.

    Also, Park does not go 13m underwater. He has improved his underwaters significantly. In 07, Phelps went out to about the 12m mark after each turn, not 15. The only swimmers that I've seen go out that far are terakawa and Coughlin, although Phelps' strength doesnt necessarily depend on how far he goes but how fast his underwaters are.

    Though Park has improved his turns, I've noticed that his starts are still not great (at santa clara), you can see this in his 200m race. And that his most improved turn is his first turn where he stays down around 8 or 9 meters.

  28. I was thinking about this last night and I just cant see Sun losing to Park in the long run. Yes they're both young but Park's been around for so much longer, his technique is nigh perfect and it seems that his improvements have been coming from improving his 100m, thereby increasing his 200, thereby increasing his 400. Since dropping the 1500, he has lost an extremely important edge against Sun.

    Park is attacking the same distances as Thorpe and one way to succeed him is by going out faster than him. In other words, doing what Thorpe did better than he did. Dropping longer distances is sure to hamper his home coming abilities.

    Sun on the other hand is dropping down a distance, which is a lot easier than reaching up to it. Because swimming shorter distances like the 200m is psychologically pleasing, it is easier for him to gain easy speed than it is for Park to work on his finish speed.

    If Sun is within half a body length of Park by the 300, he should win. Even if Park wins this summer, I cant see him bringing home Olympic gold. Keep in mind Sun is only 19, and unlike Thorpe at 19, Sun has only started to realize his potential.

  29. I think Park can still go faster than Thorpe's 1:44, but not 3:40.

    With better turns and underwater, Thorpe could have easily swum 1:43 or even under.

    When you compare Phelps' 1:43.86 and any of Thorpe's 1:44 swims, it is very clear that Thorpe only lose during turns, and is actually much faster in swimming speed. And since Park's turns and underwaters today are much better than Thorpe, I can see him swim under 1:44

  30. also, Wu peng is not the only this season (twice!) who defeated Phelps in the 200 fly. NIck D'arcy also beat him by .01 in Santa Clara

  31. Oh I see your point. And you are right.

    note on Hayden. He has been the most consistent sprinter since 07. I believe this 47.2 in the lzr was probably around the same type of performance that brought Cesar his 46.9 WR. This means if you take out his 08 blip where he failed to advance out of the prelims despite posting 47.5 on the relay, he has been the best swimmer in 07, 09, 10...
    He is probably actually the safest bet for Gold if it wasn't for the fact that Adrian is still young and rapidly improving, however we dont really know how fast he's improving which is why he's not a safe bet anyways. Just saying it shouldnt be a surprise if Hayden wins GOld and does so convincingly- although Im sure it'll be viewed as an upset.

    and finally back to Sun Yang again but on the 800. He's going to be at least 2 seconds faster than 05 Hackett at the 300 (maybe 2.5+) and maybe as much as 10+ second faster than 05' Hackett in the 1500m. Shouldnt this put him, mathematically 5 seconds or so (maybe more) faster than Hackett was in the 800? This put him at least 833 or so. Anyways, just some food for thought I suppose that he could get pretty close to Zhang Lin's WR, which would be a much more eyeopening swim than breaking the 4/15 because those are expected. However unlike Hackett Sun may not know how to swim this event optimally (his 800 swim in april was pretty weak compared to his 400 and 1500, but he said he was holding back) and will treat it as a warm up for the 15. But we'll see how things work out with others in the race pushing him.

    SOmething else, when Zhang Lin broke the 600m WR, he swam the 1500m in 15:54 (significantly slower than we'd imagine Sun s going to swim) and the 400m in 341.35(lzr, so lets imagine he'd be in the 339s). If Sun also goes 339, it should position him pretty nicely at bringing down the record in the intermediate distance. No?

  32. meant to say
    " He's going to be at least 2 seconds faster than 05 Hackett at the 400" in 2nd big paragraph

  33. John, I disgaree with you regarding the 800.
    In 2001 Osaka when Hackett swam 1:46, 3:42 and 14:34, he swam the 800 in 7:40.
    Remember also that when Hackett swam the 800WR in Montreal, he "sacrificed" the 200,400, and 1,500.

    Let's say Sun Yang this year is actually faster than Hackett with 3:40 and 14:32 (he has an advantage in that he doesn't have to swim the 200, unlike Hackett normally did), it is still a far fetched to see him swimming in anything close to 7:32.

    Remember, Zhang lin's 800 was unbelievable because he swam in jaked which afforded him to swim 25 seconds in the last 50 of his 800!
    Not even Thorpe in his mightiest 200 swims swam that fast in the final 50.

    Zhang lin paid the price for it in the 1,500 though.

    But I agree, if Sun Yang actually swims anything close to 7:32 I have no doubt it would be the swim of the meet, by far.

  34. Thats a pretty good point about Hackett's 2001 800m swim. Although it still puts him in the 835-837 range which is still mighty impressive. If Sun ever decides to start putting more focus in shorter distances, which I bet he will in a few years (its already started with him putting focus on the 400), I dont think the 800WR is out of shot.

  35. I think the best venue for Sun Yang to break Zhang lin's WR would be the asian games.
    In the asian games, he doesn't need to swim fast in all prelims, hence saving him much energy. The drawback is there would be no one to push him, but another advantage is that he can swim according to plan without having to worry much about competition.

    That's how Perkins broke the 800-1,500 WR in 1994 victoria commonwealth games, and yet failed to replicate it in Rome a month later after breaking the 400 WR.

  36. Tom,

    I wonder why you have not changed "Matsuda" to "Wu Peng" in your comment for 200 fly. Matsuda didn't beat Phelps. Wu Peng did (twice) and so did D'arcy.

  37. 2 weeks to go & Lochte is still on 1.49s. Wow thats some drop needed to get to John26's 1.43.9.

    Very interested to see how USA goes without their usual trials /nats hit out. They did well in melbourne although they were in friendly territory enjoying the pleasant weather summer & sporting the Fastskin Pro advantage.

    Things could not be more different.Facing The Tiger cold.

  38. yeah... I don't think Lochte will swim 1:43.9
    What's his textile PB anyway? I think it's 1:45+
    doubtful he'll drop 2 seconds in freestyle.

    And if Lochte was really busting it in Florida in that 1:49 race, I think he is in big trouble.

    News coming out from Australia about australian coached park and chinese swimmers sound like they are getting ready to break out.

    Th eamericans did well in Melbourne also because their underwaters were so much better than the rest of the field, also it was mainly their men team with the greatest swimmer, the second most versatile swimmer, one of the greatest backstrokers, etc.
    Their women team was not so much. I think Libby Trickett won either more golds or at least equal to all golds won by the american women.

  39. I'm not that worried about Lochte. His 200IM today was equally as hohum (by his standards). I think he'll make it guys. I'd be slightly worried if his 200m free was 149 and his 200IM was 157 or something. But both events look ready for an equal sized (about 5 second drop).

    The thing about the IM is that its not just about improving your shape (Lochte was in extremely good shape last year), the only way he's going to improve majorly is by improving his strokes. As good as the media played Lochte to be last year, by the standards set by his competitors 145.30 is not THAT fast, if he wants to beat what an in shape Phelps (which might not come this year, but I believe Phelps' focus in this event this year) can give in the 200IM, he's going to want to beat push the 144 barrier. I think Lochte sees that and that's why I expect Lochte to make a similar drop in this event as Phelps did in 07.

    We'll see how this pans out though. BTW in my mind, Phelps' main event this year is the 200IM, in the same way it was the 100fly in 09. He has put so much emphasis on the backstroke and breast lately (and only recently back on the fly and free, his stronger events).

    Beisel's times (like her 214) is not earth shattering either.

  40. John, I disagree. 1:49 in 200 free is actually worse than 1:59 in 200 IM.
    On FINA's IPS point system, Lochte's 1:49.09 200 free is worth 931 points,
    while his 1:59.13 200 IM is worth 957
    Remember that 4 seconds on a 1:45 is different (or slower) than 4 seconds on a 1:55
    Not to mentions that the competition in 200 IM is nowhere anywhere near the 200 free. Up to this point of the year, there are more than 50 guys swimming under 1:49, while they are only 7 (seven!) guys swimming under 1:59.
    Either way, it does not look too good for Lochte in Free.

    It seems his IM at this point is better than his free.
    The encouraging news (or not?) is that all of his team mates (beisel, spofforth, etc) are also swimming very pedestrian times. Spofforth in 1:03 ??
    Maybe they were instructed to pay more to attention to technique and racing skills instead of trying to swim fast?
    But it does not make sense.

    I agree with you re: Phelps focus. It seems Phelps was really stung by Lochte last year. I also think that Lochte's focus is also 200 Im and back, he knows he has greater chance to win in IMs and 200 back, as opposed in 200 free.

  41. How do you guys think Cielo will do in Shanghai?
    I don't know what his personality is like, but it'd be awfully tough for anyone to block out all that's going on, especially if people won't stop talking about it and looking at him funny in some cases.


    Also, could Lochte possibly be burnt out maybe?
    He had an incredible year last year, but I couldn't help but feeling that he was exerting too much energy in a wrong season.
    I just kept wondering why he was peaking in 2010.

    Hope I am dead wrong, because I want him to keep doing well now that he's finally out of the shadow of Phelps and Piersol.

  42. I meant 149 in the free and 159 in the IM, for him, is probably the same level of performance (this is the type of swimming he's been doing all year long).

    If Lochte want to legitimate himself to the title greatest swimmer in the world, I think he's going to have to put up a legitimate challenge for gold in the 200m free (in the same way Phelps did in the past). This might actually be his only chance to do it as Phelps may return to his peak form next year, with quickly improving youngsters Park, Sun, Agnel and Izotov (its really hard to imagine we barely factoring in a 143.9 in poly leggings) looming.

    I dont think Lochte is going to burn out. I think the AMerican media is pretty knowledgable in picking dominant performers (I doubted Franklin, media did not). Also, you see viral videos of Lochte's workouts and his showing up to meets in colorful briefs just exudes confidence. I would be very surprised if Ryan did not medal in this event.

    Now the following is a possible scenario for this summer:
    Phelps wins 3 individual golds 200free, 100fly, 200fly
    Lochte wins 3 ind. golds 200back, 200IM, 400IM
    Sun Yang wins 3 ind. golds 400free, 800free, 1500free.

    Who is the swimmer of the year?

  43. My guess is that USA will have an ordinary championships..

  44. John

    Would 3 individual golds be worth more than breaking a WR? for example, if the guys mentioned achieve that but Lacourt wins the 50 & 100BK in WR times? or also inspires the French medley quartet to medley relay vicory over what was in the past an un-touchable team?

    I think Lacourt is kind of being forgotten about in the Freestyle circus, the Backstroke is where the WRs look likely on the mens side.

  45. But anyway, the answer to that question if Lacourt falls short is Sun Yang because of the amazing range of class, not even Hackett or Thorpe had a range like Sun, 1.44 200FR & 14.35 1500FR is quite other-worldly!

  46. Also on Lochte and the Florida crew, Beisel has swum very well on Freestyle but not Back similar to Spofforth, i would not worry, Gemma was similar in 2009, she swam well a Nats and that was all, the Gators will time their peaks perfectly as they always do!

  47. Jack, I think you have already forgotten the times that Hackett and Thorpe swam 10 years ago.

    Sun PBs are: 1:45, 3:41.8, 7:44.12 (all of which he swam last april, but he couldn't sustain in fall off in the 1,500 where he swam 14:42) and 14:35
    Of course eventually he will be faster than Hackett and Thorpe from 200-1,500 but that is natural progression from 10 years ago.

    Here's Hackett times: 1:45, 3:42, 7:38, 14:34
    Hackett was faster in the longer distances but i don't expect this to last more than 3 weeks

    As for Thorpe, Have you forgotten Fukuoka in 2001, where Thorpe swam 47.20 (relay anchor), 1:44.0, 3:40, and 7:39?
    THAT is other worldly range.

    Thorpe is also the only male swimmer ever to have won medals in three freestyle events in one olympics.

    In Montreal 2005, Hackett also won 400-800 (WR) and 1,500 with silver in 200 (behind Phelps).
    THAT is other worldly range. Sun Yang will not swim the 200 as he is focusing on 400-800-1500

    It is quite fitting that Sun Yang is the next distance king after Hackett (with Mellouli as the gap filler) as he is coached by Dennis Cotterel (Hackett's coach)

  48. if sun yang wins the three golds, and even if he doesn't break WR but getting close to them, in my opinion he deserves to be the swimmer of the year.

    In my opinion, wins and WRs in freestyle events worth more than in other strokes.

    As John said, if you want to be legitemately considered greatest swimmer, you must win freestyle events.

  49. Robin,
    even if Lochte is burnt out, I'd rather he's burnt this year than next year.
    I think Lochte will do fine in IM and back, but I can't see him on the podium in 200 free.

    Also, Beisel swam PB in 200, but only 1:03 in 100 back. It is surprising to see results all over the place.

  50. I dont think Lacourt would be the swimmer of the year unless none of the aforementioned swimmers break world records or win more than 2 individual medals-- the reason being the same as how last year even though he came closer than anyone to a WR other than Sun at the end of the year, his performances barely received a mention. I remember watching panpacs the 100mback waiting for commentary to mention the incredible performance across the Atlantic, but it never came.

    Also, I think because of the serial position effect, people (not just those who give the awards) will remember the first world record and the last one to be set this summer. And we all know who is set up for both of these honors...

    I think part of the prestigious of middle distance freestyle = greatest swimmer all started with Thorpe. His dominance once made him a contender for the great of all time, and Phelps understood that to dethrone him he had to take down his 200m WR. I think everyone, since has really caught onto this trend.

  51. Well, Thorpe factor had a small part, most importantly though:
    freestyle is the oldest (and the fastest) swimming events at the olympics. And there were three free events (100, 400 and 1500) as opposed to one for breast and back, with butterfly came much later. So it is easier to make comparisons of records, medals and champions for free events. And it was mostly 100 and 400 free (200 came later and 50 came much later). Murray Rose was considered greatest swimmer before Spitz because of his 100 and 400. And who can forget Duke Kahanamoku, among the greatest swimmers ever because of his crawls exploits? or Johnny Weissmuller? Who remember gold medallists in back or breast in 1924 paris? yeah no one does.
    Secondly, freestyle has always attracted the best and fastest in swimming and the competition in freestyle events trump any other stroke events combined, so there's a lot of prestige in freestyle. When people say "fastest swimmer", they wouldn't think of kitajima or peirsol.

  52. 100 back donets?

  53. Aswim -you are correct. I believe John 26 has only been following swimming since 08 & has the famous 'convert zeal'.

    Re Sun . as I se it Sun has had the otherworldly benefit of being able to benefit from all of Hacketts work -every session ,race & split - plus the knowledge & research provided to Cotterill by the Australian Taxpayer Funded bodies For Cotterill personal knowledge that is on the back of every former swimmer including those sent to the swim knackery.

    Plus Sun as the advantage of being invited to participate in an open society in a facility paid for & maintained by local council on local property rates.

    I don't see any similar offers for gymnastics or diving or badminton to Australian athletes .

    In short Sun is just extremely fortunate.

    Unfortunately for Sun he carries the Chinese sports stigmata.

  54. Further re Hacket. He had pretty ordinary turns . There are only 24 hours in the day & grant finished school on time & completed a university degree & was always busy on proffessional stuff not just a professional swimmer.

    Of course the multi tasking helps him now with as business success plus twin toddlers!

    Lets look at the big pic. Swimming is just swimming

  55. Anonymous, it wasn't john26 who said Thorpe and Hackett didn't have the same range as Sun, it was Jack. John26 is actually very very knowledgeable about swimming.

    About your other point, yeah australian coaches have been successful (or too successful? lol) in training Sun Yang, Park Tae Hwan, Liu Zige, Ellen Gandy, Therese Alshammar, etc.

    In fact, australian-trained swimmers in total might win more golds than any other countries.

  56. Yeah, I remember about Hackett's turns. Maybe that's why Sun yang also does not have decent turns?

  57. Donets is an amazing backstroker in SCM, almost untouchable, but he is seemingly not able to translate it to LCM.

  58. More stats for Jack,

    By the time he was 18 (younger than Sun Yang who is already 19), Ian Thorpe had broken WRs in 200, 400 and 800 SEVERAL TIMES and was the world's third fastest in 100.
    Ian Thorpe was also an elite 100 backstroker (won silver in 2002 Commonwealth Games) and 200 IMer (won silver in 2003 Worlds behind Phelps)
    How is THAT for RANGE and otherworldly?

    By the time he was almost turning 19 (younger than Sun Yang who is now 19 and 6 months), Hackett broke the 200 WR, and was fastest in the world by far in 800 and 1,500, and second fastest to thorpe in 400.
    So, Hackett broke WRs in 200, 800 and 1,500 (400 was obviously Thorpe's domain and he was consistently second to Thorpe).

    And those stats do not even include their SCM stats which are equally impressive.

    Now, at 19 years and 6 months, let's see what Sun Yang has done:
    LCM WR = 0
    SCM WR = 0
    LCM World championships = 1 bronze (1,500 in Rome)

    Thorpe and Hackett's WRs were from 10 years, they should be broken by someone who aspire to be put in the same sentence as they are, and need to break them by a few seconds.
    And I am not even talking rubber WRs, but textile records (1:43.86, 3:40.07, 7:38, 14:34). I'll be disappointed if Sun does not swim 1:43.00, 3:38, 7:35, 14:32.

    Having presented Thorpe/Hackett's stats, I have no doubt that Sun Yang is a great talent and have a great coach and will do really great and break Thorpe/Hackett's WRs, but to say that Thorpe and Hackett did not have the same range as Sun Yang is clearly an ignorance at best.

  59. Long live Thorpe, the king.

  60. How easily people forget ay Jack.

  61. aswimfan, the times you expect from Sun Yang, are those the times you want to see him get to in his career or in Shanghai? I think 1:43.0 is ambitious for anyone this year, not just Sun Yang.

    I think Jack's come in for a bit of (unfair) stick here. The point didn't appear to be that Sun Yang was the greatest ever, or better than Thorpe or Hackett, it was just stating a fact that neither of those guys managed to swim 1:44.99 and 14:35.43. Clearly both men were ahead of their time and had careers that dwarf the achievements of Sun Yang so far.

    If we are talking range, look no further than Phelps. Had he focused on the events, I think we could have been looking at WRs in the 100 OR 400 Free as well as the 100 & 200 Back.

  62. Tom,
    This is what Jack wrote verbatim "not even Hackett or Thorpe had a range like Sun,"
    That's what I disputed.

    Now, Hackett didn't swim 1:44.99, but in his days, he swam 1:45.8, which would be worth around 1:44.+ in today's scale.
    And even if we go by what you are saying, Sun Yang has not managed 1:45.8 and 14:34 either. And remember that those times were swum 10 years ago.

    Apparently someone has forgotten how incredible Thorpe's range was.
    To give an idea, here's I propose an analogy in today's swimmers and standards:
    1. Who is the third fastest 100 free currently?
    Say it's Nathan Adrian, now, how would you say if Nathan Adrian in Shanghai swim 48.0, 1:43.0, 3:38.0, and 7:35.0
    Because those are relative times Thorpe were swimming in 2001 Fukuoka, in one single championships.
    2. Or let's say we ask Park Tae Hwan to swim 100-200-400-800, would it be possible to expect him to swim them in 48.0, 1:43.0, 3:38.0, 7:35.0?
    3. In the women's equivalent, that would be like asking Pellegrini or Adlington to swim 53.50, 1:54.00, 4:00.0, and 8:14.00

    I hope mr. Jack now has some idea about the range that Thorpe swam.

    Also, No one mentioned anything about Phelps, I was only disputing Jack's statement that Thorpe and Hackett didn't have the range of Sun Yang, which is very absurd in itself, because Sun Yang's training and race programs fully use Hackett's as the blueprint, thanks to Dennis Cotterel.

    A footnote about Phelps:
    Phelps did try to focus on 400 in 2005. results not good.
    He also tried the 100 free various times between 2006-2008. Didnt get the results he'd expected.

  63. 60 1:44.06 Ian Thorpe 25 July 2001
    61 1:43.86 Michael Phelps 27 March 2007
    These are WR progressions in the 200m free. Just to show how ahead of his time, Thorpe was. In reality, 1.43.0 shouldnt be ambitous.

  64. Ian Thorpe
    2001 Fukuoka – Men's Swimming
    Gold 800 m freestyle 7 min 39.16 s (WR)
    Gold 400 m freestyle 3 min 40.17 s (WR)
    Gold 200 m freestyle 1 min 44.06 s (WR)
    Gold 4 × 200 m freestyle relay 7 min 04.66 s (WR)
    Gold 4 × 100 m medley relay 3 min 35.35 s
    Gold 4 × 100 m freestyle relay 3 min 14.10 s
    4th leg - 47.8 s

    This set of times can be viewed as the exception or benchmark, either way I am confident no one will come close to the range or level in future.

  65. I think something interesting most people havent really paid attention to is the 60minutes interview Phelps did with Anerson Cooper right after his 8 gold haul. In the interview Phelps and Bowman showed his interviewer his goals sheet for 2008. On the list included a time for every event he could possibly swim including events he didnt tackle like the backstrokes. The time sheet listed a 339.0 in the 400m freestyle.

    Now if Phelps was confident enough to list that on his goal sheet at the beginning of the year, what do you think he could've swam? I dont think 346 in 05' was anywhere close to what he could've swam. Afterall his shape in 05' was probably similar to 09 (or even last year). My guess is that he must've been 343 or 342 shape at the very least in 07 to put that down on the list.

  66. Even though Sun Yang is the same age as Thorpe was in his prime, I dont think it diminishes him in anyway as a swimmer. Sun Yang simply reached this level of physical and mental maturity at a much later age. Sun Yang is kind of like a Thorpe from 1999, just about to break onto the major scene for the first time in a big way.

    I think why Thorpe retired so young is because he reached that mental maturity to face the media at such a young age and thus reached a breaking point at a young age too. I feel like this has been a pattern with a few other Aussie swimmers.

    Because of this just because Sun is hitting Thorpe's strides at 3 years older in age doesn't make him any less of a swimmer. I guess we'd have to wait for Rio to assess how he stacks up in the grand scheme of things.

    Sun is definitely stepping on the shoulders of Grant and Ian, but a wise man once said that the heights by great men achieved was attained by standing the shoulder of giants.

  67. I wish we could see the rest of that list! Is there anywhere you can?

    10:47 ish

    This took forever to find because I'm in China and they dont like it when people break through their firewall.

    Anyways what I can see:
    100free- hard to see but it looks like a 47.50
    200free- hard to see but it looks like 143.3
    400free- 339.0
    1500free 1505-1510
    100fly 49.5
    200fly 151.1
    100back- 53.0
    200back- 153.5
    200IM- 153.5
    400IM- blocked by hand, but would've been interesting to see

  69. I'm picking Alexander Dale Oen for the 100 breast. He just went 59.9 with a beard, and he is typically not that fast in season.

  70. Dale Oen is a good pick for 100 breast.

  71. Thanks for this John. Fascinating insight into the Phelps/Bowman relationship. Seeing Bowman setting challenges like that, its easy to see how his relationship with Phelps works (worked) so well.

    If I had to guess the 400 IM prediction I would say it was right around the 4:03.8 he did acheive. Possibly a shade quicker.

    I love seeing the 400 Free and 1500 Free predictions. Such a tantalising 'what if' scenario. Unfortunately with the focus shifting to 100s and 200s we're unlikely to ever see that 400 Free come to fruition... Guess we'll just have to wait for Sun Yang and/or Park to get us under the 3:40 barrier.

  72. Here is how my medals table would look on the men's side:

    USA - 8 Gold - 4 Silver - 4 Bronze - 16 Total
    FRA - 3 Gold - 2 Silver - 1 Bronze - 6 Total
    CHN - 3 Gold - 0 Silver - 1 Bronze - 4 Total
    JAP - 2 Gold - 4 Silver - 2 Bronze - 8 Total
    BRA - 2 Gold - 2 Silver - 0 Bronze - 4 Total
    KOR - 1 Gold - 1 Silver - 0 Bronze - 2 Total
    RSA - 1 Gold - 1 Silver - 0 Bronze - 2 Total
    TUN - 0 Gold - 2 Silver - 0 Bronze - 2 Total
    GBR - 0 Gold - 1 Silver - 1 Bronze - 2 Total
    RUS - 0 Gold - 1 Silver - 0 Bronze - 1 Total
    SRB - 0 Gold - 1 Silver - 0 Bronze - 1 Total
    NOR - 0 Gold - 1 Silver - 0 Bronze - 1 Total
    HUN - 0 Gold - 0 Silver - 4 Bronze - 4 Total
    AUS - 0 Gold - 0 Silver - 3 Bronze - 3 Total
    CAN - 0 Gold - 0 Silver - 2 Bronze - 2 Total
    ITA - 0 Gold - 0 Silver - 1 Bronze - 1 Total
    GER - 0 Gold - 0 Silver - 1 Bronze - 1 Total

  73. I want to see this thing break 100 comments!!!!!! Come on all, keep chatting!

  74. Only 3 bronzes for Australian men? I think that is a record low for the aussie men in the past 2 decades.

  75. If Thorpe focused on 1,500 and then later on 100, I think he would have broken the WRs in those distances. And then he would have been the second person to have broken all WRs from 100 to 1,500 after Shane Gould.

    I am actually excited to hear that Thorpe is now focusing only on 100-200 in his training with Gennady Tourestky. I can't wait to see how it goes for him.
    I don't think he had realized his potential in the 100. He consistently swam 47. low in relays from 2001-2004, but only swam 48.5 individually (Athens).
    I think by London he could be sub 47. high

  76. Strange how everybody is convinced Lochte will winn 200 IM.

  77. not me. I think Phelps will win the 200 IM, and Lochte winning 400 IM, although he will have really stiff competition from Tyler Clary, which I think will step up big time in Shanghai.

  78. So Magnussen has pneumonia? That's just unfortunate.
    He is my dark horse in 100 free, and I hope he can still compete to the fullest.
    Bet the young Aussie men are itching to prove something to Thorpe.

    I guess I haven't seen too many pick AUS in 400 free relay for the podium, but how much would his illness be a factor?

  79. I guess we need to see how serious it is. That sounds odd with suspected pneumonia, but his coach seemed to think there was a chance he'd be ready for Shanghai.

    The Aussies have good strength in depth, but if he's not on top form it might just be enough to scupper their medal chances. USA, France, (Brazil) and Russia all have a guy (or two... or three!) that can crush a high 47, low 48. Aus would probably need Eamon Sullivan to step in and be that guy in Magnussen's absence.

  80. OMG! GB would get 2 male medals! haha that IS a first.

  81. AUS was my pick to win 400 FR bronze. With Magnussen ill, I might have to replace AUS with RUS
    But let's see how it goes in the next couple of weeks

  82. No idea about Sullivan in swimming . However he is opening up an expresso bar in Perth. I wanna go sample his chocolate dessert zoompaloopa he won Celebrity Masterchef with.

    I hope he is Maitre de coz he is very agreeable looking .& that he wears (short ) shorts so we can see those nice slim legs.

    That Stef Rice is one picky girl.

  83. To help reach the 100 I would like to inform you that Eamon has a new companion -seen siting with him in various cafe haunts around tow.

    Its a He & its a cute French Pug!

    Of course the heading in the newspaper was "Its puppy love for Eamon "

    Im waiting to see if he has replaced Stef in those underwear ads..

  84. Well, Steph Rice has traded up, no?
    Isn't Quade Cooper an improvement? maybe richer and has bigger pecs and forearms? and not bad looking either?

  85. But can Quade cook? ;)

  86. Don't know who Quade Cooper is (a rugby player, is that right???), but I think Sullivan is one handsome dude.

    And a cook to boot!

    I have a question though.
    Is Sullivan a "suit swimmer"?
    All the bad injuries aside, he hasn't been impressive at all since the ban.
    Is it just the injuries, or did the suit have too big an impact on him?

  87. Austalia s very appreciatve of Eamon. We realise he is a fragile sprinter but highly talented. Ditto Cate Campbell.

    These sorts of sprinters are rare & valued. They are thoroughbreds not workhorses.

    We can wait.

  88. Sullivan is definitely not a "suit" swimmer.
    He is naturally talented. As a 18 yo, he already swam in the 400 FR final in Athens, the third changeover. He already swam 22.00 in 2006,
    and Have you forgotten that he won bronze behind double gold Hayden and Magnini in 2007 Melbourne in 48.4, ahead of the fourth place, Cielo?
    He was also fifth in 50 free in 22.05

    2008 was the first year when Sullivan completed almost ideal training, with a little bit of injury in feb or march.

    In 2009, Sullivan was busy cooking and did little training, and I don't think he's actually been back to the sort of training he did in 2007-2008.

    Also, the rubber suit couldn't have helped Sullivan who is small for sprinters as much as the helped the bigger guys such as Bernard, as we know the suits provided buoyancy and compression effects.
    Did you see Hannah Miley got as much advantage from the suit as Hosszu for example?

    Yeah, like Campbell, Sullivan needs very fine tuning and heavy work out actually put too much stress on their bodies. Campbell was diagnosed with overtraining. I hope they will be back to their best by London.

  89. This may be my underlying patriotism coming through but Fran Halsall's dog ( is clearly cuter than Eamon Sullivan's dog.

  90. And Sullivan is still young, he's still 25, and for a sprinter, he's still got few years left in him. The question is if he still wants it now that he's got other burgeoning interests outside swimming.
    I hope he does, though. I want to see Australian 400 FR next year in London with this composition:
    1. Eamon Sullivan
    2. Michael Klim/Matt Targett
    3. James Sullivan
    4. Ian Thorpe

  91. Ashley Callus is still going strong, so they just need 38 year old Chris Fydler to comeback and they'd have a proven Olympic winning team... albeit from 11 years ago...

  92. LOL, that's so true Tom!
    With all the talk about australian men sprint depth, they can always rely on the oldies for some olympics lesson!

  93. Few more to go. 100!!!!!!!!

  94. Thanks for the insight on Sullivan, guys.
    And yes I did forget that he won the bronze at Melbourne.

    I have extra affinity for small guys and gals in the world of sports.
    The fact that he appeared far removed from his WR setting days these few years made me anxious, but from what I've just read here, I better be more patient and stay hopeful!

    Yes, let's break 100!!!

  95. If you are looking for 'small ' & fast take notice of Kenneth To. I used to see him at as a 12 year old at school comps & he would put many many metrs on the other kids just at the start. He is not as tall nor weighs as much as most of the ladies but he is super fast off the walls I think he is about 49.5 100 & good speed on all strokes.He has a very heavy university attendance requirements (I know others doing the course ) & is delightful to watch.

  96. Thanks for the tip!
    I've heard of him a little bit, but didn't know he was "small."

    Of course, I don't go around looking for smaller athletes just to have someone to root on.
    It's usually when they make it to the top, I have more appreciation for their abilities because of their smaller stature and end up rooting for them vs. all the 2m tall giants.

    Well, I guess Sullivan is not exactly "small." Just skinny, right??
    Anyway, I'll be rooting hard for all of them in Shanghai.

  97. For a male sprinter, Kenneth To is extremely small, he is only 170 cm and 68 kgs.

  98. Yes, Sullivan is not exactly small, but he looked small when standing on the blocks next to the likes of bernard, cielo, adrian, etc.

    He is 189 cms and has small frames.

  99. Yeah, Sullivan looks small, but not really, I guess.

    And To would be small for a female swimmer.
    He still made the team?
    That's amazing!
    I'll definitely follow his progress in Shanghai and beyond.

  100. 100... :D

    I have a legitimate question though, Mr. Willdridge.
    Who are the three swimmers featured in the photo on this home page?

    I assume they are men.... right?
    I've always wondered.

  101. Woohoo congrats on making the 100th comment! :)

    about the photo:
    Let's attempt some detective work:
    - Through the water, it is clear that the roof is the WaterCube, Beijing, so that means it was taken in 2008 Olympics
    - From the first stroke, that is clearly freestyle. So it's a mens freestyle event
    - From the swimmer in the middle, he is wearing the yellow australian swimming cap, and he is clearly smaller than the other two next to him but he is clearly already further than the other two, so we can safely assume it's Eamon Sullivan.

    Therefore, it is either the 400 FR final (where Sullivan was the first leg), or 100 free semis or final (where he was in the middle lane in both).

  102. aswimfan, that is a shrewd observation.
    I kind of figured that it was an Aussie guy in the middle (although I thought there was a chance that these were women. With 6' ladies everywhere around the pool, you never know!).

    Looked too small to be Hackett, that's how far I got.
    What a great timing that Sullivan was already the topic of our discussions. LOL

  103. Well done on getting Sullivan.

    It is the 100m Free final. You have Pieter van den Hoogenband on the left (lane 3), Sullivan in the middle (lane 4) and Alain Bernard on the right (lane 50).

    For anyone itching to know who owns the legs on the left... they belong to Stefan Nystrand.

  104. yknow I always just assumed it was Trickett.

    Also aus was in lane 3 in the 4x1fr relay.
    Sullivan had hayden to his left (bald head) and hoogy to his right- so that cant be it either
    could be the final where he had bernard to the left and hoogy to the right.

    Well worth watching all these videos just to get some blood pumping a week before :D

  105. I should have followed my first gut instinct: It could not have been 400FR as Australia was not in the middle lane.

    And I'd already forgotten who was next to Sullivan in semis. I knew that Bernard was in the first semi.

    Speaking about the olympics clips, does anyone know where I can watch *FULL* races?
    the ones on the youtube by the official olympics are so horrendous; they only showed the first few seconds of the races and the last. And especially so in longer races and relays (where they only mostly show the changeovers!!).

    Youtube has weeded "unofficial" clips uploaded by fans etc. I don't mind if they only show the official ones, as long as they are not crap like what they are now.

    i downloaded a bunch from here. British commentary. its pretty safe

  107. Excellent! Thanks much, John!!

  108. My predictions.

    Men gold silver bronze. / Women g. s. b.
    50fr Cielo Targett Fratus / Herasimenia Steffen Kromowidjojo
    100 Cielo Grechin Adrian / Halsall Tang Steffen
    200 Phelps Park Lochte / Muffat Pellegrini Zhu
    400 Sun Park Agnel / Adlington Muffat Shao
    800 Sun Mellouli Cochrane / Ziegler Friis Adlington
    1500 Sun Cochrane LaTourette / Friis Gorman Kobrich

    50bk Zandberg Tancock Lacourt / Gao Herasimenia Terakawa
    100 Tancock Plummer Wildeboer / Zhao Zueva Terakawa
    200 Lochte Irie Clary / Zhao Zueva Nay

    50br vdBurgh Markic Silva / Efimova Hardy Soni
    100 Kitajima DaleOen vdBurgh / Soni Efimova Ji
    200 Kitajima Gyurta Jamieson / Soni Sun Efimova

    50fly Targett Cielo Schoeman / Sjostrom Ottesen Alshammar
    100 Phelps Cavic Verlinden / Liu Vollmer Sjostrom
    200 Phelps Matsuda Wu / Liu Jiao Hersey

    200im Phelps Lochte Pereira / Ye Kukors Rice
    400 Verraszto Clary Lochte / Ye Miley Rice

    400f.r USA RUS FRA / USA CHN NED

    400m.r USA GER JPN / CHN USA RUS