Sunday, 11 December 2011
Duel in the Pool 2011 - Men’s Predictions
This year’s Duel in the Pool takes place December 16-17 at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center, Atlanta.
The European roster has been strengthened since 2009’s version of this event by allowing more countries to participate this time around, although it is a long way away from a full-strength European team. Among the notable absentees on the men’s side: Lacourt, Bousquet, Gilot, Bernard, Stravius, Biedermann, Agnel, Dale Oen, Donets, Dotto, Fesikov, Lobintsev, Scozzoli, Tancock, Goddard, Wildeboer.
The US are bringing a close to full strength team, however they will have to compete with some important pieces missing. No Michael Phelps, no Nathan Adrian, no Chad LaTourette.
Europe - Bernek, Biczo, Brown, Cseh, Czerniak, Glaesner, Gyurta, Heersbrandt, Joensen, Jukic, Kawecki, Kis, Korzeniowski, Loughran, Meichtry, Morozov, Renwick, Rogan, Takacs, Titenis, Verraszto, vom Lehn – 22 swimmers
USA – Alexandrov, Berens, Brunelli, Clary, Dwyer, Gangloff, Grevers, Feigen, Hansen, Klueh, Lochte, McGill, McLean, Tarwater, Thoman, Shanteau, Vanderkaay, Weber-Gale – 18 swimmers
Prediction time. Assuming the format remains the same, swimmers can compete in four individual swims. Point scoring is as follows: Relay – 7 points to winner, nothing for second place. Individual events, 1st – 5 points, 2nd – 3 points, 3rd – 1 point.
Predictions (Race line-ups haven’t been announced yet)
50m Free – Czerniak, Brown, Takacs vs. Feigen, Brunelli, Weber-Gale
No Nathan Adrian hurts the US team here, but Feigen is not a bad replacement. Despite this, Czerniak goes in as favourite after his Euro SC performance. Morozov, who has been faster in SCY this year than Feigen, might also get a swim here.
Prediction – 1. Czerniak, 2. Feigen, 3. Brown
100m Free – Brown, Takacs, Morozov vs. Feigen, Weber-Gale, Grevers
This event highlights what the event could have been with a full strength European team (no Russians, no French). Vlad Morozov has been in great form in US college swimming and could cause an upset in this one if given the individual swim.
Prediction – 1. Morozov, 2. Feigen 3. Grevers
200m Free - Meichtry, Korzeniowski, Renwick vs. Berens, Dwyer, Lochte
Europe will miss Biedermann, Agnel and the Russians in this race. Meichtry and Korzeniowski have an advantage of having just raced at Euro SC, but that might not be enough against a top US line-up. If Lochte swims this event it will be USA’s best chance for a sweep.
Prediction – 1. Lochte, 2. Berens, 3. Dwyer
400m Free – Joensen, Glaesner, Korzeniowski vs. Vanderkaay, McLean, Klueh
Vanderkaay is the class of the field in this event, but his in-season form since the move to Florida has been poor. Glaesner has had an excellent Euro SC and comes to Georgia in fine form.
Prediction. 1. Glaesner, 2. McLean, 3. Korzeniowski
800m Free – Joensen, Glaesner, Kis vs. Vanderkaay, Klueh, McLean
Kis won bronze in Shanghai in this event, but had a very poor 1500 at Euro SC. This should be an excellent head-to-head between Glaesner and Joensen. One of the better chances for Europe to score big points on the men’s side.
Prediction – 1. Glaesner, 2. Joensen, 3. Klueh
100m Back – Kawecki, Bernek, Loughran vs. Thoman, Grevers, Clary
No Lacourt, Wildeboer or Donets hurts Europe and with Thoman and Grevers, the US can take advantage.
Prediction – 1. Thoman, 2. Grevers, 3. Kawecki
200m Back – Kawecki, Bernek, Rogan vs. Lochte, Grevers, Thoman
This race (and the contest as a whole) depends on the form of Ryan Lochte. He will need to be in decent shape to deny an in-form Kawecki.
Prediction – 1. Lochte, 2. Kawecki, 3. Grevers
100m Breast - Gyurta, vom Lehn, Titenis vs. Hansen, Alexandrov, Gangloff
If Brendan Hansen returns to international competition with a win, expect NBC to start up the hype machine. Just don’t expect them to mention the missing Alex Dale-Oen, Fabio Scozzoli or Damir Dugonjic.
Prediction – 1. Hansen, 2. Gangloff, 3. Titenis
200m Breast - Gyurta, vom Lehn, Titenis vs. Hansen, Shanteau, Alexandrov
This race will give swim fans an intriguing rematch of the 2004 Olympic final where a 15 year old Gyurta won silver ahead of Hansen, who took bronze. Both swimmers will be in the mix again, with Germany’s vom Lehn and USA’s Shanteau also having a say in the matter.
Prediction – 1. Gyurta, 2. vom Lehn, 3. Hansen
100m Fly - Czerniak, Heersbrandt, Biczo vs. McGill, Tarwater, Berens
This event sees the Shanghai rematch of Czerniak (silver) and McGill (bronze). McGill swam well on the World Cup circuit, but Czerniak is coming off an impressive Euro SC win. Heersbrandt made a recent breakthrough with his bronze in the same race.
Prediction – 1. Czerniak, 2. McGill, 3. Heersbrandt
200m Fly – Biczo, Cseh, Korzeniowski vs. Clary, Tarwater, McGill
Cseh is fresh from his win at Euro SC and should have enough to hold off Tyler Clary. The US could have done with Thomas Shields or Bobby Bollier in this event, Michael Phelps might have helped too.
Prediction – 1. Cseh, 2. Clary, 3. Korzeniowski
200m IM – Cseh, Rogan, Jukic vs. Clary, Lochte, Dwyer
This is a contender for race of the meet. A rested Lochte would be streets ahead, but he isn’t and faces Cseh and Rogan who had a great tussle at Euro SC.
Prediction – 1. Lochte, 2. Cseh, 3. Dwyer
400m IM – Cseh, Verraszto, Rogan vs. Lochte, Clary, Dwyer
If the swimmer’s above all race this event it is arguably stacked with the most talent on the men’s side. It is by no means a lock that Lochte will swim, but tactically it makes sense for the US to try and minimise the danger that Cseh poses.
Prediction – 1. Lochte, 2. Cseh, 3. Clary
4 x 100m Free – Brown, Takacs, Morozov, Czerniak vs. Feigen, Lochte, Grevers, Berens
Czerniak gives the European team a fighting chance, but surely the US won’t let the Europeans beat them on their own turf.
Prediction – 1. USA, 2. Europe
4 x 100m Medley – Kawecki, Titenis, Czerniak, Morozov vs. Thoman, Hansen, McGill, Feigen
The US looks too strong on paper, the win should be secured after 200m.
Prediction – 1. USA, 2. Europe
Points - EUR 56, USA 75 (After the individual events I have the scores at EUR 56, USA 61. The relays are going to be crucial)
Women's predictions on their way shortly.