Wednesday 4 January 2012

Top 51 Swimmers of 2011 - 10 to 1

Top 51 Swimmer of 2011 - 51 to 42
Top 51 Swimmer of 2011 - 41 to 32
Top 51 Swimmer of 2011 - 31 to 22
Top 51 Swimmer of 2011 - 21 to 11

The wait is over, here are the Top 10 Swimmers of 2011

10. Rebecca Adlington – 2011 Highlight – Victory in the 800m Free in Shanghai in a time of 8:17.51.

Winning another global title in the 800m Free was a great way for Adlington to regain her self-belief going into 2012, and she did it in style. After tracking Lotte Friis for the entire race, she put on the burners in the last 50m with a split of 28.91. She also made a step forward in the 400m with a time of 4:02.84 at British Nationals. While she wasn’t able to reproduce that time in the 400 final, she still swam well enough to win the silver medal. Adlington still needs to find a second to get down to Pellegrini’s winning time from Shanghai in the 400 Free, but all signs are pointing in the right direction ahead of a home Olympics.

9. Dana Vollmer – 2011 Highlight – New textile best time in the 100m Fly semi in Shanghai (56.47)

Vollmer's 56.47 was one of swimming's most unexpected performances of 2011. It was not that she was unfancied to win the 100m Fly, but to swim the 5th fastest time ever and give a seemingly untouchable world record a scare certainly did come as a shock. Vollmer dropped a clue back in April when she swam 57.5 untapered. The American also had a great year as part of a dominant USA 4 x 100 Medley team that shook the LC world record and broke the record SC. She also had a strong anchor leg in the 4 x 100 Free relay and would have won gold for the USA, had she not come up against Femke Heemskerk on top form.

8. Federica Pellegrini – 2011 Highlight – Utter dominance in the second half of the women’s 400m Free final (4:01.97)

In the Shanghai 400m Free final, Pellegrini swam a tactically perfect race. By keeping pace with the field until 200m (turned 5th in 2:02.30) and then unleashing an incredible 1:59.67 last 200m split she nullified all her opponents weapons and played to all of her strengths. The performance was so good, that if she swims the exact same race this summer you couldn't see anyone getting past her. She then backed up her 400 win with a victory in the 200m Free with another tactical masterclass. This time she didn't panic when Femke Heemskerk went out in world record pace, instead she put in her burst between 100m and 150m. The Italian is going to have company in the form of Missy Franklin in the 200m Free and may struggle to win the double in London, but 2011 was a masterclass in middle distance Freestyle from Pellegrini.

7. Rebecca Soni – 2011 Highlight – Clear victory in the 100m Breast at Worlds (1:05.05), just missing the textile best time she set in the semi final (1:04.91)

After Soni's incredible 2010, her two victories in Shanghai were fully expected. That doesn't take anything away from the swims though. Her semi final and final efforts in the 100m Breast were the 3rd and 6th fastest swims in history respecively. Her 200m Breast was the 11th fastest swim in history, albeit slightly down on her time from 2010. Like Vollmer, she also gets a bump for being part of the US 4 x 100 Medley team. A word of warning though, Soni was slower in both finals than the semis. With Hardy and Efimova seemingly closing the gap on Soni, she will need to be at her best when it matters in London.

6. Alexander Dale Oen – 2011 Highlight – His emotion charged win in the 100m Breast final in Shanghai (58.71)

Dale Oen's 100m Breast win was arguably swimming’s highlight of the year. After the tragic events in his native Norway, this was the definitive example of swimming for your country. Dale Oen had been in fine form just before Worlds with a unshaved sub-60 second effort, but getting within 0.13 seconds of the world record was truly stunning. How charged up was Dale Oen for the final? He split 27.20 at 50m, faster than his effort in the 50m and would have missed a medal in the 50m Breast by just 0.01. He may not have had the multiple medals of some of the other swimmers behind him on the list, but his one moment was enough to vault him this high up on the list. Clear favourite for this event in London, it might take a WR to beat him.

5. Michael Phelps – 2011 Highlight – Setting a new personal best in the 200 IM, just 0.16 shy of Lochte.

It speaks volumes about the quality of swimming this year that Phelps, who won four golds, two silvers and a bronze in Shanghai, only makes it to 5 on this list. He won his two Fly events with ease, played his part in two relay victories and finished behind only Ryan Lochte in the 200m Free and 200m IM. However, given the standards that we expect from the man, this year felt like at best a return to form, most likely a transition year, and at worst a down year. The highlight of his year came in a non-winning swim in the 200m IM, clearly Lochte was in better shape than Phelps, but MP was still able to push himself on to a new best time in the event. That swim spoke of two things, his focus on speed is helping his 200 events and that his competitive nature will ensure that he will be much improved in 2012. For anyone that believes Lochte is a lock in the 200 Free and 200 IM next year, watch out.

4. James Magnussen – 2011 Highlight – Shocking the world with his incredible 47.49 relay lead off in the 4 x 100m Free, dominating Michael Phelps and Alain Bernard in the process.

Like Dale Oen, Magnussen doesn't have the quantity of success as others below him on the list, but each time he swam the 100m Free in Shanghai, he was electric. He also single handedly changed the way people look at race pace in swimming's blue-ribbon event. During his textile best time of 47.49 he went out in 23.10 (compared to Cesar Cielo's 22.6 in the 100m Free final), Magnussen was then a man possessed on the way home splitting 24.39. The swim seemed to inspire his relay colleagues to raise their performance as they won gold from the French and the Americans. After the relay lead-off, he became the hot favourite for the 100m Free, and he did not disappoint winning by 0.32 seconds. While he wasn't able to catch Nathan Adrian in the 4 x 100m Medley relay, he came a lot closer than anyone could have expected with a 47.00 leg. Hot favourite for gold next year, although he does now have a target on his back and others will try to come up with a game plan to counter his second half surge.

3. Missy Franklin – 2011 Highlight – The 200m Back final in Shanghai, while she just missed the world record, it was a swim that announced to the world that she was a superstar.

Missy Franklin was a revelation in 2011. After a promising 2010, Franklin improved as many 15/16 year olds do, with the only difference being that Missy Franklin was already a world class swimmer before the huge improvements. The end results were as follows: a short course world record in the 200m Back, getting to within 0.29 of  the long course world record, leading the world rankings in the 200m Free by half a second, being 0.13 seconds away from the world no.1 in the 100 Back despite not racing the event in Shanghai, 7th in the world in the 100m Free, . The list could go on and on including her impressive early and late year form. What are the odds that next year this number 3 place turns into number 1?

2. Ryan Lochte – 2011 Highlight – Setting the first long course WR since the suit ban in the 200m IM, holding off Phelps in the process.

On accomplishments alone, Lochte has the right to feel aggrieved at not being number one. He went undefeated in Shanghai. He won the 200m Free comfortably, the event most stacked with talent and stars on the men's side, he broke the first post-suits long course world record in the 200m IM, beating Michael Phelps in the process. He wasn't challenged in the 200m Back or the 400 IM and posted the fastest split in the 4 x 200m Free relay. Lochte is a star and will receive a lot of hype in the lead-up to the Olympics, however, he may have two potential stumbling blocks as he aims for Phelps-like adoration from general public in London. He needs to find a way to get on to the 100m relays and he needs to hold off an improving Phelps. After picking 49 swimmers, the decision for number 1 and 2 was by far the most difficult.

1. Sun Yang – 2011 Highlight – The last 50m of his record breaking 1500m Free. One of the most remarkable finishes to a race the sport has ever seen.

Sun Yang is your number 1 swimmer of 2011 for one reason, history. He did not win the golds that Lochte did, but Sun Yang had two historic swims during 2011. The first was his 1500m Free in Shanghai. Having been 2-3 seconds down on world record pace throughout the race, he started to increase his speed at 1400m, what happened between 1450m and 1500m will not be easily forgotten. Finishing in 25.94 with what looked like a jet engine on his back, he cleared Grant Hackett's 10 year old world record. That closing split was faster than Lochte, Phelps and any other man in the 200m Free final.

The second swim came in September when he rattled Paul Biedermann's 3:40.07 400m Free world record (and Ian Thorpe's 3:40.08 textile record) with a 3:40.29 effort. The 400m Free world record is one of the most emotive in the sport and for Sun Yang to get so close in a pair of jammers is incredible. There is an argument to be made that the 400 was a better swim even than his 1500 WR. Add in the fact that Sun Yang broke 1:45 in the 200m Free (there are reports he is capable of 48-low in the 100m Free) and you have a spectacular year.

The only black mark against Sun Yang was his 400m Free silver in Shanghai which he blamed on a lack of experience, something that he will be desperate to put right in London. Two world records are under threat, and if he adds the 200m Free to his schedule, we are going to be in store for some great racing in just over 200 days time.


  1. I remember that last 50 from Sun Yang. In fact, I was also chatting away with others in that live chat windows that created in this site, and we were all resigned that he wouldn't break the WR even after 1,450 m.

    Speaking about that fantastic live chat windows, please do another one again during AUS and USA trials, and obviously the Olympics!

  2. Franklin and Magnussen before Phelps? I don't think so.

  3. And obviously British nats ey Aswim? aha
    Although in all seriousness good idea.

  4. People need to remember, or understand, that Dale Oen got sick in Shanghai, the 50m suffered from it, and he withdrew from the 200m.

    I say this, because so many talk about his 50m split in the 100m being so great, and that he could not back it up later in the week.

    And I have to agree with Anon. regarding Franklin & Phelps. The girls are still in suits... ;)

  5. I love arguing over subjective lists ;). Not so sure about Sun over Lochte. I get it that breaking Hackett's record was a true milestone, but can you really argue that Lochte wasn't the best swimmer in the world in 2011? I also think Tyler Clary is way too low on this list and Adlington is a bit too high. Clary is arguably the third best all-around swimmer in the world (maybe Cseh is better) and Friis was a more consistant distance performer than Adlington throughout the year. Friis' swim at the Duel was a thing of beauty.

  6. I believe Clary has a better year last year than this year. Think from the perspective of a commentator from another country (say, Germany). Who is Clary apart from the bronze medalist in the 200back, and a (pardon the yawn) 411 in a 400IM.

    I think if you compile all the swims by Sun this year, they are in fact more impressive than Lochte's. However Lochte had the more impressive championship. I agree with Tom's assessment of the "historic" season Sun had. The freestyle records are far more revered than the 200IM record. There's a reason people were pissed that Thorpe's record was taken down in a suit.

  7. a person who I think deserves a top 50 finish: Wang Shun

  8. john:

    I've got to say, the case for Lochte seems obvious to me. At Fina champs, Lochte won the 200 IM in a WR. He destroyed all comers in the 400 IM by two body lengths. He won the 200 back by over a second. He won the 200 free in a completely stacked final, one of the strongest ever assembled. He beat a relatively in-form Phelps twice. He was instrumental in the 4x200 relay win, going into the water behind and coming out a clear winner. Times are important, but swimming is all about racing and about beating all comers at the biggest meets. If Lochte's record at world championships meet doesn't make him the best swimmer in the world, I don't know what does.

    Also, Clary got silver in the 400 IM and bronze in the 200 back at Fina champs. He swam well all year and dropped some world class times in the 200 fly. He deserves to be higher than squeaking into the top 50.

  9. my opinion is that Lochte should be #1, especially because I had higher expectation for Sun in Shanghai. I could see where Tom is coming from with the sort of times Sun has laid down.

    I think Sun wins if you weigh the criteria in selecting the top swimmer. I feel that if you weigh the importance of the swims on a historical basis, Sun wins handily. Think about this, when is the last time someone posted the times he had in one season? 144 + twice sub 342 + four sub750 + four sub1450, if Sun one day goes down as the greatest distance swimmer of all time, this was his breakout season.

  10. @John - Interesting call. Make your case for Wang Shun, and who he should replace.

  11. Addressing anon (second post),

    It seems Tom is ranking the swimmers not only on their achievements isolated from everything else, but also on the impacts their swims created.

    It maybe argued, based on the achievements alone, Phelps should have been #3, because of his two individual golds (100/200 fly) and 2 silvers (200 free/IM).
    However, out of those swims, only the 200 IM was impressive (well, for his standards anyway). All his other swims were much slower than even textile bests.

    Meanwhile, Magnussen truly revolutionised the men 100 free, and it is no mean feat, considering men 100 free is without doubt the most competitive event and has longest history. Magnussen changed the way people are going to swim the 100. Even Cielo is now adopting Magnussen's way of swimming and swam even faster in Pan Pams in Oct than he'd ever swum in textile.

    Missy Franklin is doing to 200 back in similar fashion, she revolutionised the event, in the way previous greats did, such as Egerszegi in 200 back.

  12. I think the first case I would make is: if Belmonte (#51) didn't win a ton of medals in Dubai, would we know her name? I'll be honest, apart from her 210 in the 200IM, I probably don't think so. While Wang Shun bagged 4 wins at a Chinese meet in October that certainly caught eyes despite not really making a splash in Shanghai. If anything, this puts him in the same type of category Hansen is in for have good swims but did not have the chance to show on the world stage.

    Additionally, he ends the year as #7 in the
    200free, #8 in the 1500free, #8 in the 200IM, and #4 in the 400IM. Therefore he is ranked top 8 in 1/3 of olympic events. The only other names that can claim this: Phelps, Lochte... and I'm drawing a blank. (Count Sun Yang if you include the 800)

    You might also wonder about the events he did not get the chance to contest: Wang's freestyle times are easily comparable with Mellouli's at a Grand Prix meet in February. At this meet Mellouli's time was 4.8s slower than Wang's best at the 1500, and 0.8 slower than Wang's best at the 200. Mellouli swam a 346.6 in the 400free at this meet. This most likely means that Wang is probably capable of at least a 344high, which is definitely going to turn some heads next year. If Zhang Lin gets back into it, we could see 3 men under 345 at Chinese Nationals. Wang Shun definitely has the chance to challenge for medals next year.

    Its hard to say where to put him on a rankings because we all differ in how much we weigh each criteria. But I can say I did not expect so much of Wang coming into this year as he showed. I would he he bumps Belmonte out, and in my opinion had a better year than Coughlin, but worse than a Biedermann (in your list Coughlin had a better one than Coughlin). Based on what I wrote, I'd be curious to see where you'd put him.

  13. John -Belmonte is ranked in 4 olympic events

    800fr -3

    Together those 4 events toal 23.

    Shun's ranking total is 27.

    Therefore Mirela rools.

    She is also much nicer looking .

  14. Wang Shun had a fine year, and is an even finer prospect given his age, but I still don't think he had enough success to make this list.

    Belmonte had a solid LC year which included a 4th place in the 400m IM in Shanghai as well as her great success in the SC pool. As the commenter above mentions, Belmonte also had 4 events where she was ranked in the world's Top 8 LC.

  15. I just find it strange that Kylie Palmer is not in the top 51, even after winning silver in a VERY stacked and super competitive 200 free and ranked 4th in 400, and being instrumental in AUS 800FR silver.

    Meanwhile, you have people who didn't win any medal or didn't even qualify to Worlds in the top 51.

    If you ask me, Palmer deserve more to be in the top 51 than Hansen (who did not even go to Shanghai and did not post any earth shattering swim), Belmonte (who did not win any medal), Jones (who only posted an okay time for silver), Agnel (who did not win any individual), Miley (who won one individual silver and ranked 9th in a less competitive IM events than freestyle).

    Yes, Palmer definitely deserve to be included.

  16. By the luck of the draw of timing -all of Sun's big comps have been in China.

  17. Could i throw in a case for Keri-Anne Payne?

    Open water World Champion 2 years on the bounce and also excelled in the swimming pool. Her times did not set the world alight but is there another open water swimmer who can go 2.13 200IM? Also, she could with a good schedule become a factor in the 800FR. She goes forever and had 1.59 200m speed, as fast as Sutton or Ziegler and around 2 seconds faster than most of her open water rivals (Villaecija, Gorman etc.)

    She swam IM and 200-1500m Freestyle races at nationals and still came away with fast times (1.59, 4.07,8.29 & 16.06NR). Give her an easier schedule and she can knock chunks of those times, particularly the distance swims.

    Surely worth a place?

  18. anyone dare making a prediction list for next year?

    1. michael phelps
    2. missy franklin
    3. sun yang
    4. ryan lochte
    5. rebecca soni
    6. rebecca adlington
    7. james magnussen
    8. cesar cielo
    9. alicia coutts
    10. brendan hansen

    Most of this probably doesn't tell that much. But basically, I predict Phelps to go out with a bang, and taking Lochte in both head-to-heads, taking all individual golds that he contests. I believe he will set world records in 2 different events and exit the sport as the greatest of all time, as well as "right now". Franklin, I believe will give a comparable showing. Lochte will be very close to Phelps in all sympatric events, but will fall slightly short.

    I think this is the year will be a "historic" season for Sun Yang, where he'll take both 400/1500 records by a considerable margin. I believe his biggest competitor for the bronze in the 200m free will be Agnel. I think this race will finish in this order: Phelps, Lochte, (Agnel or Sun), Biedermann, Park.

    Lastly, I'm extremely impressed with where Hansen is at atm. I believe that Hansen has shown he could possibly be a 59.6-59.9 swimmer in season based on his times in the last month. I believe he'll be Dale Oen's biggest threat in the 100m, and will battle Vom Lehn Gyurta and Kitajima in the 200.

  19. John -I thought about it & was about to suggest sara from Sweden .

    Then I thought further & cannot get very excited at all.

    by July the Olympics might seem stupid & petty. This is not a time to be spending that sort of $$$ /pounds /ren /yen /& the poor little euro on gladiatorial splendor. Perhaps we could throw the bankers into the lion pit. That would be sporting.

  20. John,
    if coughlin wins the 100 back, she'll be right up there in the top 4/5

  21. Kirsty Coventry will win the 200back @london olympics

  22. Coventry is also a strong contender for gold in the 200IM, 400IM and 100back. I'm afraid missy franklin would have to contend with silver in the 200back.

  23. Missy Franklin has a tall order. She has tough competition as follows
    100free: kromowidjodjo/ sjostrom/ steffen/halsall
    200free: pellegrini/schmitt/palmer/ hemskerk
    100back: coughlin/coventry/ zueva/ seebohm
    200back: coventry/hocking/simmonds.
    I dont see missy franklin winning gold @ olympics other than in the 4*200free relay and maybe the medley relay

  24. nice trolling anon!

  25. Nice trolling?

    I thought trolling was supposed to cause debate not make me (literally) lol at the stupidity of them.

    Haha, how sad can and jealous can people be!?
    GET A LIFE springs to mind.

    1. @Jack. Time will tell. Watch this space. We'l see who'l have the last laugh. Ha ha..

    2. We certainly will mate.

      ps....Liked the rather dramatic "Ha ha.."....Very French. Classy huh.

  26. But i'm sure we should agree london 2012 will go down as the most competitive games of all time.. Most 'blue ribbon' events are stacked. Looking forward to fast times and upsets!!!

  27. I don't see why Anon is being attacked. Nobody has a glowing globe that can predict much other than Phelps will win a medal.

    Predictions are just that.

    1. You make a point. But If you are a common subscriber to blogs that allow anonymous comments you will know they are often used as weapons to wind-up other commenters, cause trouble and throw around stupid opinions that any near normal and educated swim fan would laugh at.

      Maybe the attack on 'anonymous' was not granted but I highly expect he is another 'anonymous' annoyance trying to belittle world class swimmers and it is not nice or fair. Period.

      Also, could he not have said "I believe (*x,y & z*) will win gold in these events" instead of pointing out numerous opposition to Missy and stating he believes SHE will not win a gold? That is not how this prediction game works, Is it? That says to me "I am from another country and I am Jealous that Missy Franklin is going to win America loads of world medals in the future so lets rubbish her, Phelps-esque"....(I am British btw so am not Biased)

      Another downfall to the 'anonymous' title...How do we know you are infact not the original 'anonymous'? And we have come full circle, see what I am getting at?

  28. With respect, i think Jack is being very childish to say the least. I dont know what constitutes an 'educated' swim fan but i do know that predictions are only as gud as that.. It appears according to Jack u have to be somehow qualified to make a prediction. Thats laughable to say the least. If Missy Franklin is going to win 7gold medals in london, not prediction made by a certain 'anon' would change that. I think Jack should grow up and not get all emotional about 'uneducated' PREDICTIONS. For what its worth its still January and US trials are in June.

  29. I totally agree with everything Jack said.

    And no, I am neither american nor brit.

  30. Anon (not that anon -different word spacing ).
    Melissa is a talent. However she herself has telegraphed that the team experience & friendships of swimming is more important to her than fame & fortune. She would not want swim bloggers fighting over her.

    The bad Anon has listed a fair analyses of her competitors . Melissa has a one sec advantage over the 200 back & is an event I would pencil her in as fave. The 800 relay -a good possible -although one or two of her teammates might wilt under the pressure.It is not all in her hands.

    There is some big differences in training regimes around the world just now.For instance Irie swims a 53.3 100 back & Eammon Sullivans swims a 51.8 free in the same meet. It is expected Eammon can drop 3-3.5 secs on that time but if Irie were to present at the same drop he would be sub 50s.

    Many swimmers in the northern hem look to be having a short cycle program with several peaks . Interesting to see if this makes for a super peak or high plateau.

    Kirsty' is capable of medalling in the 100 /200 back & that Im is always there. I would guess there is a lot of altitude work & I suspect "Anon ' is South African /Zimbabwean. & might know something we don't. Or perhaps he is just patriotic.

    Best wishes to all Zimbabweans & godspeed Kirsty.

  31. Make that no good wishes for Mugabe & co. Or may they see the light. Some light . Any light.

  32. Anon sounds like that guy (Can't remember his screenname)in swimmingworld disqus who never fail to crap on Missy at every chance.

    Anon said this:
    I dont see missy franklin winning gold @ olympics other than in the 4*200free relay and maybe the medley relay

    If you don't think s/he is not trolling, I don't know what is.

  33. Ok, the 'bad' Anon: haha thats me, was only responding to John26 comment on jan15 who made a prediction for the top10 swimmers of 2012.. Sure enough, this anon is under no illusion of what a great and versatile athlete Missy is.. Just a gentle reminder, once upon a time in Beijing, Katie Hoff was 'going' to win 5gold medals. We all know wat happened.. Outside the 200back and 200free were Missy topped the rankings last year, we'd hv to wait and see. U're ryt 'good' anon abt Irie, and Missy isnt 'super' fast either in season. She did a 2.07.9 or so before going 2.05.1 in shanghai. She'd have to go 2.04.6 @ least for gold..

  34. By the way,

    I cannot remember exactly what Coventry's 200 back textile PB is, but for sure it is slower than Egerszegi's 2:06.61 because Coventry broke Egerszegi's WR while wearing LZR in 2008.

    so anon is saying that Missy, with textile PB of 2:05.09, and will only be 17 in London with greater chance to get even speedier, will not be able to beat Coventry, who will be almost 29 yo in London, whose textile best is 2 seconds slower.

    If that is not flaming, I don't what is

  35. Only the most "patriotic" americans thought Hoff was going to win 5 golds in Beijing.

    Non-americans (including me at that time) had very different opinion. Most objective fans/observers agreed that Hoff was only favorite in 400 IM, and may have been slight favorite in 400 free.

    Honestly, in my Beijing prediction, I put Rice to win both 200-400 IM, but I didn't think Australia was going to win the 800 FR.

  36. One other thing to consider in this Hoff/Franklin comparison is that in 2008 there existed the unpredictability factor of rubber suit (which affected different swimmers differently, and hence you got Hoff swimming low 54 - or high 53 in 100 free which was way inflated and contributed to all those unreal expectation).

    This time, everyone will be on more equal footing, and the current suit does not give wild varying degree of unpredictability.

    It was also crazy to expect Hoff to win 200 IM when she swam more than a second slower than Rice's WR in the US trials.

    In the meantime, there's very healthy margins between Franklin's PBs in 200 free/back with those of her closest competitors. And Franklin is the youngest of them all.

  37. @ aswimfan, u raise very intresting points. But in london, most top athletes will better wat they did in lzr suit or at least get close. Coughlin is on 59.1 already in textile, she did 58.9 in a lazer. And coventry as defending champion knows wat she has to swim to win gold. Coventry textile best is a 2.06.83 from '07.. Just like coughlin, coventry is very much in line to be member of the 'triple' club. Coventry will be very close to her 2.04.81WR

  38. Even in the very unlikely scenario that Coventry, at the age of 29, suddenly better her textile PB by 2 seconds, I don't think it will be enough.
    I predict Franklin to break Coventry's WR by a good margin.

  39. I dont think being 29 would be a problem for Coventry. While being younger is certainly an advantage moreso in terms of recovery time swimmers can get faster even as they get older. Alshammar was on 24.14 @ shanghai at 33years and Coughlin who is a year older than Coventry set an american record, 55.92 @duel in the pool last december, just 0.2 shy of the WR set in a poly suit. Age wont be much of an issue for Coventry.

  40. Be that as it may, Missy Franklin i must admit, will be going to london as the hot favourite in the 200back and even the 200free.

  41. Good Anon here - well well.

    If Kirsty drops the 400im but has kept the workload up then I think she can definitely do 2.05. She looks to me to have had a long distance block of training after her 2.06.8 (2007) eg that allowed for the 4.29 400im.

    Kirsty has the natural speed to be low 59s 100 back & with that very fast final free she showed in Beijing - there definitely is a 2.05 there.

    But I don't know what she is doing in everyday life -if she evens needs it anymore. But Kirsty is GREAT .

  42. Coventry is training in Monaco (under the patronage of Charlene Wittstock), I believe and seems to seriously be going for London 2012. I think her age is against her but I would love to see her win again.

    1. Woohoo -Charlene -the only Euro trash royal with a pair of decent shoulders.

  43. Bad anon, you gave example of sprinters. sprinters are different breed and the nature of 50 events are different than 200s.

    Can you give me an example of a 29 yo elite swimmer who improved their PB in a 200 event by 2 seconds?

  44. @ aswimfan. I dont think your question is fair though.. The lazer swimsuit didnt give a big drop of time for top swimmers like coventry. I agree with 'good anon' that coventry is still a 2.05 swimmer in textile(she's yet to do it anyway since she took 2010 off). I dont think though that, other swimmers like bidderman and kukors who benefited immensely from suits would be anywhere near those times. 1.42.00 for bidermann... And 2.06.15 for kukors -200IM. You imply Coventry has to drop 2sec, if she'd worn a jaked/x-glide.., i'd agree.. With respect to swimsuits, i strongly believe that most top swimmers will be very close to their beijing times, if not better after a very long(4year) cycle, albeit having to compete in textile suits..

  45. Lochte is already on 1.54.00 WR and phelps bettered his lzr best in the 200IM with a 1.54.16 in shanghai. Look @ someone like stephanie rice for example. She did a 2.07.03 in a jaked suit in rome09. Her best in a lazer is 2.08.45. Rice will be @ least 2.08mid @ olympics ths year. Pellegrini has a 1.52.98 in a jaked and her olympic gold was in 1.54.82(lzr). Now my question 4 u, aswimfan.. Hw fast do u think pellegrini will be in london? I think this is a fair question.

  46. Bad anon, Even if Coventry was not helped as much by the rubbersuit as Biedermann/Kukors, she was STILL helped by the suits.

    Or are you really saying that Coventry can swim 2:08.5 and 4:29 in textile?
    If she does that in London, she'll win golds.
    But is it reasonable?
    Not really.

    You are saying that most swimmers will swim close to their Beijing times, which I agree to a certain extent. But you seem to conveniently forgot that most swimmers are not 29 yo female.

    And if you are saying Coventry will swim her 200 back beijing time (2:05.24) in London, it will not be enough for her to defeat Franklin. Hell, it may not even be enough to get past Hocking.

    By the way, you have not given me an example of a 29 yo elite female swimmer who improve her 200 event by 2 seconds.

  47. I can go on and on abt the progress of top swimmers in getting better times than they did in lzr. Beisel has a 4.31.78 in the 400IM from shanghai and lochte's 1.52.9(shanghai) in the 200back was better than 1.53.8 in beijing he did in a lzr. My argument for Coventry is she'l be a lot closer(if not faster) than her lzr best times; than she'l be to the textile times she did 5years ago in '07. Her best times are 4.29.89-long medley, 2.04.81(200back), 58.77(100back) and 2.08.59 for the shorter medly.

  48. You are giving example of Lochte and Phelps. Which cannot be used as example for Coventry.

    First off, Lochte and Ryan are both 26 yo male swimmers who never took time off swimming. And in fact, ini the case of Lochte, his intensity of his training in the past 2 years are legendary. If you insist on the example of Lochte, Are you saying that Lochte will be able to swim 1:52 200 IM when he turns 29 in 2014?

    Rice did 2:07 in jaked in Rome, but you seem to have forgotten that Rice's preparation was so bad in 2009. she was even several kilos heavier than her beijing condition. Had Rice worn jaked in Shanghai, she would have swum sub 2:06 easily.
    Also, Rice is 23 and she'll be 24 in London. Rice is 5 years younger than Coventry. Even then, I don't think she will swim 2:08.45 in London.

    For Pellegrini, I think she will swim around 1:54.80-1:55.10 in London.
    But if you want to use her as a comparison for coventry, you fail. That's because Pellegrini is same age as Rice and she is four years younger than Coventry.

    Do I think Pellegrini will swim 1:53.00 in 2016 when she turns 29?
    hell no.
    Just as Do I think Coventry will swim 2:04.8 in London 2012 when she turns 29?
    hell no.

  49. Apparently it doesnt appear as if most females swim 4 a long time. Was just checking that ergezegi did the 200back WR in 2.06.62 @17( same age as missy) and retired in the mid 20's.. Only Coughlin and Coventry have been in the sport 4 a while and will be both 29 in london. These ladies with 18olympic medals among them.. 11 for coughlin(6individual) and 7individual olympic medals 4 coventry. Lets see wat these two ladies will do in london and i'm sure i'l answe your question..

  50. Beisel?


    Beisel was 15 in Beijing.

    Again and again and again and again:

    Give me a 29 yo elite female swimmer who improve her 200 event textile PB by 2 seconds.

    you can go back all the way to dawn fraser time if you want.

  51. You keep evading my question

  52. You know who was the last elite female swimmer who imprved her PBs at advanced age?

    Michelle Smith de Bruin.

    Yep, the infamous michell was later banned by FINA.
    even with all the drugs, michelle only improved at age 26. She was never nowhere near her PBs after 1996.

    Unless you are suggesting Coventry is on the same juice, I can see no possibility she will swim 2:08.5, 4:29, and 2:4.8

  53. We'll have to see wat her best will be @29, hopefully not on any juice.. Drug scandals are never good 4 sport anyway. 4 wat its worth, its been a very informative discussion. Thank u aswimfan 4 responding to and entertaining 'bad anon'.. Wateva the outcomes in london., i'm sure we'l all be seating @ the edge of our seats..

  54. Loving the discussion...

    The Swim Geek has posted his Top 10 of 2011 -

    The 'Mericans getting a lot of love.

    1. Oh come on, that isn't bias! My list really isn't that much different than yours, except for that Ryan Lochte beats Sun Yang. The best swimmer in the world doesn't choke in a World Championships final.

  55. I think a lot of what is being said about Coventry could also be said about Kitajima (of course, Kitajima has been doing a lot better than her as of late). If there is a bright side for Coventry, it is that Shanghai was technically not a good meet for her. She swam faster inseason than she did in Shanghai. Which could possibly indicate that she missed her taper and could be prepared to go a lot faster in London.

    Coventry was 208.4 in the 200back, 211.3 in the 200im, and 437.2 in the 400im. Pre-Beijing she was 206.4, 210.0, 434.2 in those events (in a lzr). However, her 2011 times are comparable with nonchampionship times she swam in 2007. I don't think its out of the question for Coventry to return to the performances she had in Beijing. Sans suits would probably have been a 209low/mid in the 200im, 205mid/high in the 200back, and a time that would've won silver in Shanghai in the 400IM. She waslikely going to be in the mix (59low) in the 100back also.

    Remember also that Coventry did not win the gold at 2007. The fact that she was able to pull it all together the very next year in such an impressive fashion is a true indicator of her greatness. That said, her returning to the aforementioned times are still unlikely to win her gold. I believe that Brent Hayden was the planet's great 100m freestyle from 07-10. The suits most likely robbed him of precious medals to credit his legacy, but Magnussen has really taken over in the same way Missy is going to give Coventry all their sympatric events.

  56. The difference between K. Coventry 2007/08 with 2011/12 is:

    1. she is now 4 years older and at the "mature" age of 28, almost 29 by London.
    2. During 2007/8, she had been on uninterrupted intensive training for many years, this time around she took sabbatical in 2010.
    3. In 2007, in her non-championships swim (JPNAUG), she swam 2:06.83, while in 2011 in her non-championships swim (BRAMAY) she swam 2:08.4
    4. In 2007 worlds, it is true that she didn't win gold, but she won silver and the difference between her time and gold medalist was only around 0.3 second. In shanghai the difference is more than 4 seconds.
    5. The competition in her events this year is far stronger than in 2008. In 100 back there are now more than 8 girls who swim faster than her textile PB and they are all younger (except for coughlin). In 200 back, Franklin is 2 seconds faster and hocking is 1 second faster than her textile PB. Other girls (Zevina, Beisel, Van Rouwendahl, simmonds, etc) are improving so fast and very close to her textile PB. In 200 IM, at least Shiwen, Coutts, Kukors, Leverenz, Rice, Beisel are a lot faster than her textile PB. In 400 IM, at least Beisel, Shiwen, Rice, Miley, are faster than her textile PB. And all these girls are at least 4 years younger than she is.

    K Coventry is one of the greatest backstrokers ever, but to expect her to beat her textile PB by 2 seconds at the age of 29 is not reasonable.

  57. Aswim....Simmonds textile PB is 2.06.79 from 2010 ( And she hit the lane rope off the final turn in that race), .04 faster than Coventry' time already, and she has the potential to drop a large chunk in my opinion. She also had swims of 2.06.90 & 2.07.04 unrested in 2010 at Bucs and Euro's.

    I would not say a swimmer of Kirsty' magnitude can ever be discounted and I am sure if any 'younger' swimmers choke in London then she will mop up the medals behind them, I just doubt if those Aswim mentioned perform as expected she will hang with them anymore. I Would love her to prove me wrong and put Zimbabwe on the podium once again though.

    I think behind Franklin the real threats come from Hocking, Simmonds, Zevina and Nay (With the second Yank & a few others in with a shout of a 'minor' medal).

  58. completely off topic, but Pieter Timmers from Belgium just swam a 48.92 :/ Belgium might be finalists the next olympic cycle.

  59. So what is the outcome. Does Kirsty have your permission to swim on & try to improve or ought she give up go on the pension ?

  60. Bad anon.. now now, don't take it to the other extreme..
    First you said Franklin has no chance in London because coventry will win 200 back.

    And then after I have given my arguments supported by facts and data that Franklin is the favorite and coventry has less chance, you are saying coventry need my permission.

    Please have some rather civil argument...

  61. Not only Timmers swimming well for Belgium.

    50 Fly - Heersbrandt (23.73)
    100 Fly - Heersbrandt (52.29) NR
    100 Free - Timmers (48.92), DeKonick (49.31), Jasper Aerents (49.83), Heersbrandt (49.98).
    200 Free - Timmers (1.48.63)

    If Surgeloose can get back to 2010 shape they have another 49. & 1.48 100/200m freestyler....Watch for the young Belgian's.

    50 Free - Sysmans (25.56)
    100FR - Buys (55.91) .2 off NR by Annelise De Mare
    50 Fly - Buys (26.18) NR
    100 Fly - Buys (58.63)

    Buys also went 29. & 62. in the Back events.

  62. Awim - That was good anon. This is good anon.

    You are taking things way too seriously. So what if bad anon says x won't win ?

    SIt is just a blog .

  63. good anon, it's because I'm a serious obsessive swimming fan :)

  64. Jack, thanks for the info.

    That's some seriously fast time in the 50 fly by Buys.

  65. Yes some nice times from Belgium.

    James Magnussen just went 48.03 at the SA state titles . mid season . He won't even need tp peak for Oz trials.

    Aswim - notice the 400im from Blair Evans 4.36 with a final 31.4/30.4 free!

  66. Magnussen 48.03 mid season .

    Also Blair Evans 4.36 im with a 31.4/30.44 free! That is showing some serious fitness.