So it begins... :D
Absolutely cannot wait for the women's 100 fly race. British Record has to go for sure.
British 100 fly record will be totally knocked out of the park. Halsall has got it for me, and Gandy will go low 57s too I reckon. What intrigues me is how they will swim it, Gandy has to go out on Fran's shoulder and try to stick it out home hoping her extra early relative speed does not outweigh her superior back end pace leaving no energy to attack Halsall late on. Also, I think the British 400FR Relay has the makings of top 5 team in London. Halsall & Smith are certs to be on the relay, then Spoffort (I think could go 54.5ish at trials and then take your pick from Lloyd, McClatchey, Wilkins and the other dark horses Maughan, Jackson and the unlikely Simmonds. My bet for the top 6 is 1. Halsall 2. Smith 3. Spofforth 4. Turner 5. Lloyd 6. Wilkins
In Shanghai last year, the women 400 FR top five were: The Netherlands, USA, Germany, China, and Australia.Right now, I still cannot see how either of those nations not finishing in top 5 in London. But who knows; swimming in front of home crowd most usually does wonder to the relays. Witness how the Australian's men 400 FR defeated the Americans in Sydney.
I think the Brits are much better off in the medley! Simmonds/Davies on back, Gandy/Halsall on fly, Halsall/Smith on free. Plenty of depth in all of these. Kate Haywood seems to be back in good form so they wouldn't lose too much ground on the breaststroke, though catching or even matching Soni or Leisel would be a big ask. But aiming for a bronze seems at least plausible (if optimistic!).
Unless one of top three (USA, China, Australia) DQ, I find it hard to see GBR getting bronze.In order to get bronze, GBR would have to defeat Australia, and really that is a big ask, considering Seebohm-Jones would likely be almost 2 second ahead. And Coutts is faster than any of GBR's flyer, and even if Australia's freestyler is one second slower than Halsall, they'll still be more than comfortably ahead at the end. Don't forget also that Cate Campbell at her best can match Halsall in free.Unless you forgot that China won silver in Shanghai in a great time?
I see the USA and Australia as the top 2 in the Medley Relay. Also RE Jones, she looks bloody awful right now....Katsoulis and Pickett will fancy pinching those individual spots. (PS She also finished behind Haywood at NSW titles).Look at the Chinese splits from Shanghai and Britain should be matching or at least very close to 3 of them.Zhao (59.24) - Simmonds looks fast already and should improve to this region, Spofforth has this in her for sure if she has gotten her head down this winter. Ji (1.06.27) - PROBLEM LEG! Haywood looks good this year and has been 1.07.5 in 2008, this has also been her fastest start to the year ever, breaking 1.07 is asking a lot but possible Balfour 2006-esque.Lu (56.77) - Gandy is swimming superb and her speed looks to be better this year.Tang (53.33) - Halsall can do this ANY day of the week. The 2009 British record of 3.57.0 (58.9 - 67.8 - 57.3 - 52.8) is on the cards, that kind of time will have us near the medal (Bronze).
I agree that Jones looked bloody awful in Sydney few weeks ago, but I think she'll be ok, she's training under Bohl (along with Park Tae Hwan, Stephanie Rice, Bronte Rice, etc).Seebohm swam 59.2 while so sick and/or in heavy training, and I think she'll go 58.5-58.8What's worrying for GBR is not that Gandy and Halsall are not capabale of matching the chinese' flyer and free, but the fact that they swam so dispirited when they were already so behind the other teams.In Shanghai, Gandy and Halsall had no business swimming 57.97 and 54.03They SHOULD HAVE FOUGHT! and made it closer.
Firstly RE Lippok on another post, she has twice split 53. on a relay once at 2012 Euro's (53.7) and a 53.9 at a low level meet in Germany in 2010 (I think Dresden). Gandy and Halsall in my opinion did the correct thing. Our lead off legs were 59.9 and 69.0 and had us miles off medals, there was nothing but fatigue to be gained from battling on. For once this was a British team who clearly wanted more and 4th is no more rewarding than 8th. Spofforth-Haywood-Gandy-Halsall SHOULD be capable of a BR.
Oh I didn't know Lippok has split sub 54 relay, but that doesn't change much my early prediction, until we see all trials completed.As for Spofforth-Haywood-Gandy-Halsall capable of bronze, this means you have strong confidence that Haywood will split 1:06 low or 1:05 high.Maybe Haywood will now improve much from the past few years. Otherwise I cannot see how a 1:08 split or even a 1:07 will get GBR bronze
Spofforth's performance at trials will be one of the most intriguing storylines.If she can go from near retirement, back to (close) to her best, it will be a huge lift for the British team.If the 4 girls from BUCS can all drop some time in London, we have the makings of a pretty decent team.
My early prediction for women 400 FR medalists are: USA, Australia and the Netherlands, in no particular order.It will take amazing swims by either Germany, China, UK to medal.
1. Netherlands 2. USA 3. Australia for me right now.However, I don't see Australia being exclusively in that bronze medal tier like you do, even with Mel Schlanger's emergence this year. Germany will improve, Steffen should lead off quicker than her 54.51 at Worlds, Schreiber brought the heat in Shanghai with a 53.1 split, and if Lippok and Vitting can split 53s they will be formidable.
steffen will be a lot quicker, and Germany may challenge for a bronze, but I still predict Australia will be among medallists.Last year, even with their B sprint team (Barratt, Dingjan, Guehrer, and Coutts) they were only half seconds behind Germany's full team (with less 100% Steffen), with Coutts going 53.3.Since then, Australia has Schlanger and Campbell going 53 a couple of times, not to mention Trickett swam 54.3 already in Sydney, and Seebohm and Kukla yet to swim 100 free rested. Australia's all possible 4 swimmers are ALREADY 53+ flat start. In fact, Australia is the only country to have that luxury.Lippok never swam 53 in relays and her 100 PB is 54.74, while both Seebohm and Kukla are already sub 54 swimmers, and there's no reason they cannot swim 53high flat start and 53mid relay.so, as I said, it will take catastrophic swims by those 3 countries and/or amazing swims by either Germany, UK, and China to medal
I agree with aswimfan.Good point regarding the '53 point' swimmers.Current season or recent year best for the top swimmers has Schlanger at 53.7, Coutts, at 53.7, Campbell at 53.8 and Seabohm at 53.9. Trickett seems to be edging her way there again, and Kukla is not far off.I do think once tapered and rested both Schlanger and Coutts can drop time, and Campbell swam her time in training.That doesn't mean Australia will be a favourite for a medal of any colour because as we have seen at championships years past, the best swimmers might stumble and the best teams may crumble (rhyming... sigh).Australia had a strong team for the medley last year and had to field a B team, the same with the 4x100 relay, due to swimmers either not performing or being ill. Happens to all teams unfortunately.
Ok Jack if the Brit medley relay team get a medal - 1./2 of the medal goes to Australia's table.
Gandy and Haywood are trained in Australia, are they not?Also since Spofforth is trained in Florida, 1/4 of medal goes to USA.
Hahaha! Nice try!Spofforth might/probably wont actually get the swim if Simmonds continue's to improve. Gandy Is a fair call but Haywood moved there a year ago so...No chance. PS...Gandy was tipped as a superstar as long ago as 2004! :PInterestingly I read an article today in the Telegraph online about Kate Haywood which reminded me what a talent she is. Also Don't miss Georgina Evans (96) from Fran Halsall Southport club. She has swum once in 2012 and got a 1.09.59 PB nearly 5 seconds faster than the same point in the year last year (she had a PB of 1.10.72).Off topic Ruta Meilutyte (97!) from Lituania who train's at Achieng Ajulu's old club Plymouth Leander has swum 67.7 on the 100BR this year....Groundbreaker possibly coming?
Love how the area and pool looks, it looks brilliant!
Regarding Brit trials. If they want actual interest they ought to have made it do or die trial . Even for sports that people do not follow this makes drama. Even cooking shows are ruthless & contestants booted off for one bad dish. No one is invited back to try again in a few months.