Monday, 25 June 2012

US Olympic Swimming Trials

June 25 - July 2, Omaha, Nebraska

The US trials are finally here. Coming 114 days after Britain had their first selection meet for the Olympics, the US are hopefully saving the best for last.

Live Timing
Live Video (use Stream 2... finals start at 8pm ET (1am BST))
Psych Sheet
Event Schedule
TV Schedule
Trials Discussion with David Rieder

Monday, 18 June 2012

How Could the Women's 200m Free Final Unfold in London?

One of the reasons the women's 200m Freestyle holds such intrigue is the different strengths of the favourites. Here is a virtual run down of six of the main protagonists' splits, taken from their best swims during the last two years.


1. Sjoestrom - 26.71
2. Heemskerk - 26.90
3. Schmitt - 27.01
4. Franklin - 27.09
5. Muffat - 27.18
6. Pellegrini - 27.62


1. Heemskerk - 55.56 (28.66)
2. Schmitt - 55.97 (28.96)
3. Sjoestrom - 56.09 (29.38)
4. Muffat - 56.39 (29.21)
5. Franklin - 56.44 (29.35)
6. Pellegrini - 57.04 (29.42)


1. Heemskerk - 1:25.27 (29.71)
2. Sjoestrom - 1:25.54 (29.45)
3. Muffat - 1:25.57 (29.18)
4. Schmitt - 1:25.73 (29.76)
5. Franklin - 1:25.82 (29.38)
6. Pellegrini - 1:26.18 (29.14)


1. Muffat - 1:54.66 (29.09)
2. Schmitt - 1:55.04 (29.31)
3. Franklin - 1:55.06 (29.24)
4. Sjoestrom - 1:55.23 (29.69)
5. Heemskerk - 1:55.54 (30.27)
6. Pellegrini - 1:55.58 (29.40)

Previous Race Tactics

Early gas - Femke Heemskerk, Sarah Sjoestrom
Fast 1st, 2nd & 4th 50s, slow 3rd 50 - Allison Schmitt
Consistent splits - Camille Muffat, Missy Franklin
Late surge - Federica Pellegrini


 Sjoestrom took her race out very hard for the first 50m, before settling into a manageable pace. As a result she was able to keep all splits sub-30 seconds. She also had very little competition when she swam her time in London. She might be dragged along with Heemskerk for 150m at a quicker pace and could have the strength to hang on.
 Allison Schmitt had a topsy-turvy race. She seemed to come off the gas slightly on the 3rd 50m, before picking up her pace again on the final 50m. If she had split 29.36 instead of 29.76 on the 3rd 50m she would have snuck inside Muffat's time. Slowing down on the 3rd 50m in London would likely result in her being passed by some of the other swimmers.
 Federica Pellegrini had the slowest split of all six swimmers for the first two 50m splits, she then made a big move between 100m and 150m. In London she may need to be closer to the action at 100m. When she won in Rome 2009 (with a suit on) she went out in 27.34 and 55.60 and was then able to come back in 28.78 and 28.60. With a 0.5second allowance for the suit per 50m, her last two laps look very much like those of Camille Muffat's.
 Femke Heemskerk showed at the Sette Colli competition that she still favours using her early speed in this event. If she tweaks her pacing slightly and gets to 150m in 26.9 / 55.7 (28.8) / 1:25.2 (29.5) she might have enough in reserve to get back home in a sub-30 second split, which would put her well in the frame for the medals.
 Camille Muffat's 1:55.21 from the Monaco Mare Nostrum meeting last week was a swim that has been slightly overlooked. The time was fast, but slower than her 1:54.66 from the week before... what wasn't highlighted though were her splits. In Monaco Muffat swam 27.96 / 57.86 / 1:27.35 / 1:55.21 - her final 50m split was an incredible 27.86 (a good split for most elite male 200m Freestylers). This could indicate that Muffat is setting up a Plan A and a Plan B depending on how the race or competition unfolds.
 We have yet to see Missy Franklin at her best in 2012 but her 1:55.04 relay first leg from Shanghai was very similar in pacing to Camille Muffat's 1:54.66. Their 50m splits were never more than 0.2 seconds apart from each other. Her 200m Backstroke race tactics also seem to confirm that she favours a more even race pace with a slight increase of speed on the final 50m.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

New Vote: Who Will Win the Women's 200m Freestyle in London?

There might not be a more contentious event in world swimming right now than the women's 200m Freestyle. Everyone has an opinion, and most of them differ from fan to fan.

We are still yet to see what the American women have to offer, but it's time to take this question to the masses.

The Contenders:

Federica Pellegrini - Reigning Olympic and World Champion.

Camille Muffat - Textile record holder having a tremendous 2012.

Sarah Sjoestrom - Uber-talented has bundles of speed and has improved her endurance.

Femke Heemskerk - Gutsy racer could well lead the Olympic final at 150m, can she hang on?

Kylie Palmer - World Silver medalist is improving year on year.

Missy Franklin - The opinion splitter. World's fastest time in 2011 and just turned 17 years of age, the sky is the limit.

Allison Schmitt - Already in 2012 has been faster than Franklin's 2011 best time, and that was unrested. 1:55.0 untapered speaks to a potentially huge swim this summer.

Bronte Barratt - Sub 1:56 in 2012 and faster than compatriot Kylie Palmer, she has the stamina to challenge if she can stay close to the field.

Other - Dana Vollmer could upset either Franklin or Schmitt at US Trials, Barbara Jardin of Canada, Shijia Wang/Yi Tang of China, Rebecca Turner and maybe Caitlin McClatchey of Britain will have home support, Haruka Ueda of Japan has been improving steadily recently, Mireia Belmonte is a fighter and Silke Lippok has age on her side.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Video of Federica Pellegrini's Confidence Boosting 200m Free Today

Great video of Federica Pellegrini winning the 200m Freestyle at the Sette Colli Trophy today in 1:56.32. Watch out for Femke Heemskerk with the early speed...

Friday, 15 June 2012

Camille Muffat is the Overwhelming Favourite For Gold in the 400m Freestyle

The Speed Endurance readers have spoken - Camille Muffat is now the overwhelming favourite to win the 400m Freestyle at the London Olympics.

The Results:

Camille Muffat - 62.5%

Rebecca Adlington - 14.5%

Federica Pellegrini - 14.5%

Allison Schmitt - 4.2%

Other - 4.2%

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

49th Trofeo Sette Colli Attracts a Loaded International Field

49th Trofeo Sette Colli, Foro Italico, Rome, June 14-16

The Sette Colli Trophy has attracted a fantastic international field once again as well as showcasing Italy's finest swimmers. The competition offers the swimming fan one of the final chances to see top class racing in Europe before the serious swimming starts in London.

Keep an eye out for Federica Pellegrini on home soil. Having seen Camille Muffat move above her as favourite in the eyes of many for the 400m Free, Pellegrini gets a chance to lay down a marker in both the 200 and 400m Free. The 2009 World Championships in Rome showed just how much the Italian likes racing at the Foro Italico.

Events to Watch

Essential Viewing
Ranomi Kromowidjojo v Sarah Sjostrom v Jeanette Ottesen v Femke Heemskerk - 100m Free
Federica Pellegrini v Sarah Sjoestrom v Femke Heemskerk - 200m Free
Cesar Cielo v Fabien Gilot v Filippo Magnini v Hanser Garcia - 100m Free
Camille Lacourt v Ryosuke Irie - 100m Back
Anastasia Zueva v Aya Terakawa - 100m Back
Camerson van der Burgh v Fabio Scozzoli v Ryo Tateishi - 100m Breast

Other Key Battles
Federica Pellegrini v Lotte Friis - 400m Free
Cesar Cielo v Bruno Fratus v Florent Manaudou v Luca Dotto - 50m Free
Ranomi Kromowidjojo v Therese Alshammar v Marleen Veldhuis - 50m Free
Satomi Suzuki v Jennie Johansson v Rikke Moller Pedersen - 100m Breast
Sarah Sjostrom v Inge Dekker v Jeanette Ottesen - 100m Fly
Kosuke Hagino v Thiago Pereira - 400m IM
Ryosuke Irie v Radoslaw Kawecki - 200m Back
Ryo Tateishi v Marco Koch - 200m Breast
Satomi Suzuki v Kanako Watanabe - 200m Breast

Start List
Competition Schedule
Official Programme

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Chinese Sprinter Li Zhesi Tests Positive - Chinese Reaction

Sad news coming out of China. 16 year old sprinter Li Zhesi has tested positive for EPO. She led off China's 4th placed 4 x 100m Freestyle relay last year in Shanghai.

You have to hope that this is an isolated case. For the most part China have had a good record with anti-doping offences over the last few years.

Interestingly, the news site Sina had a poll to gauge the public's response to the positive test. The results are below:

The Chinese public do not seem willing to give Li Zhesi the benefit of doubt on this on. 62.5% believe that Chinese sport is now tainted with scandal, compared to a combined 19.1% that believe it was either an accident or are waiting for  further details to be released before passing judgement.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Hanser Garcia - Cuba's 100m Freestyle Medal Hope

Garcia before the start of the 100m Free final in lane 8.
Hanser Garcia won the 100m Freestyle in Canet tonight in a handy time of 48.89. After turning fifth at 50m (23.76) he raced past Brent Hayden, Yannick Agnel, Fabien Gilot and Marcelo Chierighini on his way to victory.  It was the Cuban's second best showing since his 48.34 from Pan Pacs last year.

From first impressions he still seems pretty raw. His technique isn't as clean on top of the water as a lot of the other guys he is racing, but it is effective. He also seems to have that valuable commodity in the 100m Free these days - a strong second 50m.

Garcia is the type of swimmer that you might forget about in favour of some of the more established names, but that killer second 50m could bring him into medal contention. He seems to be one of the few swimmers where the cliche 'make the final and anything can happen' is fitting.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Swimmers Nick D'Arcy and Kenrick Monk pose with guns. There are no reported injuries.

How is this news?

Would there have been such a media outcry had two other, less high profile swimmers posted these pictures on facebook. I doubt it.

My biggest problem with the picture above is not the fact they are holding guns, it is Nick D'Arcy's dodgy grin.

Camille Muffat Races to a 4:02.97 400m Free, splits 2:04.4/1:58.5. Favourite for gold in London?

I had the pleasure of seeing Camille Muffat's ridiculous 4:02.97 swim in person. After going out in the most relaxed 2:04.43 you will ever see, she turned on the afterburners at 200m to come back in 1:58.54.

In case you read that too quickly the first time around, she came back in 1:58.54... from a push... in the second half of a 400m Freestyle race.

To put that into some perspective, 1:58.54 would place well inside the top 50 in the world this year in the 200m Free and is the fastest second half of a 400m Free in history. When Federica Pellegrini won in Shanghai last year she split 1:59.67 on the back half of her race, and when she set her world record of 3:59.15 she came back in 1:59.73.

Muffat has already shown that she has ample amounts of speed (54.44 in the 100m, 1:54.66 in the 200m Free this year), and as witnessed tonight, she has the staying power to compete with the likes of both Federica Pellegrini and Rebecca Adlington. The emphasis on the second half of her race will have come from her coach Fabrice Pellerin and looks to be a clear message to the Italian world champion. Given that the 400m Free can be a cagey final, Muffat has shown the kind of back end speed that we have yet to see from Pellegrini.

Understandably, given their previous successes, Pellegrini and Adlington have been most peoples choices for gold in London, but Muffat has taken her swimming to another level this year. Given that she has already swum 4:01.13 this year, she is also starting to show the kind of form that makes a sub-4 minute swim tantalisingly possible again.

I feel a vote coming on.

The women's 400m Free contenders:

Federica Pellegrini - World champion, world record holder. Yet to show her cards in 2012.

Rebecca Adlington - Olympic champion, world silver medalist, swimming in front of a home crowd.

Camille Muffat - Textile best time set this year (4:01.13), ultra consistent this year, has the ideal blend of speed and endurance.

Kylie Palmer - Has swum 4:03.40 this year and has been trending upwards in this event over the last two years.

Allison Schmitt - 4:05 untapered this year, has shown great speed in the 100m (53.94) and 200m Free (1:55.04) already in 2012.

Others - Chloe Sutton, Katie Hoff, Katie Ledecky, Mireia Belmonte, Bronte Barratt, Shao Yiwen, Xin Xin, Lotte Friis, Coralie Balmy, Lauren Boyle, Brittany MacLean, Joanne Jackson... all have a shot, but need to show more in this event to be considered in the top tier of medal contenders.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

This Week in Swimming

Free Web Clocks by web-candy

It's a bumper week in swimming as the countdown to the start of London 2012 gets ever nearer.

Mare Nostrum - Canet, June 6 - 7
(feat. Fran Halsall, Fred Bousquet, Yannick Agnel, Fabien Gilot, Camille Lacourt, Cameron van der Burgh, Jeremy Stravius, Chad Le Clos, Inge Dekker, Femke Heemskerk, Camille Muffat, Ophelie Cyrielle Etienne, Jo Jackson, Caitlin McClatchey, Lizzie Simmonds, Sinead Russell, Marieke Guehrer)

Entry List

Mare Nostrum - Barcelona, June 2 - 3
(feat. Rebecca Adlington, Mireia Belmonte, Hannah Miley, Nikita Lobintsev, Hanser Garcia, Brent Hayden, Sinead Russell, Cameron van der Burgh, Felipe Silva, Craig Benson, Therese Alshammar, Jemma Lowe)

List of Participants
Competition Schedule
Live Video

Santa Clara Grand Prix, May 31 - June 3
(feat. Stephanie Rice, Kosuke Kitajima, Libby Trickett, Park Tae-Hwan, Natalie Coughlin, Emily Seebohm, Ryan Cochrane, Jessica Hardy, Caitlin Leverenz, Kylie Palmer, Bronte Barratt, Tyler Clary, Dana Vollmer, Ellen Gandy, Natsumi Hoshi, Takeshi Matsuda)

Psych Sheet
Live Video

Longhorn Aquatics Elite Invite, June 1 - 3
(feat. Michael Phelps, Missy Franklin, Allison Schmitt, Brendan Hansen, Camille Adams, Wu Peng)

Psych Sheet

Mare Nostrum - Monaco, June 9 - 10
(feat. Camille Muffat, Yannick Agnel, Clement Lefert, Therese Alshammar, Fran Halsall, Luca Dotto, Sinead Russell, Lizzie Simmonds, Liam Tancock, Craig Gibbons, Joe Roebuck, Ross Davenport, Ruta Meiluyte, Cameron van der Burgh, Chad Le Clos, Kathryn Meaklim)

Start List