Friday, 27 July 2012

Speed Endurance Olympic Swimming Predictions - Breaststroke

The time has finally arrived, it is Olympic prediction time! Odds to win also included. It is well worth checking out the odds to finish in the top 3 too, some good value there (eg. Fran Halsall 9/5 to finish top 3 in the 100 Free). Make it rain!


Men

100 breast
1. Kosuke Kitajima (8/11)
2. Cameron van der Burgh (11/1)
3. Fabio Scozzoli (9/1)

I feel it's right to take a moment to remember Alexander Dale Oen at this point. He almost certainly would have been the favourite for gold were it not for his tragic passing. Hopefully he will appropriately remembered during the Olympics.

Kitajima has to be the pick here given how far ahead of the rest of the world he is this year. Van der Burgh is my pick for silver after his world bronze last year, with no 50 breast to focus on he should be in top shape for the 100. Scozzoli just edges Brendan Hansen and Ryo Tateishi, even though we haven't seen much of him in 2012.

200 breast
1. Kosuke Kitajima (15/8)
2. Daniel Gyurta (2/1)
3. Ryo Tateishi (4/1)

Kitajima and Gyurta could go either way, but as a rule I do not bet against Kitajima when the Olympics. Ryo Tateishi is the somewhat shaky pick for bronze. Tateishi has had fast in season swims before and failed to back them up on the global stage, still you can't argue with his 2:08.17. Watch out for world bronze medalist Christian vom Lehn who has crept under the radar as well as compatriot Marco Koch, Andrew Willis and Americans Scott Weltz and Clark Burckle.

Women

100 breast
1. Rebecca Soni (5/11)
2. Yulia Efimova (20/1)
3. Satomi Suzuki (11/1)

I don't think Soni is the sure fire cert that many others do, but I also won't bet against her in these picks. Soni showed her vulnerable side at US trials, but she has dominated women's breaststroke for the last 3 years. Efimova looks to be her strongest challenger. I've picked Suzuki for bronze, but you could easily replace her with Leisel Jones, Li Jiping, Breeja Larson or Leiston Pickett. I'm also expecting a good showing from Jennie Johansson and Daria Deeva. London has probably come slightly too soon for Ruta Meilutyte but she could also be a factor.

200 breast
1. Rebecca Soni (2/7)
2. Yulia Efimova (12/1)
3. Micah Lawrence (25/1)

Soni is a slam dunk pick, right? Probably, but Efimova showed huge improvement in Shanghai and could get close. Micah Lawrence is the pick for a tight battle for bronze with Satomi Suzuki and Kanako Watanabe.

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