With the Olympic games only two months away. We are starting to see more and more of the US Olympic team form. The gymnastics team has formed. The air rifling team has formed even the US Basketball team is starting to form. But really though there are only a few sports that people care about during the Olympics. Track and field, Curling (Who knows why) Gymnastics and Swimming.
Now, you can sit there and tell me that people don’t care about swimming, people only care about Track and Field during the olympics. Sure but who really watches the whole track and field though. Unless you were a runner. I watch the 100, 200 and maybe the 400 if that. but yes I can say that I watch all of swimming because I’m a swimmer sure. But in 2008 swimming during the olympics had one of the highest TV ratings in the world. They even changed how the meet is formed just so that it will be on prime time back in the states.
How swimming is formed for the olympics is kind of complex but here is the easy way of understanding it. Your 50 free, 100s and 200s all have heats, semifinals, and then finals. So, you could be swimming the 100 meter freestyle 3 times. As an example, the women 100 meter butterfly is the second event tomorrow for heats in the morning. Then at night they have the semifinals for that event. Then on Monday night they will have the Final. Then your first place and second place finishers will be swimming that even in Rio. Your distances events, so 400 meters and above only have heats and then finals. The top two finishers will swim that event at Rio. Not third or fourth. Unless you are swimming in the 50 free and 100 free. They take the top 6 but only First and Second will swim the event and have a spot on the relay. The other four will be on the relays that swim in the heats and the semis. Then the fastest person who swam on in the semis will be the fourth guy to join Phelps, Lochte and Adrian.
In 2008 it was flipped around. Your finals and Semifinals were flipped around to be in the morning. Why? Because America wanted to watch swimming. While this olympics will be Michael Phelps last Olympics ever. I think he’s going to do something that we will never forget.
Michael has had a crazy summer last year. He posted the fastest times in the world in the 100 fly, 200 fly and 200 IM on US soil in San Antonino. That’s crazy just in its self because while he was doing that here across the world Chad Le Chlos (The man who beat him in London in 2012) Posted times the night prior that were considered the fastest times.
Michael won’t have his first swim until Tuesday. That means we can watch some of the other action going on. I won’t break down ever single event to ever swimmer but I can give you an educated guess on what I believe will happen tomorrow during the first day of Olympic Trials.
Mens 400 Meter IM:
Well this one will be a fun one. Ryan Lochte 2012 Gold medalist. He came out yesterday and told the media that he officially swimming the 400 IM. That puts some pressure on the number two seed Chase Kalisz and Lochtes teammate Tyler Clary. Tyler Clary with his seed-time of 4:09.03 is considered to be the second fastest time in the world. But four years ago Lochte posted a time of 4:05.18. Trials last year he beat out Michael and Chase and Tyler while going 4:10.66. I think this year Tyler Clary gets his shot at going to Rio. It’ll go Ryan at a 4:09 high and Clary right behind him with a 4:10 low. Chase misses out again.
Women 100 Meter Butterfly :
This is an easy one. Considering Dana Vollmer is the 5th fastest women in the 100 meter fly and has a full second gap between her and Kelsi Worrell from Louisville. Kelsi Worrell who was the first woman to ever go under 50 seconds in short course 100 fly. I think she will take second. The dark horse in this event may be Kendyl Stewart who is only behind her by a couple of tenths on the pysch sheet. But this event seems to be a bit straight forward.
Men 400 Meter Free:
Here is a tricky one. The reason why I say that is because Yang Sun who won gold in 2012 by a land slide. Which a two second gap from the other swimmers is considered a land slide. Especially in the distance events. But as for the americans Peter Vaderkaay has retired and now we have Conner Jaeger who is the 8th fastest in this event seed with a one second gap from Zane Grothe. But you can’t count out the three Longhorns in this event either. Clark Smith and Towny Haas who put up crazy times this year at the University of Texas could sneak up and grab themselves a spot. Clark Smith may not only because he was a mental case at NCAA this year and will probably have the same effect at Trials. But a more experience swimmer with some international experience already under his belt UT Alumni Michael McBroom may sneak up there to take that second spot. I really think Jaeger will get that first place spot but the second spot is up for grabs really. I think anyone in the top 8 could get a shot.
Women 400 Meter IM:
This one should also be pretty easy. The two seeded ladies in this event are Maya DiRado and Elizabeth Beisel. Both seeded with a 4:31 that is the second and third fastest times in the world. Right behind Katinka Hosszu from Hungry who has the fastest time in the world. Those two will fight it out for the top spot and the second spot easily.
Mens 100 Meter Breaststroke:
Now here is an event. That in America we are very weak in. We have not had a gold medal in this even since John Hencken from the 76′ games. I can’t really tell you could win this one. Why because it could all go to the top 15 guys. Cody Miller is sitting nicely as the 5th fastest guy in the world in this event. But Nic Fink out of Georgia is only one onehundreth of a second behind him sitting at 6th. But everyone on Swimswam.com LOVES the child prodigy of Michael Andrews. Everyone I’ve talked to thinks he is the dark horse. He’s 17 years old. He has had international experience but I do not believe he will make a big splash here at these trials. Maybe in 2020 but not here.
Everything here is just my educated guess. I think it will shape up to be a fun meet and it will give swimming the love it desperately needs.
Tomorrow should be a fun start to the olympic year. Trails are set to start at 1o:00am ET 7:00am PT. They will be showing the HEATS on NBC Sports and the Finals on NBC and the NBC Sports Mobile app.
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