American Vollmer; van der Burgh Break World Records on Day 2 (RECAP)

  408 Braden Keith | July 29th, 2012 | Featured, London 2012 Olympics, News, Previews & Recaps

Day 2 was crazy. There were two World Records, a European Record, and plenty of major upsets to be had. It was a repeat of day 1’s chaos, only twice as big.

The expectation is that things should settle in on day 3 a bit, but for now we got one more day of the roller-coaster.

PDF Results, including splits, here.
Live video stream here. (US only).

Women’s 100 Butterfly Final

So much for no more World Records. For the 2nd time in two nights, a World Record swim has gone down in the London Aquatics Centre, as American Dana Vollmer took down the World Record, and in the process became the first woman in history to go under 56 seconds. Vollmer marked a 55.98, which took down the old record of 56.06, set by Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom in 2009 (as just a 15-year old).

Vollmer had a brave swim. As we discussed in our session preview, from prelims to the semi-finals, her first 50 got faster, but her overall time got slower. She made the logical decision, and pulled up ever-so-slightly on the first 50 meters. She turned in 3rd in a 26.39; still very fast, but three-tenths slower than she was on Saturday. The decision paid off though, as Vollmer had more-than-enough on the back-half to overcome Jeanette Ottesen and Claire Donahue. (Aside: Vollmer lost her cap in this swim, and still broke the record).

In fact, it was all of the back-half swimmers who roared home in this race. China’s Ying Lu (turned 4th) took the silver in 56.87, and Australia’s Alicia Coutts (turned last) took bronze in 56.94.

The former World Record holder, and another great back-half swimmer, Sarah Sjostrom finished 4th: the same position in which she was in at the World Championships. Aside from a swapping of positions between Coots and Lu, this was the same top 4 we saw last year in Shanghai.

A newcomer to the field was Italy’s Ilaria Bianchi. She swam a 57.27 for 5th, which broke the Italian Record for the 2nd straight round. She’s now cut a full second off of her National best coming into this meet.

Ottesen, a 50 specialist who led at the turn, was 6th in 57.35, followed by the American Claire Donahue (57.48) and the home country’s Ellen Gandy in 57.76.

Men’s 200 Free – Semifinals

Another sort of ho-hum race in this men’s 200 free, just like we saw in the prelims. China’s Sun Yang turned even with Tae-Hwan Park at the 150 meter mark in heat 2 (just like they did in the 400 final), which is nearly an automatic Yang victory. Victory he got, with a 1:45.61, still looking fairly easy. The two heat winners, Paul Biedermann (1:46.10) and Yang have the advantage of not needing to worry about a relay final.

That’s as compared to their seconds: France’s Yannick Agnel (1:45.84) and American Ryan Lochte (1:46.31), who must quickly cool down and prepare for the 400 free relay that will end the session. For Lochte, that’s about two seconds off of where he’s expected to be, so clearly didn’t use too much energy.

Danila Izotov, another relay swimmer, tied with hometown swimmer Robbie Renwick of Great Britain tied for 6th in 1:46.65, and Thomas Fraser-Holmes was the last qualifier in 1:46.80.

American Ricky Berens was better than he was in the prelims, but his 1:46.87 still wasn’t quite good enough as he finished 9th.

Women’s 100 Breast – Semis

Lithuania’s Ruta Meilutyte, with visible confidence and the crowd suddenly behind her, is the real deal. She backed up her prelims swim with a new European Record of 1:05.21, breaking a 1:05.41 set by Russia’s Yuliya Efimova in the 2009 at 1:05.41.

Meilutyte again went out very hard, splitting a 30.55 in the opening 50. Even with speed-burners like Efimova and Australian Leisel Jones on either side of her, she had a clear advantage at the turn. She holds on well, and only with about 7 or 8 meters to go does she show even small signs of fatigue.

This puts a lot of pressure on American Rebecca Soni, winner of heat 1 and 2nd overall, who swam a 1:05.75. She was better at Worlds last year than Meilutyte was here, but she will have more than a second deficit to make up at the turn, unless she makes a drastic change. The 1.2 seconds that Meilutyte was ahead today equates to roughly 1.8 meters.

But Soni is certainly capable of that speed – as one of our readers points out, she opened in 30.7 at Worlds last year. We’ll have to see if she’s willing to attack.

Efimova will sit 3rd overall in 1:06.51, which is a better swim than we’ve seen from the Russian women in this meet so far.American Breeja Larson used her outstanding pullouts to get off of the blocks fast and take the 4th spot in 1:06.58. The NCAA Champion swims very similarly to another Texas A&M Aggie, and NCAA Champion, Alia Atkinson of Jamaica.

The two were at the lead of their heat after the first few strokes, but Atkinson’s final result wasn’t as good. She will be forced into a swimoff, which will have epic intensity at this level, with Canada’s Tera van Beilen, as the two tied in 1:07.48.

Other finalists, that are for sure, will be Leisel Jones in 1:06.81, Denmark’s Rikke Moeller-Pedersen in 1:06.82, and Satomi Suzuki in 1:07.10.

Women’s 100 Breast – SWIMOFF

Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson, one of the most powerful breaststrokers in the world, had no trouble in the swimoff, and was actually faster than the first try with a 1:06.79. She’ll still be the 8th seed in an outside lane in the final, though. Van Beilen swam a 1:07.73, and will now begin to prepare for the 200.

Men’s 100 Breast – Finals

This race was the meet’s 5th individual final. In all 5 of those finals to this point, we’ve seen an Olympic Record, and in three of them, we’ve seen a World Record. For all of the talk about suits, though in 2008 they weren’t quite as bad as in 2009, we’re ahead of pace from the last Olympics, where at this point there were 3 World Records and just 4 Olympic Records.

Number three came to Cameron van der Burgh in 58.46. That broke the 58.58 World Record held by Australia’s Brenton Rickard from 2009. It also took down his own Olympic Record, set in Saturday’s semifinals.

Van der Burgh already held the 50 record, so it’s no surprise that he was first at the turn. But Australia’s Christian Sprenger, who is the 200 World Record holder, was only 6-tenths behind, so it wasn’t a gap out-of-reach. But van der Burgh, through intentional focus, has improved his endurance in the last year since the World Championships, and that paid off as he only gave up two-tenths on the back-half.

Sprenger finished 2nd in 58.93, moving him to 7th all-time and only the 4th man under 59 seconds in textile.

The bronze medal went to American Brendan Hansen in 59.49. Were it not for a stumble in 2008, he could have been the first man to medal in the breaststrokes in three straight Olympics.

Hungary’s Daniel Gyurta was 4th in 59.53, which is another National Record. Between that swim, and Kitajima’s poor performance here (5th in 59.79), he has to become a huge favorite in the 200 breaststroke.

Brenton Rickard placed 6th in 59.87, Italy’s Fabio Scozzoli was 7th in 59.97, and Giedrius Titenis from Lithuania was the only swimmer above a minute in 1:00.84.

 

Women’s 400 Free – Finals

This was supposed to be one of the great races of the meet. Ultimately, it was a very good race between France’s Camille Muffat and the United States’ Allison Schmitt, but it didn’t quite have the depth and chaos that was expected. Muffat swam a fairly traditional race, to the contrary of what we’ve seen from her over the past few months. The result was the same, though, demonstrating that she can swim this race however she wants to, as she took gold in an Olympic Record of 4:01.45.

Even against the hard-starting Schmitt, Muffat led this race wire-to-wire, going out in a 1:59.50 and coming home in a 2:01.95. That’s as compared to Schmitt’s 1:59.88-2:01.89 to take silver in a new American Record of4:01.77.

The hometown swimmer Rebecca Adlington, swimming out of lane 8, took bronze in 4:03.01. That just barely missed becoming the host nation’s first medalist of the games to a cyclist earlier in the day, but it did score their first swimming medal. As the defending champion, however, she was hoping for a better time.

Denmark’s Lotte Friis took 4th in 4:03.98.

The defending World Champion Federika Pellegrini of Italy got pulled out of her race. She’s used to starting a bit slower and coming home faster, however here she split 2:00.62-2:03.88 to touch in 4:04.50 for 5th. She was followed by Coralie Balmy of France, who had a good start, in 4:05.95 for 6th; Canada’s Brittany MacLean in 7th in 4:06.24, and Lauren Boyle 8th in 4:06.25. Those three all were faster in the prelims.

Men’s 100 Back – Semi’s

American Matt Grevers continued to be far-and-away the class of this 100 backstroke field, with a 52.66 to take the top seed headed into finals. He’s already far ahead of where he was in the semi’s at the Olympic Trials, and even with France’s Camille Lacourt lurking, he’ll be a heavy favorite in Monday’s final.

Lacour was 2nd in 53.03, with Britain’s Liam Tancock swimming as well as we’ve seen in the last two years with a 53.25 for 3rd. Tancock had some tough swims since British Trials, but his plans seem to be coming together at the right moment.

Japan’s Ryosuke Irie, who took bronze at the World Championships, was 4th in 53.29. American Nick Thoman continued to slow-play the early rounds (a game he’s fond of) and put in a 53.47.

China’s Feiyi Chang was 6th in 53.50, Germany’s Helge Meeuw 7th in 53.52, and Australia’s Hayden Stoeckel 8th in 53.74.

Russia’s Arkady Vyatchanin, who has been training in Florida with Gregg Troy, just missed with a 53.79 for 9th.

Women’s 100 Back – Semi’s

Emily Seebohm wasn’t able to match her lightning-quick Olympic Record in prelims, but there still wasn’t anybody near her in this semi-final as she swam a 58.39 to take lane 4 for finals.

Missy Franklin dropped a couple of tenths to remain in the second position in 59.12. Her turn was again outstanding, but she still has to figure out some way to make even a small improvement on her start if she wants the gold medal over Seebohm.

Japan’s Aya Terakawa took 3rd in 59.34, followed by China’s Jing Zhao (59.55), Russia’s Anastasia Zueva (59.68), and Britain’s World Record holder Gemma Spofforth (59.70). That’s Spofforth’s best time since 2010, after a struggle of a season in 2011.

Australia’s Belinda Hocking and China’s Yuanhui Fu were 7th and 8th, all under a minute, to give their respective countries two entries in the final.

Canada’s Julia Wilkinson had tough luck in 9th place with a 59.91; her teammate Sinead Russell was 16th in 1:00.57, still bothered by a hip injury suffered in June. The second American, Rachel Bootsma, was 11th in 1:00.04.

Men’s 400 Free Relay – Final

On July 29th, 2012, Jason Lezak became a verb. The swimming community was abuzz that the Americans got Lezak’ed on this 400 free relay.  Despite a great swim from Clement Lefert (the unsung hero of the French relay), Yannick Agnel hit the water half-a-second behind Ryan Lochte. In an eerily similar fashion to how Lezak swam against Alain Bernard of France in this same relay in 2008, Agnel, drafted on the powerful wake of Lochte, and then exploded from the final turn to carry the French to a win in 3:09.93. That is France’s first ever relay gold.

The Americans touched in 3:10.38, with Agnel’s amazing split of 46.74 bettering Lochte’s 47.74 by exactly a second.

Both relays swam very well. As mentioned, Lefert had a very good time of 47.39; speed that not many expected from him. He was matched on the third leg by American Cullen Jones, who again did his part on the relay with a 47.6. Nathan Adrian led off the US in 47.8, and Michael Phelps showed the swimming community a lot about his ability to bounce back with a 47.1.

A team that did not swim well, however, was Australia. Coming in as a favorite for gold, and a near-lock for a medal of any color, they placed 4th in 3:11.63. Their two big pieces of James Magnussen (48.03) and James Roberts (48.09) bookended the squad in thoroughly disappointing splits. Matt Targett and Eamon Sullivan were better in the middle, but they couldn’t carry the relay.

Lost in the excitement and disappointment of those three squads was the Russians, who took a bronze medal in 3:11.41. That gave them their first medal in this event since 1996 and the days of legend Alexander Popov. While this group doesn’t seem to have anybody like him in their midst, they made some big sacrifices and were rewarded with a medal. The best swim was by Nikita Lobintsev, who was a 47.4 on the 2nd leg.

The South Africans took 5th, followed by Germany, Italy, and surprise finalists Belgium. Notable splits come in a pair of 47.9’s from Marco di Carli and Markus Deibler of Germany, both on rolling starts.

In this Story

Comments

  1. ZYNG43 says:
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    Idiot NBC announcers currently talking about how Soni is the two time defending champion in the 100m butterfly…

  2. aswimfan says:
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    WR?

  3. aswimfan says:
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    WR!!!!

  4. aswimfan says:
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    Sarah Sjoestrom 4th again!

  5. Rafael says:
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    Amazing swim by Relay.

  6. CARDINAL says:
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    55.98.

  7. Rafael says:
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    By Vollmer I mean.. typing while hearing the TV talking about the upcoming relay…

  8. LATSCOACH says:
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    Way to go Vollmer

  9. aswimfan says:
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    That was really really gutsy swim from Vollmer… she attacked the WR from the get go, going .66 under WR at 50

    • bbrswimmer says:
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      I don’t think you can really compare to Sjostrom’s old record because that was crazy! She was almost back in 28

  10. Philip Johnson says:
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    good job by Vollmer.

  11. Ole 99 says:
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    Way to go Volmer.

  12. ZYNG43 says:
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    Dont wanna jynx it but the NBC feed is doing better so far

  13. Rafael says:
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    Bieldermann is back…

  14. aswimfan says:
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    So it’s the exact medallist from Shanghai, with Lu and Coutts exchanging places.

    Sjoestrom truly ruins my picks, she’s definitely below form

  15. Rafael says:
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    If locthe keep on with the Crappy finish he will have some problems on 200IM and 200 free… on 400IM he could do that cause of a HUGE advantage..

  16. aswimfan says:
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    Biedermann is angry. but it’s a slow semi

  17. Ole 99 says:
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    NBC Olympics I hate you… You freeze up on the last 50 of Lochte’s semi…

    *Shakes fist in air in anger*

  18. aswimfan says:
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    Sun Yang must be brimming with confidence now

  19. aswimfan says:
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    This second semi could be a fast semi

  20. aswimfan says:
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    Why didn’t Biedermann always swim like that…aggressive from the get go, he would have gotten better results

    • Rafael says:
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      Cseh Like DQ..

      Cseh was on the media blaming Phelps for missing finals..

      • Ole 99 says:
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        That is silly. Simple way to make finals… beat him.

      • aswimfan says:
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        LOL at Cseh.

      • Melsy says:
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        @Rafeal – Cseh didn’t blame Phelps at all for missing the 400IM final you idiot. He said it was a mistake to go and stay with him as he thought their pace was faster. He blamed himself saying that he should have pushed the backhalf or the race and been agressive. Get your facts straight or perhaps learn Hungarian

        • Rafael says:
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          quite a bit agressive aren´t you? Or just Feeling Sad knowing that Cseh probably won´t medal on 200 IM also?

  21. Rafael says:
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    Sun turned the jets…

  22. aswimfan says:
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    Sun yang looks so strong!!

  23. Brian says:
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    NBC blows. Their coverage is laggy and sucks. Too bad they make sure their commercials are top quality.

    • aswimfan says:
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      I am still in amazement. so NBC spent billions of dollars to show you tape delay and live sucky online coverage?
      why?

      And why tape delay?
      This is the age of internet. and it’s sunday afternoon for you guys in the US

      • Brian says:
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        I wish I knew. I was trying to watch the 200 free and it kept jumping around, back and forth. It seems to be working well now, but it’s unprofessional by NBC. They should be on their A game from the get go.

        People should Tweet NBC and let their voices be heard.

        Also, their contact us/FAQ button is broken, I have a top of the line mac and their little “enter a number” to ensure you’re real is broken. NBC just is awful.

        • Lane Four says:
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          The same with me! I kept thinking it was my Mac as well. Top of the line. None better….and I was constantly having to refresh the screen. WTF??????

  24. aswimfan says:
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    Agnel must still have a lot of reserve. He will swim in the relay final later

  25. Waterboy says:
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    NBC stream PLEASE!!!!!!! It killing me to not see the finish of the races!!!!

    • JDD says:
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      The ‘live stream’ is laughable. The quality was so bad I started watching via the NBC Live app on my iPhone which seems much more reliable. It is maddening that I’m watching Olympic swimming finals on my teeny tiny iPhone at 4PM on a Sunday afternoon instead of watching it LIVE on my 42 inch HD TV. NBC has screwed the swimming coverage up big time.

  26. Mitch says:
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    If I go to jail for battery to NBC because of their live streaming coverage that constantly lags, I really hope that some of you make up the jury of my peers, because I don’t think I’d be convicted. NBC’s coverage has to constitute adequate justification to commit a battery, right?

  27. aswimfan says:
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    Soni’s start is still pretty bad, but she’s fastest..so..

  28. aswimfan says:
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    Larson might be doing enough to final…
    Ruta next… she was shocked in the prelims after seeing her time.. let’s see if she can maintain her speed

  29. ZYNG43 says:
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    The NBC live feed commentators are SO OBNOXIOUS

  30. aswimfan says:
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    Leisel Jones got the biggest cheer. Good on you, Jones! after all those sucky aussie media criticism

  31. RL says:
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    wow soni out 32.1, back 33.8… very impressive, but she’s going to have to attack the front half if she wants a crack at that world record tomorrow

  32. Waterboy says:
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    NBC ads don’t freeze….only the critical parts of each race! Curses!

  33. Usswimfan says:
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    Tomorrow nights men 200 final could be the best race of the Games. Lochte will have to go another gear, which is possible since he has the relay in his mind right now, to give Sun and Agnel a run.

  34. aswimfan says:
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    Ruta is fast.. doesn’t glide at all

  35. aswimfan says:
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    Ruta 1:05.21 !

    If she can maintain her composure tomorrow, she’ll take the gold.

    She’ll go one better than Beard and Jones at their first olympics as 14/15 yo.

    • Ole 99 says:
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      Soni will need to take out that first 50. She clearly can’t be in last place at the turn like she was in the semifinal

      • aswimfan says:
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        Yep, if Soni starts the last again, she’ll get tight on the second 50. and it will be over.

        Now raise your hand who picked Ruta?!

        :)

        • Rafael says:
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          her parents.. maybe.,

        • Ole 99 says:
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          Raise your hand if you even knew who she was before this morning!

          Soni will need to go at or better than her time at worlds last year if she’s going to win.

          • aswimfan says:
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            I knew about her. Swimnews (craig lord) had been writing about her since she was 14.
            But I didn’t think her time would come in London

          • john26 says:
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            I actually had her in 5th on my predictions list after seeing she was 1:07.3 at British Trials .. at 15. Obviously, I undersold her. Oh well, better than most people :)

        • Ole 99 says:
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          Just checked… Soni went out in 30.7 last year (semis and finals) at Worlds last year, so its a bit bizarre that she is hanging back so much.

  36. Mitch says:
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    I really was hoping to see Schmitty/Muffat battle, but because of NBC’s streaming problems, this looks like it won’t happen.

  37. Ole 99 says:
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    Swim off for the last spot in the 100 breast final

  38. aswimfan says:
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    Medal ceremony!

    Vollmer is really tall.

    Coutts is the first swimmer to win multiple medals in London. Now she has gold and bronze. She might have the complete set by winning silver in 200 IM

    • Rafael says:
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      Locthe may have a bronze or silver ( 200m free) but can´t see having both (individuall medals)

      has a swimmer had 3 medals on one olympic and they were 3 different ones?

      • aswimfan says:
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        Rafael,
        There have been plenty such swimmers.

        The biggest was of course Shane Gould:

        Gold 1972 Munich 200 m individual medley
        Gold 1972 Munich 200 m freestyle
        Gold 1972 Munich 400 m freestyle
        Silver 1972 Munich 800 m freestyle
        Bronze 1972 Munich 100 m freestyle

      • Lane Four says:
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        Ellie Daniel in 1968. 400 medley relay gold, 100 fly silver and 200 fly bronze.
        Uwe Dassler in 1988. 400 free gold, 800 free relay silver and 1500 free bronze.

  39. Usswimfan says:
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    Dana deserves a lot of credit for that race. McKeever and Milt Nelms continue to impress. Really happy for Vollmer and she deserve the same coverage as Missy.

  40. aswimfan says:
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    This is great story by Vollmer.

  41. Josh says:
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    Lu Ying is really pretty.