Park DQ’ed, Then Reinstated; Phelps Sneaks in 8th in Topsy Day 1 Prelims Session

  154 Braden Keith | July 28th, 2012 | Featured, London 2012 Olympics, News

The time is here. After a long four-year wait, swimming has begun in London at the 2012 London Olympics.

Day 1 was loaded with upsets and heartbreak, and bracket-busters galore. In the men’s 400 free alone, two of the three medalists from last year’s World Championships failed to even final. Even one is rare, but three is massive.

Live Feed (in the United States).
Live results.

10:07 AM – Former NCAA Champion Bradley Ally from Barbados, currently training with Club Wolverine in Ann Arbor, Michigan, strikes first blood with a 4:21.32 to win heat 1. Iceland’s Anton McKee 2nd in a 4:25.

10:16 AM – Luxembourg’s Ralph Stachiotti strikes first blood to take down his own National Record with a 4:17.20. That puts him 2nd overall behind Belgium’s Ward Bauwens in 4:16.71.

10:21 AM – And a big one goes down! 17-year old Kosuke Hagino from Japan wins the first circle-seeded heat in 4:10.01, breaking his own Japanese National Record. 

Men’s 400 IM

Four years later, after having sworn off the event for good, Michael Phelps was back to begin the events of the swimming at the 2012 London Olympic Games with a 4:13.33 to win the 2nd-to-last heat of this men’s 400 IM. That won’t leave him center-stage, but this swim was just incredibly relaxed. On his backstroke, his face showed more an effort to keep the water out of his mouth than any attempt at exerted breathing.

His breaststroke was even more relaxed, and coming off of the final turn, underwater cameras showed Phelps taking a big hard look at his competitor Laszlo Cseh of Hungary, and just pulling away to win the heat. Though with the relaxed pace, Phelps’ 2:13.33 to Cseh’s 2:13.40 seemed a bit insignificant, those .07 seconds would end up being massive. That’s because Phelps just barely made it into the final, and Cseh, the defending Olympic silver medalist, was left out as 9th overall.

That leaves the two-time defending Olympic champion in lane 8, and facing a wall coming off of the final turn in the evening.

This is the first stunning development of the swimming events at these Games, as the pace to final was more than three seconds better than what we saw at the World Championships last year.

Moving into the role of the favorite for that bronze (or better) is Japanese 17-year old Kosuke Hagino. He swam a 4:10.01 in the prelims to take the top overall seed and break his own Asian Record. The previous mark was held by him, from 2011, at 4:10.26. We might have just seen the emergence of the next great Japanese swimmer.

He’ll have to contend with a much more forceful Phelps, though, as well as a more stepped-up Ryan Lochte, who will be the 4th seed with a 4:12.35. He looked very powerful on his backstroke, but was run down by South Africa’s young Chad le Clos in the final 50 meters.

Brazil’s Thiago Pereira was also safely through in a 4:12.39, but he can’t be encouraged by his last 100 meters. Closing on the freestyle has always been his problem, and after being really fast through the 300, he faded hard. We’ll have to wait until the evening to see if that was designed for energy conservation.

The top 8 will be Hagino, Le Clos, Lochte, Thiago Pereira (Brazil), Thomas Fraser-Holmes (Australia), Luca Marin (Italy), Yuya Horihata (Japan), and Michael Phelps.

10:47 AM – Switzerland’s Danielle Villaris is the first to crack a minute in the women’s 400 IM, with a 59.42. That ties Spain’s Judit Ignacio Sorribes to win heat 2. A new Swiss National Record.

Women’s 100 Fly

American Dana Vollmer has wasted no time in getting her burners out early in this 100 fly. She took the top seed in prelims with a 56.25, which is a new American and Olympic Record. The old American mark belonged to her from US Trials, and the Olympic Record was a 56.61 belonging to the legendary Inge de Bruijn from the Netherlands from the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. (See more about the records here).

While these big records are always exciting, this is again an unnecessary early burn of energy for Vollmer. Greece’s Kristel Vourna was the 16th qualifier in 58.74, two-and-a-half seconds behind Vollmer. Had the American put in a bit of cruise-control, she could have still put in a 57-low and had a good lane in finals. With such a deep field, she can’t afford to be off of her best in the finals if she wants to take home the gold, but with 16 advancing she could have saved some energy. Still, she was able to slow up on the last 2-3 strokes, so there may still be something left.

Behind her, China’s Lu Ying looked very strong in 57.17 for the 2nd overall seed. She had a good back-half 50 of 30.52; but not quite as good as Australia’s Alicia Coutts (57.36) and Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom (57.45) for the 3rd and 4th seeds overall.

There is a big grouping of swimmers at 57’s, so the rest of the field will have to let Vollmer pull them along in the semi’s this evening to some concentrated swims. Jeanette Ottesen of Denmark was the 5th seed in 57.64; all of a sudden, the Danish medley relay starts to look very strong without anything resembling a weak leg. That also makes Ottesen a big medal contender in the 100 free, her better race.

American Claire Donahue also was safely through to the evening with a 58.06 for the 7th seed. The British pair of Ellen Gandy and Fran Halsall also qualified in 58.2 and 58.3’s. Not a great start for the Brits, after Joe Roebuck struggled in the men’s 400 IM.

Other notable finalists include Singapore’s Tao Li, a finalist from Beijing, in 58.34, and Sweden’s Martina Granstrom in 58.70.

Men’s 400 Free

Update: South Korea’s appeal of the 400 free DQ of Tae Hwan Park has been overturned. That means Canada’s Ryan Cochrane is out of the final. The below recap was written before the decision was made. Read more about the appeal here.

Pandemonium broke out in this men’s 400 free. As if Cseh’s miss earlier in the 400 IM weren’t shocking enough, defending 400 free champion Tae-Hwan Park of South Korea was disqualified in this men’s 400 free for a false start (one of the few ways to get the boot in a freestyle race). Park was DQ’ed for the same offense in this race in 2004. So stunned were his competitors that upon finishing the following heat, American Peter Vanderkaay looked at his counterpart Sun Yang of China and asked him “what happened?”.

Those two now become the big favorites, after more shocking upsets when Germany’s Paul Biedermann, the bronze medalist at last year’s World Championships, failed to final as well. Biedermann swam a 3:48.50 for 12th, leaving him more than a second away from the final.

Meanwhile, Yang and Vanderkaay qualified as the top two spots in 3:45.07 and 3:45.80, respectively. For both men, this was a bit slower than they were in prelims of the World Championships, but still easily got the job done.

Those two final’ing was not a big surprise. The other American, Conor Dwyer, placing 3rd was a huge shock. He swam a lifetime best of 3:46.24, which will put him opposite Vanderkaay, his Gator Swim Club training partner, in lane 3 for the final.

Hungary’s Gergo Kis was 4th in 3:46.77. Britain’s David Carry also made the final with a 3:47.25 for 7th with outstanding underwaters; not the Brit many expected to move through as Robbie Renwick was left out in 10th. Canadian Ryan Cochrane, who should have a better go in the 1500, just snuck into the final in 8th.

Update: NBC is reporting the officials might have gotten the wrong lane on the Park DQ.

Women’s 400 IM

The United States’ Elizabeth Beisel has in the least shown that she’s holding her taper from Trials just 4 weeks ago, as she took the top seed in the womens’ 400 IM in 4:31.68. But she is by no means a sure thing, as China’s Ye Shiwen swam a lifetime best of 4:31.72 for the 2nd seed. Shiwen is best known for her exploits in the 200 IM, where she is the defending World Champion. She didn’t show quite the same closing kick in this race that she’s famous for in the shorter IM, however the big time improvement shows that her other strokes have vastly improved. She’s very dangerous in the 200 now as well.

NCAA Champion, and the fastest all-time in yards, Katinka Hosszu of Hungary is the 3rd seed in 4:33.77, with a strong breaststroke leg carrying her to a good, though not season-best, time.

Outside of the top two, not many swam up to their best headed into the final; however, it was still a faster prelim than we saw at Worlds, so not too much disappointment either. The other Chinese qualifier, Li Xuanxu, also made the final safely as the 4th seed in 4:34.28. Spain’s Mireia-Belmonte-Garcia atoned for failing to make a single final at Worlds with a 4:34.70.

Britain’s Hannah Miley, Australia’s Stephanie Rice, and the United States’ Caitlin Leverenz were all safely into the final as well, though all three were nearly trapped by a slow 4th heat. Rice didn’t look good on the fly leg at all, which is concerning as that’s the stroke that would seem most affected by her recurring shoulder ailments.

Men’s 100 Breaststroke

The Olympics continued to show stepped-up standards to advance from early rounds. In this race, there were a full 12 swimmers who broke a minute, as compared to only 5 in the prelims of the 2011 World Championships. As many lows as there were in this first prelims session, this 100 breaststroke was just as high. The times included a top-seeded 59.62 from Australia’s Christian Sprenger. He is the World Record holder in the 200, but gave that event up this year to focus on this 100, thus far to big results.

Another 200 specialist, Daniel Gyurta, did very well in this race as well, as he took the 3rd seed in 59.76. That crushes his own Hungarian Record by half-a-second.

New Zealand’s Gareth Kean in with a  59.78 (another National Record). He looks to have continued his momentum from last year’s World Championships, where the whole New Zealand team swam extremely well. Cameron van der Burgh of South Africa was comfortable in a 59.7 as well, as was world leader Kosuke Kitajima in 59.63 for the 2nd seed overall.

Canada’s Scott Dickens became the first Canadian man to break a minute with a 59.85, and Brazil’s Felipe Silva barely snuck in as the 16th seed in 1:00.38. Both of the German swimmers missed the semi’s, as did three-time NCAA champion Damir Dugonjic from Slovenia.

Women’s 400 Free Relay

The top three in this women’s 400 free relay was not a surprise, with Australia (3:36.34), the United States (3:36.53), and the Netherlands (3:37.76) grabbing the three middle lanes for Saturday night’s final. The order, perhaps, might have been a bit upended, though.

There were some great splits in this relay. The American coaches, for their part, are going to have a very tough decision deciding who will go through to join Jessica Hardy and Missy Franklin in the final.

Lia Neal – 54.1
Amanda Weir – 54.4
Natalie Coughlin – 53.9
Allison Schmitt – 54.1

It would seem that Neal, going a lifetime best on a leadoff swim without the benefit of a relay start, would be put through. But the choice between Coughlin (a swimming legend who has a knack for getting Olympic medals) and Schmitt (who has tremendous upside in this race after just discovering her 100 free talents in the last year) is not so easy. Dana Vollmer can’t be counted out with how well she’s swimming, even though she wasn’t in the top 6 at the Olympic Trials.

The Dutch, despite being 3rd, may have made themselves even bigger favorites to defend their gold medal. Inge Dekker, who was purported to be the “weak” leg of the finals relay, split a 53.5 in the morning heat. When Hinkelien Shcreuder is subbed out in favor of the world’s best sprinter, Ranomi Kromowidjojo, this team is lethal.

Australia got a similarly fast split from teenager Brittany Elmslie, who split a 53.4 in her Olympic debut. She is totally new to the international scene, but has already declared that she thinks she belongs. Libby Trickett had a good anchor for the Aussies in a 54.1 of her own.

Denmark, China, and Japan were also safely through, with Sweden and Great Britain tying for 7th. For Sweden, that’s a great effort with Therese Alshammar scratching the relay; their star Sarah Sjostrom led off in a 54.3.

The Brits took a gamble leaving Fran Halsall off of this relay for prelims, but a 54.6 from Caitlin McClatchey kept them safe. Germany did not take the same gamble, leaving Britta Steffen on their prelims relay, but her 54.4 leadoff wasn’t enough to put them in the finals.

 

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154 Comments on "Park DQ’ed, Then Reinstated; Phelps Sneaks in 8th in Topsy Day 1 Prelims Session"


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Brian
3 years 9 months ago

Is the live feed actually working for anyone? It’s just a black screen for me, but it had the countdown up until the point when it started…

2swim2
3 years 9 months ago

No I hear it but not intelligible. SO FRUSTRATING!

john
3 years 9 months ago

Working perfectly for me. Using Chrome and my Cable is Comcast

2swim2
3 years 9 months ago

Updated my flash player and now working

Phil
3 years 9 months ago

Mine is frozen on a commercial. This sucks

swimmer girl
3 years 9 months ago

My live feed is working, but it isn’t streaming smoothly and it is stopping and starting a lot. My hatred of NBC Olympic coverage grows…

3 years 9 months ago

I think it may be the feed provided by the organizers. My feed from CTV in Canada has not yet started.

Brian
3 years 9 months ago

Yeah, mine just started working. Bullshit. NBC needs to get on their game if they’re going to promote this online thing.

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

The feed from the organizers (BBC) is working mightily FINE. It’s your network that is the problem.

Brian
3 years 9 months ago

Hmm. It would appear that Comcast XFinity is losing the game for me. :/

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

Phelps cutting it close.
I am glad I live in Asia, I have more than 4 television channels LIVE to choose from: BBC Sports, ESPN, Star Sports, Eurosports.

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

Lochte will trash the field in the final!

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

I am glad I had Hagino in my medals picks.

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

Cseh is OUT!
I am SO GLAD I did not pick him!

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

Phelps will take lane 8 in the final!

Kitajima, here’s your chance to beat Phelps (for the first male to threepeat).

coolkat
3 years 9 months ago

Phelps is a clown, lets hope he has ALOT more in the tank

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

Coutts is looking real good! Glad I have her also on my picks

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

That finish from Coutts is a awful though, just correcting the finish should have made her sub 57

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

Sjoetrom comes home like a train!! This girl oozes with so much talent.

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

Vollmer is out of this world!
Olympics Record!!!

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

who said it was world record?

Reading comprehension is not your strength, eh?

liquidassets
3 years 9 months ago

Simply rooting for one’s home country swimmers isn’t jingoistic. Hold the trolling, please!!

Scott
3 years 9 months ago

I am serving overseas so cant stream live. Thanks braden and garrett for the updates. Trying to find a live stream online. Former college swimmer who has not lost the love for the sport

drdov
3 years 9 months ago

Loving the LIVE heat coverage here in the UK (option of 2 different network options!), as are many around the world
Just kinda shocked that Americans can’t watch it????

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

I am shocked that americans (who I presume paid a lot of money through NBC) get sucky coverage.

I live in a third world country and yet able to watch ALL swimming actions LIVE, without any interruptions.

Scott
3 years 9 months ago

Aswimfan do you have any websites? I can only watch what NBC chooses. It sucks.

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

Scott, I am watching it on my TV.
ESPN asia, Start Sports, BBC Sports, and local networks.

Paella747
3 years 9 months ago

I’m enjoying the same here in Seoul….. Niceeee!
I’m supposed to be cooking for friends, and I’m sitting on the couch glued to the tv! 🙂 Sad how they make it so hard to see in the USA!

Jcoach
3 years 9 months ago

Scott – do a google search of first row sports

morrow3
3 years 9 months ago

We considered going on vacation in any other country beside USA so we could get to watch the Olympics live. British Virgin Islands would have been ideal.

Rafael
3 years 9 months ago

why US tv SUCKS so much on broadcast?:!

swimphile
3 years 9 months ago

Watching the BBC. Phelps was really quite fortunate there, taking it any easier and Cseh would have taken the lhat last final spot instead of him… Vollmer as usual massively impressive in the early rounds, pity she’ll probably be slower when it really counts. The Chinese could be dangerous.

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

I agree. Lu Ying could be very dangerous, but I’m still sticking with my big three: vollmer, sjoestorm, coutts.

Phelps is REALLY LUCKY he gets through. Not unlike LIbby Trickett in 2008 and Kieren Perkins in 1996

Jg
3 years 9 months ago

Goes to show you should ALWAYS try to win the heat.

CMA
3 years 9 months ago

400im was fun to watch, almost, almost. LOL

swimmer 2
3 years 9 months ago

Try pausing the stream and letting it build up a minute or two of buffer time. YouTube is smart like that.

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

Renwick is doing fine. Biedermann is in trouble!

I am glad I did not have Biedermann AT ALL in both of my 200 and 400 picks!!

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

I am sure Biedermann is out by the time the last heat finished!

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

Carry has great turns!

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

these 400 free times are not as fast as I thought it would be, and I’m sure much slower than most would have predicted.

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

Park Tae Hwan DSQ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CMA
3 years 9 months ago

here in Brasil we have a free website with 15 events live. so 15 channels if needed. cable we have like 8. and 2 for the regular network’s, everything live.
so wierd that americans dont have that.
I was shoked that the openning ceremony was not live. we had like 4 networks broadcasting it live

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

Same here in Indonesia.
I am shocked the Americans did not get to watch the opening ceremony LIVE!

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

I am shocked! His start seemed fine.
Maybe it’s these new sensitive start blocks?

swimphile
3 years 9 months ago

Park disqualified!!

drdov
3 years 9 months ago

Holy Sh*t Park DQ’d in 400 heat!!!

swimphile
3 years 9 months ago

With all of these shocking developments in the heats thus far, just goes to show one can’t be complacent or take anything for granted at all in the Olympics, no matter how much of a favourite…

Paella747
3 years 9 months ago

I’m watching here in Korea. It’s prime time (7:00pm). The tv stations are going nuts……. Sad. It didn’t look false to me. There were others in the heat taking off as fast…. 🙁 Tae Hwan is speechless in his interview. I feel bad for him….

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

I think it’s that more sensitive new starts block.
I am still shocked, I cannot even begin to imagine how everyone in Korea must be feeling right now.

Paella747
3 years 9 months ago

They are showing the start in slow motion again and again and again….. And regular speed. And paused. And backwards…… It doesn’t look like he flinched at all. I’m so bummed. The Koreans are so ‘into’ Pak. National pride and all.

Jg
3 years 9 months ago

Now there’s an easy medal -the m400free. Who would have thought?

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

I got Napoleon in my picks 🙂

Paella747
3 years 9 months ago

The great thing is that Korea is showing the Olympics on several different stations, with different sports, and very few (if any) commercials. It reminds me of when I did “pay per view” way back in Barcelona ’92! 🙂

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

Ye shiwen is looking really strong.
And I didn’t even pick her, damn! 🙁

Dony
3 years 9 months ago

Are the lane numbers the wrong way – or is there no right way or wrong way ? It seems the opposite to normal – what do others think ?

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

I think it’s the camera who’s on the wrong position, they should be on the other side!
Someone clearly dropped the ball here.

Noel
3 years 9 months ago

The numbering of the lanes is wrong… and no one has said anything??? see FINA law SW 3.1.2 and by 50-metre event it mean the race not the course.

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

Ye Shiwen is unbelievable. That must be the fastest heat swim ever.

3 years 9 months ago

Nope. Beisel

liquidassets
3 years 9 months ago

And Beisel looked alot fresher/less winded after her swim than Ye did, and a little surprised too.

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

Rice is in trouble.
It seems her shoulder trouble her than I thought. She was not good in fly leg.

Paella747
3 years 9 months ago

Still no reason for DQ here. Anything in English? My Korean sucks!!!!

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

No official reason so far.
I am still bummed.

Paella747
3 years 9 months ago

Me too, and that’s pretty much the phrase I keep using with my friends!
I’m sooooo bummed! 🙁

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

Every single chinese swimmers are looking very very strong so far.

And the first gold medal has gone to the chinese female shooter in air rifle.

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

Beisel is looking totally awesome! It will be a real great race between her and Ye.

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

I am loving the Olympics also because of these surprising results, shocks, and swimmers beating their won best!

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

Gator swimmers are all looking better than in the trials.
So it seems they just needed few more rests.

bbrswimmer
3 years 9 months ago

i cant believe Kitajima didn’t shave!!!!!!!!

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

Felipe Silva is not looking that great (damn you silva, I got you on my pick 🙁

Rafael
3 years 9 months ago

hope the guys who went bad recover (Silva and Phelps, I´m talking about you)

But Can´t Keep thinking how bizarre with Bieldermann Germany and Cseh out!

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

I hope he does! I picked Silva on the backing of brazilian fans here 🙂

Rafael
3 years 9 months ago

I did not see all the races…

How was Phelps and Cseh SO SLOW:!!??!

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

It was really rookie mistake. I really could not believe it either. Especially when Phelps was slowing it down in the back leg.

What was Phelps thinking??

This is the Olympics, not US trials.

Rafael
3 years 9 months ago

It is good for everyone (Phelps, França, etc.) to see that the World Swimming have a MUCH Higher level.. the 100 breast was incredibly fast..

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

I am surprised with Sprenger.
This year is the first year he focuses on 100 only.

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

Coughlin is terrible…. a 56???

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

oops it’s a 54..sorry coughlin

3 years 9 months ago

Hahahaha scared you there

bbrswimmer
3 years 9 months ago

does anyone know how we see splits on the results?????

john
3 years 9 months ago

click on the blue circle with a white cross next to the time in the results

3 years 9 months ago

Wait what results site are you looking at

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

London2012.com has the all the results.

3 years 9 months ago

Beisel. Champ. Calling it.

Josh
3 years 9 months ago

I get 53.9 for Coughlin (3rd leg), 54.0 for Schmitt, 54.1 lead for Neal with a .75 start, and 54.3 for Weir. So who swims finals? I say Coughlin and Neal. Put Neal on an inside leg.

Shiwen Ye is not going to be beatable in the 200 IM. She’s usually swimming from behind, but she stuck it to Katinka from the start tonight. This girl was scary good to begin with because of her closing speed, but now she has three other developed strokes. I think Beisel will get her tonight in the 400 IM, but I think she will win the 200 IM by a huge margin.

Vanderkaay and Dwyer could both potentially medal tonight. If Vanderkaay goes 3:44, I say he gets a prelim swim at least in that 800 relay. I’m still in shock about Park Tae-Hwan. South Korea must be going crazy right now. No one can find any replay of him flinching or moving, but the rumor is that it might have been the Aussie swimmer in the adjacent lane that moved and the judge called the wrong lane. Unfortunately, per FINA rules, I don’t think he can appeal. If that’s what really happened, heads will roll.

3 years 9 months ago

Why aren’t they allowed to appeal? Seems like a dumb rule

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

Maybe this back to front lane numbers confused the judges?

Josh
3 years 9 months ago
aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

I hope the Koreans challenge the ruling and raise hell!

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

It is also well past due time that FINA institute video replay at the Olympics and Worlds!
How many fiascos have we witnessed in the past few olympics/worlds that could have been resolved by the use of video replay?!

Rafael
3 years 9 months ago

FINA and FIFA should walk together as the MOST retrogued and corrupt organ..

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

The stupid judge is robbing us one of the races of the olympics!!

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

The most common question asked about Braden Keith is "when does he sleep?" That's because Braden has, in two years in the game, become one of the most prolific writers in swimming at a level that has earned him the nickname "the machine" in some circles. He first got his feet …

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