Can’t-Miss Men’s Races in London

  25 Callum Ng | July 22nd, 2012 | London 2012 Olympics, News, Previews & Recaps

The Olympics are all about epic swimming showdowns. Besides the Lochte vs. Phelps matchups, here are a few you just can’t miss.

Day 1 – Men’s 400 Freestyle
PARK TAE HWAN vs. SUN YANG 

In Beijing, the 400 Free was a beautiful rise to power for Korea’s Park Tae Hwan. In London, the defending Olympic Champion will have to battle a surging Sun Yang of China, who has posted a healthy 3:42.31 this season to be world best. Both swimmers have ability on either side of the 400m distance, each swimming a 1:46 200m, and sub-14:50 1500m. The distance edge would have to be given to Sun Yang but that may not matter. The 400m Freestyle is increasingly an exercise in sprint endurance, measuring the energy systems more similar to the 200m than the 800m or 1500m. This will be a classic.

Dark Horse Medal Threat: Paul Biedermann, GER

Day 3 – Men’s 100 Backstroke
GREVERS vs. LACOURT
(For a more detailed breakdown see, Picks: Grevers v. Lacourt)

Matt Grevers made a serious statement at US Trials by swimming a 2012 world best 52.08. Before Omaha, Frenchman Camille Lacourt held that title with his 52.75 from March. Despite this sizable difference in season bests, this will be an awesome race. It will be Grever’s Olympic experience, (silver in ’08), against Lacourt’s reign as 2011 co-world champion. Both men are big and powerful, (Lacourt is 6’6” to Grever’s 6’8”). They are also pure sprinters who swim the 100 Backstroke as intended: out hard and fast. The winner will be whoever can close it out with a  2nd 50 split the farthest under 27.

Dark Horse Medal Threat: Nick Thoman, USA

Day 6 – Men’s 200 Backstroke
LOCHTE vs. IRIE 

Ryan Lochte has been swimming the 200 Backstroke at an elite level since he was Gator at the University Florida. He also has Championship pedigree, taking the World title in 2011. In Shanghai, Lochte bested Ryosuke Irie by well over a second. However, Ryosuke’s eerily smooth stroke has gained some power in 2012, and he managed another sub-53 100 at Japanese Nationals in April. For a 200 swimmer, adding speed to grace is a dangerous combination. Look for this to be a tight race, not to mention it’s the first of Lochte’s famous 200 Backstroke / 200 IM double.

Dark Horse Medal Threat: Tyler Clary, USA

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What Olympic swimming races are you excited for? Let me know @CallumNg

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25 Comments on "Can’t-Miss Men’s Races in London"

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No men has ever retained the 200 free at the olympics …ever . Michael will win the 400 IM

Jean Michel

can’t miss the race : Women’s 200 free with Muffat , Schmidt , Franklin for a owesome battle of titans . Men’s 200 free will be also titanic monster battle between 5 guys .
And also Women’s 100 back with missy showing the planet how fast she is now on that distance ………..mmmm actually most races will be owesome

don’t forget pelligrini in that 200 free jean michel. remember she was the best before suits, with suits, and after suits. i do think allison has to be favored in the 2free. not so sure about the 4 free

I would put Muffat ahead of Schmitt for 2 free but they’re definitely up there contending for gold

I would also put Muffat ahead of Schmitt, and Pellegrini and Sjoestrem ahead of Franklin,with pellegrini as one that may cause and upset even for Muffat and Schmitt.

Jean Michel

Phelps Dropped 200 free to give Usa more chance in that 400 relay ! this is the second best wise reason he scratched ! And i would say Thanks Michael , great decision . I wanna see a great Usa 400 relay challenging the Aussies all the way .

wpDiscuz

About Callum Ng

Callum Ng is a Canadian story-teller, entrepreneur and sport leader. Callum has traveled across the world as a participant and promoter of recent sport events such as the IOC's WCSE 2011 and the Youth Olympic Games. As a former swimmer, Callum brings a unique angle to swimming coverage, capturing both …

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