Clary Upsets Lochte; Phelps Completes History on Day 6 Finals

  399 Braden Keith | August 02nd, 2012 | Featured, London 2012 Olympics, News, Previews & Recaps

The most anticipated showdown between Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps in years will finally have a decision by the end of the session Thursday evening, as we will see the two square off in the men’s 200 IM. We’ll also see Missy Franklin take on another tough double with the 100 free final and the 200 back semi-final, though fortunately she won’t have to expend much energy to get through that backstroke race.

Rebecca Soni will also be shooting to follow-up her semi-final World Record in the semi-finals of the 200 breaststroke with a repeat of her gold medal.

The other final will be the women’s 100 free, where the Netherlands’ Ranomi Kromowidjojo seems to be way in front of the rest of the field.

Full session results (PDF with splits).
NBC live internet stream.

Men’s 50 Free – Semifinal

In another fantastic round of men’s 50 freestyles, the top three seeds all came from the 1st semi-final, but not by much. Cesar Cielo and Cullen Jones tied for the top seed in 21.54, followed by a 21.62 from the other American Anthony Ervin.

The two Americans continue to stun with what they’ve accomplished this year, with many counting both out at Trials even. The pair have already been more-than-successful, but that’s not to say that either will be satisfied yet. Cielo looks awfully good, though, and will be tough to beat if he breaks out a spectacular swim in the final.

There were a full 10 swimmers in these semi’s under 22 seconds, as compared to the 6 we saw in the prelims. Bruno Fratus, the other Brazilian, will be the 4th seed in 21.63 – though he was great in semi’s of the 50 at Worlds last year before missing the podium in finals.

George Bovell of Trinidad & Tobago was 5th in 21.77, and France’s Florent Manaudou was 6th in 21.80.

Eamon Sullivan from Australia was 7th in 21.88, while his teammate James Magnussen missed out on the final in 22.00. The heat on Magnussen is going to increase a little bit as a result of that swim, but I don’t think it’s as warranted here as it would be in the 100. He’s never called himself a 50 freestyler, and until the last 3 months or so he was a 100-200 guy. Sullivan tied with South Africa’s Roland Schoeman at that mark.

Women’s 200 Breaststroke – Final

Not only did American Rebecca Soni dip under the 2:20.00 World Record she set in the semifinals of this race, she blew through it to break a historical barrier and swim a 2:19.59. That makes her the first swimmer, stunningly, of this entire meet to repeat an individual gold medal – a shocking fact three-fourth of the way through this meet.

Soni still didn’t go out that fast – opening in a 1:08.10. It seemed as though her only chance at breaking the 2:20 barrier was a 1:07 open, but she proved that theory wrong.

As great as that swim was, an equally-huge story was just how fast this race was as a whole. After Soni has been the only swimmer the last two years to show any kind of adeptness to this 200, it took better than a 2:21 to even medal in this swim. Japan’s Satomi Suzuki broke their bronze-medal streak by scoring Japan’s first silver medal, and tying an Asian Record, in 2:07.72, while Yuliya Efimova finally shone with a 2:20.92 for a new European Record and bronze medal.

That surely has to be frustrating for Rikke Moeller-Pedersen, who despite swimming the 9th-best time ever of 2:21.65 will miss the podium. Keep in mind that coming into this meet, the 2:20 textile club had only two members: Soni and Australian Leisel Jones.

Canada’s Martha McCabe continued the record-breaking haul with a 2:21.65, followed by American Micah Lawrence (2:23.27), Suzaan van Biljon (2:23.72), and Australian Sally Foster (2:26.00). Each of the top 4 swimmers in this final broke National Records, at least, and van Biljon took hers down in the semi-finals. The only three who didn’t (Canada, Australia, and United States number two) are blockaded by former or current World Records in the books. These swimmers are really pushing the limits of the stroke.

Men’s 200 Backstroke – Final

This will be remembered as the meet of the unpredictable. Another giant was slain, as Tyler Clary took the title in the men’s 200 backstroke in 1:53.41. That’s a new Olympic Record, taking down the 1:53.94 set by Ryan Lochte in 2008. That also puts him 4th on the all-time lists, as Americans now hold 5 of those top 6 spots.

Though that would inevitably change later in the meet in the 200 IM, at this point Tyler Clary would have as many gold medals as Phelps and Lochte combined, which is a huge shock even with this upset. Lochte was a big favorite in this race, but ended up taking just bronze in 1:53.94 – a full second slower than what he swam to win the World Championship in 2011. It’s not obvious where exactly his race went wrong, but his body-position looked off and less smooth than normal.

At the end of the day, coming off of his famous last wall, Lochte couldn’t put the competition away like he normally does. He was passed by even Japan’s Ryosuke Irie for that country’s second-straight silver medal with a 1:53.78.

This still keeps a streak of 5-straight titles for the Americans in this event. The American men, in fact, have not lost a backstroke event since the 1992 Olympics.

There was a big jump after the medalists, with Poland’s Radoslaw Kawecki and China’s Zhang Fenglin tying for 4th in 1:55.59.

Women’s 200 Backstroke – Semifinal

It won’t be a huge surprise on further thought, but superficially will be an upset, as American Elizabeth Beisel took the top seed in the women’s 200 back in 2:06.18: a personal best time for her that makes her 6th of all-time. Missy Franklin in the opposite heat is the 2nd seed in 2:06.84, which is a good time for her with still a 100 free to come later on in the session.

It’s good to see that Beisel is stepping up to challenge the reigning World Champion in a race where the world has been overall disappointing for the last few years in the lack of progress. It’s especially good given that many of the young swimmers who many would have thought capable to get down into a 2:05 or so didn’t even move on to the final. That includes half of the top-6 from Shanghai.

The biggest name among them not to advance is Worlds bronze medalist Sharon van Rouwendaal from the Netherlands with a 2:09.50 to leave her in 11th. The Ukraine’s Daryna Zevina, who hasn’t had a very good 2012 season anyway, was also out in a 2:09.70.

The top seed behind the Americans is Meagan Nay from Australia in 2:07.42.

Russia’s Anastasia Zueva, trying to fight back after disappointment in the 100, was 4th in the semi’s overall in 2:07.88, followed by France’s Alexianne Castel (2:08.24), two-time defending champ Kirsty Coventry (2:08.32), Lizzie Simmonds from the home country, and Canadian teenager Sinead Russell.

Men’s 200 IM – Final

Exactly 30 minutes and 5 seconds after the wrap of the 200 backstroke, Ryan Lochte stepped up to the blocks again to race another of the world’s best swimmersMichael Phelps, in the men’s 200 IM. After the 200 back earlier in the meet, I think this race went about to par with the new expectations, as Phelps won the race in 1:54.27. That’s still a tenth slower than he was at the World Championships last year, but he got out to a solid lead early in this race – 6-tenths at the halfway mark.

But this time, Lochte wasn’t able to gain any ground on Phelps on the breaststroke leg. At that point, all that was left was for Phelps to finish, and that he did in a 1:54.27 for his 16th Olympic gold medal and 20th overall: both records.

Lochte was just behind in 1:54.90, with Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh scoring bronze in 1:56.22. This is Cseh’s 6th Olympic medal, showing a good ability to bounceback after failing to make finals in his other races of this meet. In those 6 medals, Cseh has never taken a gold. In fact, each of those races were won by Phelps, and in all 6 he placed behind only Americans.

Brazil’s Thiago Pereira was 4th in 1:56.74, repeating his finish (behind the same three swimmers) as in 2008. There could be a huge shakeup in this lineup in Rio, as three out of these top four have hinted that they might retire after these Games (though only Phelps has really been firm about it).

Kosuke Hagino was not quite as good as he was in the 400 IM, but did well for 5th in 1:57.36; at only 17, he should be able to improve this shorter distance as he matures and gets stronger. His teammate Ken Takakuwa was 6th in 1:58.53.

Britain’s James Goddard and Germany’s Markus Deibler rounded out the standings in the final.

Women’s 100 Free – Finals

This was Ranomi Kromowidjojo’s race-to-lose, and she showed the confidence not to panic when Belarusian defending World Champion Aleksandra Herasimenia took this race out in a 25.2. Kromowidjojo was half-a-second behind in 2nd in that race in 4th, despite typically being the one who pushes the pace.

But the 25.7 opening split for her is exactly where she wanted to be, and so often we hear swimmers and coaches talk about “swimming my race,” and that’s exactly what she did. She almost exactly matched her semi-finals time, but was a hair better in 53.00. That’s a new Olympic Record, breaking her 53.05 from the evening session on Wednesday.

Herasimenia still held on pretty well in 53.38 for silver, followed by China’s Yi Tang in 53.44 for bronze. That’s the first time the Chinese have won a sprint freestyle medal, for either men or women, in this millenium.

Australia’s Melanie Schlanger‘s luck ran out; after two great rounds, she added a tenth from semi’s, which was just enough to keep her off of the medal stand. She was 4th in 53.47. American Missy Franklin, swimming her second individual double of the meet, wasn’t quite as successful this round as she was 5th in 53.64.

Fran HalsallJeanette Ottesen, and the other American Jessica Hardy rounded out the finals.

Men’s 100 Fly – Semifinal

Despite coming on a quick turnaround from the 200 IM medal stand, Michael Phelps had no trouble rocking to the top seed in this men’s 100 fly with a 50.86. Looking fresh, and swimming with the same confidence we saw in the 200 IM, he was out comfortably and blew away his heat on the back-half.

Behind him in 2nd, however, was South Africa’s Chad le Clos in 51.42. Le Clos is the man who knocked off Phelps in the 200 fly earlier in this meet, and now will try and do the same here (though that seems like a tall task).

American Tyler McGill took 3rd in 51.61, and Serbia’s Milorad Cavic, a long-time Phelps rival, will be 4th in 51.66

The Netherlands’ Joeri Verlinden broke his own National Record with a 51.66 for the 5th seed, followed by Germany’s Steffen Deibler (51.76), Poland’s Konrad Czerniak (51.78), and Russia’s Evgeny Korotyshkin (51.85).

Australia’s Chris Wright, who’d had such a great season in this 100 fly, missed the final 11th in 52.11. Jason Dunford of Kenya was behind him in 12th in 52.16.

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399 Comments on "Clary Upsets Lochte; Phelps Completes History on Day 6 Finals"


Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Philip Johnson
3 years 9 months ago

quick predictions. Soni gold, Lochte gold, Lochte gold, & Kromowidjojo gold.

alexis
3 years 9 months ago

hey philip, could you provide a link for the live stream like you did yesterday? that was huge

Philip Johnson
3 years 9 months ago

yup!

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

I’m rooting for ranomi and will make voice hoarse from screaming at my tv.

DanJohnRob
3 years 9 months ago

Soni gold, Lochte gold, Clary silver, Phelps gold, Lochte silver, Kromo gold, Franklin bronze!

Swim Swim
3 years 9 months ago

Exactly what I’m thinking

DanJohnRob
3 years 9 months ago

Everybody has such confidence in Lochte to do such a difficult double and they’re counting out Phelps. Based upon what I’m seeing, I feel the reverse. Other than 400 IM, Lochte’s times have been worse than last summer; other than 400 IM Phelps’ times have been FASTER than last summer!

Philip Johnson
3 years 9 months ago

2 out of 2 aint bad. lol

LATSCOACH
3 years 9 months ago

I think Kromo will smash the WR

Philip Johnson
3 years 9 months ago

she didn’t look tired after that 100 semi, but she will still have to improve over a second to get Steffen’s WR.

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

she doesnt to improve over a second.

Her textile pb is 52.75, and WR is 52.07

Philip Johnson
3 years 9 months ago

i meant from her semi swim.

ZYNG43
3 years 9 months ago

That would be awesome! Tough… but not totally impossible

LATSCOACH
3 years 9 months ago

Well I was wrong

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

I’m like a zombie

ZYNG43
3 years 9 months ago

thanks dude!!

Philip Johnson
3 years 9 months ago

Cielo 21.54.

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

Jones was out fast!

21.54 is fast!

ZYNG43
3 years 9 months ago

yay redemption!!!!

Andy Dixon
3 years 9 months ago

How do they determine whether Jones or Cielo swim in lane 4 tomorrow? Though I guess there’s no difference between 4 and 5.

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

Magnussen is definitely out 22.00

Philip Johnson
3 years 9 months ago

Ervin 21.62. Jones & Cielo tied.

alexis
3 years 9 months ago

thank you! 😀

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

Fratus, don’t disappoint me, you’re in my picks!

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

Bovell really had a second career

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

Schoemans has longevity, good on you!

ZYNG43
3 years 9 months ago

@Philip Johnson youre a savior cause NBC live feed didnt even show mens semi until after it happened

CB
3 years 9 months ago

Yep, I keep getting a “coverage will resume” message. Awesome.

ZYNG43
3 years 9 months ago

same… theyve gone to shit in my book

Philip Johnson
3 years 9 months ago

21.63 Fratus

Ole 99
3 years 9 months ago

Grechin not wearing a cap???

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

Yes, Fratus!

Ole 99
3 years 9 months ago

Hey NBC live stream… you suck

rjcid
3 years 9 months ago

Totally agree. It gave out before both heats “Coverage Will Resume” or something… infuriating. #nbcfail

ZYNG43
3 years 9 months ago

they didnt even show it

Philip Johnson
3 years 9 months ago

Bovell 21.77 2nd. Very fast field.

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

Sullivan and Schoeman just sneaked in 21.88

Philip Johnson
3 years 9 months ago

Cielo & Jones seeded first. Ervin, Fratus, Bovell.

LATSCOACH
3 years 9 months ago

Idk who has had a worse Olympics Kitajima or Magnussen

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

They are tied

lv2srf95
3 years 9 months ago

Magnussen got a medal…

Philip Johnson
3 years 9 months ago

Cielo said he can go 21.2 in the post-race interview.

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

Soni in WR again?

ZYNG43
3 years 9 months ago

under 2:20 lets hope.. but she already set the record. think she just wants this win!

Eh
3 years 9 months ago

Ervin got destroyed on the start by both Cielo and Jones but he definitely swam back on them. If he can improve on that for finals tomorrow he might be good for gold!

Rafael
3 years 9 months ago

Cielo didn´t went all out yet..

DanJohnRob
3 years 9 months ago

Wow! The 1st & 2nd place Brazilians/Amercans (almost) tied!

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

0.28 slower at 100 than WR pace

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

Suzuki and Pedersen are hanging

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

Soni accelerates!

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

2:19.59

WR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111

Philip Johnson
3 years 9 months ago

2:19.59 WR by SONI!

newswim
3 years 9 months ago

That time would have won men’s gold at the 1972 Olympics! I think only Ye’s 400 IM time is in that category. Very impressive swim

Jiggsar
3 years 9 months ago

Britta Steffen’s 23.73 world record in the 50 free would beat all men until July 29, 1978.

John Sampson
3 years 9 months ago

She is the only American female(so far) who would qualify for the American boys olympic trials…interesting and impressive!!! Congrats

ZYNG43
3 years 9 months ago

WOW Soni !!!!

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

This swim is truly the anti-thesis of Rome 2009

She went out slower

drdiv
3 years 9 months ago

2:19.59 = holy shit

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

Suzuki and Efiimova PBs!

lv2srf95
3 years 9 months ago

SUB 2:20!!!

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

Rebecca Soni is the first female breastsroker to defend individual gold at the olympics!

Philip Johnson
3 years 9 months ago

fast field!

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

Very very fast!

Ole 99
3 years 9 months ago

Japan gets something other than a bronze!!!!

ZYNG43
3 years 9 months ago

Ricky Berens should hand out the medals in an epic proposal lol

drdiv
3 years 9 months ago

right, lochte’s won
next race please

lv2srf95
3 years 9 months ago

How was her 100 so slow? i figured if anything she would have been WR in the 100 but not the 2. Also her tempo is crazy Its amazing that she can hold that for so long.

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

After she finally broke the WR yesterday, Soni finally swam a perfect race!
She swam a very controlled first 100 and blitzed the last 50

DanJohnRob
3 years 9 months ago

Fantastic! But I had Efimova-2, Suzuki-3 in my picks! LOL!

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

Lochte for the win or upset?

ZYNG43
3 years 9 months ago

is there a swim off in mens 50?!

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

There’s no need to swim-off.

ZYNG43
3 years 9 months ago

tie for 7th actually nvm

lv2srf95
3 years 9 months ago

efimova was 1:09.6 1:11.3!!

John
3 years 9 months ago

Soni hasn’t tested positive for doping. So innocent unless proven guilty, but let’s not forget US swimmers have a history of doping. So that taints Soni’s gold medal/world record. So she’s clean as far as we know.

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

touche!

Brian
3 years 9 months ago

US Swimmers have a history of doping? Please. IIRC, USA Swimming has one of the most stringent anti-doping testing programs out of any sport/sport governing body.

Dan
3 years 9 months ago

History of doping? Who? Amy Van Dyken?

John
3 years 9 months ago

Jessica Hardy (2012 Women’s 4 × 100 metre freestyle relay Bronze Winner) Just an example.

Dan
3 years 9 months ago

Hardy’s positive test was mitigated since it was due to a tainted supplement. Even if you don’t believe it was unintentional, that hardly is “history of doping.”

Ole 99
3 years 9 months ago

Hardy, Van Dyken (suspected but never technically “caught”) and Angel Martino are the only elite swimmers I can recall.

newswim
3 years 9 months ago

No I think you’re confusing USA swimming with USA Track and Field.

Jg
3 years 9 months ago

That issilly. She is the defending champ & mostly known for the 200 prior to Beijing.

her 100 is 65 & a 2.19.5 is a credible split.

jones did 2.20.5 & was not a fan of the 200.

drdov
3 years 9 months ago

Just give the gold to ryan already
This one’s obvious

LATSCOACH
3 years 9 months ago

….

ZYNG43
3 years 9 months ago

wow… clary. very dissapointed for lochte

Lisa
3 years 9 months ago

So much for that thought lol

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

Lochte is not holding back

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

Irie has greatest technique, but much less power

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