Day 5 Finals Preview: Americans, Aussies Collide In Men’s 100 Free

2016 RIO OLYMPIC GAMES

The most anticipated final slated for tonight will be the men’s 100 freestyle, which features two Americans and two Australians holding four of the top five seeds.

Defending Olympic champion Nathan Adrian rebounded after a shaky prelim swim to take the top time out of the semis in 47.83, and will look to repeat in the event like freestyle legends Pieter van den Hoogenband (2000-2004) and Alexander Popov (1992-1996) have in the past.

Pre-race favorite Cameron McEvoy will swim in lane 3, and his Australian teammate Kyle Chalmers will be on the other side of Adrian in lane 5. McEvoy earned his favorite status after posting an all-time textile best of 47.04 in April. He has looked solid so far here in Rio, though Adrian out-split him by 0.03 on the 400 free relay.

Chalmers has broken the junior world record in both of his individual swims, and was on fire in the relay, notably posting a 47.04 leg in the heats. His semi-final swim of 47.88 puts him in the hunt for a medal, and potentially the win. If he were to pull off the win it would be considered a major upset over Adrian and McEvoy.

The other American Caeleb Dressel has swum the three fastest 100 frees of his career in Rio, including going under 48 seconds twice. He’s got a devastating start and some big time front end speed and will be in the race for the first 75 metres. It comes down to how well the 19 year-old can close.

Also breaking 48 seconds in the semi-finals was Canada’s Santo Condorelli, improving his previous best of 47.98 from last years Pan Am Games down to 47.93. He’s got a lot of front end speed too, and will need to find the right balance tonight after dying on the way home in both his relay swims.

The final will be bookended by Duncan Scott of Great Britain and Marcelo Chierighini of Brazil in lanes 1 and 8, along with Pieter Timmers of Belgium in lane 7.

The men’s 200 breast final is actually first up tonight, and could easily be the fastest final in history. Five different men broke 2:08 in the semis, and the slowest qualifier for the final went 2:08.20. To put that in perspective, the bronze medal was won four years ago in London in 2:08.29.

Japan’s Ippei Watanabe will have lane 4 after scaring the world record last night clocking 2:07.22, and his teammate Yasuhiro Koseki will be two lanes over in lane 6.

American hopefuls Josh Prenot and Kevin Cordes will swim in lanes 2 and 3, and both have great chances to medal. Prenot holds the top time in the world this year at 2:07.17, and Cordes won the silver medal at last year’s World Championships.

Last year’s world gold medallist Marco Koch finds himself out in lane 1, and Andrew Willis will go for a British sweep in the men’s breaststroke events swimming out of lane 5.

The other individual final we’ll see tonight is the women’s 200 fly, which is anyones race. Australia’s Madeline Groves led the way out of the semis in 2:05.66, but four others were right behind her going 2:06 last night.

Mireia Belmonte Garcia of Spain will swim in lane 5, last year’s World Champion Natsumi Hoshi will swim in lane 6, and over in lanes 2 and 3 will be the Chinese duo of Zhou Yilin and Zhang Yufei. The Chinese women have been dominant in this event recently, winning the last two Olympic golds.

Americans Hali Flickinger and Cammile Adams, who both posted 2:06.67s in the heats, swim out of lanes 7 and 8 and will have outside shots at a medal. Adams was the silver medalist last year in Kazan.

The fourth final of the night will be the women’s 4×200 free relay, featuring the heavily favored Americans in lane 4. Others expected to push for a medal are China (lane 3), Australia (lane 5) and Canada (lane 7). Relay lineups will be available about 50 minutes before the session.

Along with those four finals we’ll see four rounds of semi-finals tonight. Let’s take a quick look:

 

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Hschler

Molly Hannis, the OTHER American 200 breaststroker who swam faster than Lily King this morning is ALSO swimming in the semi-finals of the 2 breast. You would not know this from Swimswam coverage.

Brian

Anyone seen Santo’s middle finger at the olympics?

Lp Man

He’s saving it for the podium

Channel

He sneakily did it with his back to the camera before the 100 free semi. The BBC commentators had a field day with that

M Palota

As crazy as it seems – the kid is 18! – it really could be Chalmers!

If he’s within a .5 seconds of the field at the 50, he could do it…

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James is currently a university swimmer for the Laurentian Voyageurs in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. He is studying economics. Along with swimming, he also loves hockey. He's in his 14th season as a competitive swimmer. Best Times - SCM (LCM) 50 FR - 24.56 (25.12) 100 FR - 53.58 (56.70) 200 FR - 1:56.07 (2:04.29) 1500 …

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