Dubai 2010: Day 4 Preview – Light Schedule on Day 4, But Plenty of High Intensity Sprints Highlight Schedule

The action on Day 4 in Dubai takes a big slow down with only 5 finals and a slew of semi-finals in preparation for a stocked-full final session on Sunday.

Here’s the big stories that I’m watching on Day 4:

1. Lochte Eases Off – After setting two World Records in as many days, and claiming that the Day 3 prelims session “hurt,” Ryan Lochte gets to ease off the gas a little on Day 4. His only races are the prelims and semi-finals of the 100 IM, which is by far his least taxing race of the meet. Furthermore, he is so far ahead of the World in the IM’s at the moment, that he won’t have to expend full energy in either of the preliminary rounds to be safely through to the final. The only thing he’ll have to be careful of is falling asleep in prelims, as he is seeded without a time and thus in the second heat–Clary is in the same position in heat 3. Then again, it’s probably going to take about a :53 high to make the semi-finals, which Lochte could probably do in his sleep anyway.

2. The Need for Speed – Day 4 will be a taste of the unpredictability of short course swimming at its best. In the evening session, 6 out of the 11 events will be in their shortest form (50’s or the 100 IM), which means that luck and emotion are more in play than anywhere else in the swimming world. Strap yourselves down, Boys and Girls, it’s going to be a crazy ride!

3. The Women’s Race of the Meet – The women’s 200 IM is going to be an explosion, where 6 or 7 women will all head into prelims with an expectation to chase gold. I can’t wait to see how this one shakes out.

And now here are some predictions:

Women’s 100 breaststroke:

1. Rebecca Soni (USA)

2. Leisel Jones (Australia)

3. Yulia Efimova

Chinese Fade: Liping Ji

Rationale: Soni cruised through most of the semi-finals race before throwing it into 5th for the closing stretch: just to make sure everyone knew that she had speed to burn. It took only about 15 meters of hard swimming for her to crack her own Championship Record mark. Poor Leisel Jones has been swimming really well too, but she’s stuck behind the Soni Express. Ignoring a slow start, Jones did outswim Soni in the medley relay on Day 3, however, so look for a tighter than expected race. Yulia Efimova came in second in the slower semi-final, and had a great swim on the Russian medley relay. I think she’ll pass the third seed Liping Ji from China in finals, as the Chinese women throughout the meet in their individual races have been showing up much better in the first two rounds than the last.

Men’s 50 fly

1. Steffen Deibler (Germany)

2. Albert Subirats (Venezuela)

3. Nicholas Santos (Brazil)

Rationale: Steffen Deibler had an absolutely dreadful swim in the 100 fly, where he finished in 21st place and didn’t make it out of prelims, despite owning the top time in the world. He seems to have bounced back in a huge way, however, and will be the top seed headed into the final. In fact, if you exclude the times of Roland Schoeman (who is reportedly quite ill and thus was 10th in the semis), Deibler has the 6 best 50 fly times in the world this year. He has been a lot more consistent in this all-out race than in the slightly more calculated 100, and that consistency has been huge this week in the 50’s. Albert Subirats looked in the 100 like he’s hit on some magic after moving back home to Venezuela to train. Santos is the only other “ultra-elite” 50 butterflier in this group, and I’m confident that this will be the top 3.

Women’s 200 IM

1. Mireia Belmonte Garcia (Spain)

2. Ariana Kukors (USA)

3. Evelyn Verraszto (Hungary)

Also in the Lead Pack: Missy Franklin (USA), Ngawati Kotuku (Australia), Shiwen Ye (China)

Rationale: Kukors and Ngawati were dominant in the 100 IM. Belmonte and Ye blew the field away (by 5 seconds) in the 400 IM. Now will be the middle where the two groups shall meet in what will be, in my opinion, the race to watch of the women’s meet. Belmonte has looked like an animal so far, after winning a 200 fly/400 IM double on day 1, a second in the women’s 800–an event she is a relative newcomer to–on day 2. She had day 3 off to recover a little from what is, by far, the most difficult meet schedule by any swimmer in the competition, and should be loaded up to take on this race. Kukors looked so good in the 100, that I’ve gotta have her on the podium in this one. Evelyn Verraszto is probably the best swimmer in the field in this event, but hasn’t put up her best performances yet in this meet. I still think she’s good enough for a bronze. Franklin finished 7th in the 100, but was probably worn out after just taking the silver in the 200 back, and Kotuku and Ye were the silver medalists in both of the other IM’s, so there’s no reason they shouldn’t medal again in this event. Now you can see why this is my race of the meet…

Women’s 400 free relay

1. The Netherlands

2. USA

3. Australia

Sleeping Giant: China

Rationale: The pick to win is the Netherlands, based in no small part on their 1-2 finish in the 100 free and general dominance in the 100 freestyle. This pick comes with a caveat, however, that they haven’t swum a relay yet (no entry in the 800, and scratched the medley), so who knows whether or not they’ll swim here. Team USA has a crew of designated sprinters who will be rested and refreshed for this race, including Jessica Hardy, Kara Lynn Joyce, and Amanda Weir. Add to this their rocks Dana Vollmer and Natalie Coughlin, who were just behind the Dutch in the individual, and they should be good to go for second. Australia doesn’t have anyone who will blow you away, but they do have four solid swimmers and a great relay veteran in Marieke Guehrer. Once again, who knows what the Chinese will do. They won the first two relays, but if there’s one they won’t win, it’s the 400 free. Then again, in the medley they had individuals on their A-squad who weren’t swimming that event individually, so who knows what they’ll pull off for this relay.

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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