Congratulations 400 IMers. You did it. You’ve been voted the hardest short course yard event by a wide margin. But you still have to swim the 400 IM, so are you really the winners here?
400 IM (66%) over 200 Fly (34%)
Not a major shocker here. The 400 IM has been the odds-on favorite from the beginning. One of the most universally-feared races, the 400 IM gets points for distance (the fourth-longest event in our poll), but also hits every single swimmer’s weakest stroke. It requires a brutal mix of versatility and endurance, and never got less than 66% of votes in any round of our poll.
Meanwhile the 200 fly got about a third of the total votes in the final, holding up as the #2 event in our poll. The 200 fly also got more votes against the 400 IM in the final than the mile did in the semifinals – that speaks to the 200 fly’s place in the final, despite some chatter that the 1650FR/400IM semifinal was the true championship matchup.
Bronze Medal Match
1650 Free (64%) over 200 Free (36%)
Endurance topped strategy in our consolation match. The 1650 carries the flash of being by far the longest event in our poll. The 200 free made a somewhat surprising run to the semifinals, though, based on its strategic trickiness – many describe the 200 as too long to sprint but too short to pace. The end result is a tough race to approach and a razor-thin margin for going out too slow or too fast. In the end, though, the roughly fifteen-to-twenty minutes of pain in the mile outdid the pain of a 200 free many minutes shorter.
CONSOLATION BRACKET: 5TH-8TH
5th Place: 200 Backstroke (38%)
6th Place: 200 Breaststroke (32%)
7th Place: 500 Freestyle (26%)
8th Place: 50 Freestyle (4%)
CONSOLATION BRACKET: 9TH-16TH
9th Place: 1000 Freestyle (42%)
10th Place: 200 IM (40%)
11th Place: 100 Butterfly (6%)
12th Place: 100 Backstroke (4%)
13th Place: 100 Freestyle/100 Breaststroke (tie – 4%)
15th Place: 100 IM (0%)