Russia’s Evgeny Lagunov has decided to drop the 200 free from his Olympic schedule and focus on the 100 free instead, according to the Russian Federation.
Lagunov finished 2nd at the Russian Olympic Trials in March in the race with a 1:47.47, placing him just tenths ahead of runner-up Artem Lubuzov and Nikita Lobintsev. That would have lined him up for an individual swim along with Russian star Danila Izotov, who won in a 1:46.56.
Lagunov says that he made the decision right after the 200 final in Moscow. “Yes, I did swim and swim well, but in the individual competition at the Games it will be a difficult for the medals. Especially on the same day will relay 4×100 meters.”
He says that his priority lies in the 400 free relay, where he was only 6th at Trials with a 49.02. He believes that the Russians have a real shot at challenging the Americans, French, Australians, and Brazilians for a medal in that relay; enough of a chance to scratch his lone individual event at the least.
This is a peculiar decision, and one that may indicate that he’s been given some kind of assurances by the Russian Federation that if he were to swim well in the prelims of the meet, he would be bumped up into the finals on the basis of his 48-low in 2010 (he was on the finals relay last year at the World Championships). Otherwise, this decision is a bit peculiar, as the Russians have enough depth to get through prelims in this relay even if Lagunov is on his second swim of the day.