Leveaux Scratches 200 Free for Olympics; Highlights Relay Importance

  39 Braden Keith | July 11th, 2012 | Featured, International, London 2012 Olympics, News

French swimmer Amaury Leveaux is the latest swimmer to scratch the men’s 200 free in order to focus on the 400 free relay, marking the third swimmer we’ve seen make a similar decision this year.

Leaveaux placed 2nd in the event at this year’s French Olympic Trials in 1 :46.72, touching just ahead of teammate Gregory Mallet for the 2nd individual slot. That swim ranked Leveaux 11th in the world this year, and would have made him the 9th seed in London.

With this decision, Mallet and his 1:46.77 will overtake that 9th seed alongside countryman Yannick Agnel, who will be a medal favorite.

This highlights the importance that countries around the world are placing on the men’s 400 free relay this year. In addition to Leveaux’s scratch, we’ve seen Michael Phelps and Russia’s Evgeny Lagunov make the same move, reaffirming their desire to help their respective countries place well in the 400 free relay that comes later in the session.

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39 Comments on "Leveaux Scratches 200 Free for Olympics; Highlights Relay Importance"


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DanJohnRob
3 years 10 months ago

Do the experts here at SwimSwam agree with me that the only way Lochte will be swimming the 400 FR is if ALL of the prelim swimmers have poor performances or somebody is sick?

Also, do you agree that Vollmer is likely to swim in at least the preltms of 400 FR so that Schmitt gets one less swim?

I also wonder of Coughlin will be called on to swim back in prelims of 400 MR so that Bootsma can rest for final (assuming Franklin will be swimming free in finals because she goes a faster time than Hardy in 100 free). It would be a feather in her coaches’ cap to have coached the female olympic swimmer who earned the most medals all-time.

Finally, with the addition of Davis Tarwater there doesn’t seem to be a place for Vanderkaay even in prelims of 800 FR, again, unless somebody becomes ill or everybody in prelims swims a lousy time and he does great in 400 free.

Nadador
3 years 10 months ago

Excellent point about Natalie: she may be called on to swim prelims on all 3 relays!

john26
3 years 10 months ago

Good point about Lochte. This is what Lochte has been training to do, but he has to show _a lot_ during swimming camps to show that he can definitively and consistently out perform #4 even with minimal rest.

The coaches know that the medals could be separated by millseconds, and so may bronze and 4rth, Not only this, but i think all the international coaches know this too. So this is going to be a very select process and I think its likely that coaches may pick a team that goes phelps-feigen- jones-adrian, it lack’s Grever and Ryan’s starpower, but the freshness could make it the best team.

Its unfortunate that we are seeing the men’s 200free field thin out, but that’s just how strongly the teams believe they can win medals.

drdov
3 years 10 months ago

I’m not american but i really want your relay to win
How’s how you do it:
Phelps
Lochte
Grevers
Adrian
But i think Jones has to swim it by qualifying top 2 at trials, no??

Craig H
3 years 10 months ago

Relays are entirely up to the coaches’ discretion. That said, since he won trials, I can’t see them keeping him off it unless he’s really swimming poorly at the games.

Ole 99
3 years 10 months ago

Grevers will be swimming the 100 backstroke semifinal two events before the relay final. Don’t see him on there.

aswimfan
3 years 10 months ago

DRDOV,

Jones DID finish SECOND behind Adrian at the olympics trials!

He WILL BE on the relay final.

BillyJ
3 years 10 months ago

I agree. Lochte should not be on the 400 FR unless something drastic happens in the morning. Lochte has not earned that spot.

3 years 10 months ago

Damn, the 4×100 free will put FIRE in the pool.I am a bit sad Brazil team is one leg short of a beast relay.I hope someone have the guts to put Cielo in fly leg of medley relay if Nicolas Oliveira blasts a 47 low in free relay.

Rafael
3 years 10 months ago

What was Cielo Split when swimming fly on relay in Brazil? Around 51 low If I recall correctly, but can´t find it. It was 2010 right?

3 years 10 months ago

Rafael, he made 51 low twice swimming for Flamengo relays in 2010 and 2011.If i am not mistaken, he made 51.3 and 51.6 of relay partials.But do you know the good about that?In both, he was only swimming 49 low in individual 100 free.I am really curious how good he can be swimming with a full taper in that relay slot.
You have to put in consideration the fact Marcio will be dead tired after 100 and 200fly, and i DOUBT he will be capable to break 51 seconds barrier in 4×100 medley final.
I i was a coach, and Oliveira delivers a 47.3 in 4×100 free, i will put Cielo without fear in FLY slot.

Rafael
3 years 10 months ago

Well Cielo is the fastest 50 flyer in the world..but it all depends on Oliveira time on free relay…

WHOKNOWS
3 years 10 months ago

I am sure that whoever is chosen to swim the relays, it will be scrutinized. Coaches have the last say – and whatever the choice – it’s a gamble!

Jean Michel
3 years 10 months ago

Feigen / Phelps / Jones / Adrian or Feigen / Berens / Grevers / Adrian for prelims !!!

Ole 99
3 years 10 months ago

A lot of guys dropping events to fight for a silver medal. The results on paper, from taking the top times from 2012, would be as follows:

Gold – Austraila (3:11.58)
Silver – Russia (3:13.33)
Bronze – France (3:13.49)
Lovley Parting Gifts – USA (3:13.53)

Obviously that would assume past performance equals future, and ignore that Phelps did not swim the event a trials and that some guys are just really good relay swimmers.

It will be quite interesting to see the reaction if the US doesn’t medal.

Rafael
3 years 10 months ago

US is in a situation they may not medal at all.. and even the fourth place may be a battle with Brazil..

Ole 99
3 years 10 months ago

Based on 2012 bests, with all the previously mentioned disclaimers, Brazil is a 3:15.25 on paper. That’s 1.7 seconds they have to make up. Anything can happen, but that’s a lot of time.

Rafael
3 years 10 months ago

OLE.. if you take 2011 only.. but Cielo can be a 47 mid guy.. and other are 48 mid high guy… Nicolas usually takes his time more than a second on relay.. same for Chieriguinni.. the “weak” link is Fratus.

If you consider 2011 and 2012 brazil add for 3:13 high..

Ole 99
3 years 10 months ago

Not saying Brazil won’t be faster, but you can’t argue faster previous times and relay splits for Brazil and omit the same for the US. I simply pointed out 2012 flat starts because it’s the most even playing field we have right now.

Rafael
3 years 10 months ago

for some countries yes.. but brazil does not have trials.. a lot of swimmers weren´t full tapered this year..

drdov
3 years 10 months ago

So it then looks like the US relay is once again 1 leg short
Why’s it always like that?
If Grevers can’t do it then this Feigen guy has to step it up on his first world stage, and that’s always very risky
But i’m telling you guys Lochte has to be on this relay, him swimming off Phelps’ lead off is always a winning combination and they’ve done it countless times
They WILL be in the lead halfway

Jg
3 years 10 months ago

What if Aust put Maggie & Roberts 1 & 2 then Target to keep ahead & Eammon to secure.

It would be surprising for Phelps & Lochte to overcome a 2 sec 2012 deficit at half way.

.

Ole 99
3 years 10 months ago

Due diligence conference calls that drag are good for one thing at least… Composite relay times using the top 4 times in ’11 and ’12 for swimmers that will be at the olympics (individual times, swimmer, and year included) are as follows:

1. Australia – 3:11.58
47.10 Magnussun (2012)
47.63 Roberts (2012)
48.32 Targett (2012)
48.53 Sullivan (2012)

2. France – 3:12.52
48.02 Agnel (2012)
48.00 Meynard (2011)
48.13 Gilot (2011)
48.37 Bernard (2011)

3. USA – 3:13.10
48.05 Phelps (2011)
48.08 Adrian (2011)
48.48 Jones (2012)
48.49 Feigen (2012)

4. Russia – 3:13.33
48.21 Lobinstev (2012)
48.27 Izotov (2012)
48.29 Grechin (2012)
48.56 Morozov (2012)

5. Brazil – 3:14.06
47.84 Cielo (2011)
48.71 Olivera (2011)
48.72 Fratus (2011)
48.79 Chierighini (2012)

6. Germany – 3:14.62
48.24 Di Carli (2011)
48.66 Biedermann (2011)
48.84 Fildebradt (2012)
48.88 Deibler (2012)

3 years 10 months ago

Ole 99,
There is a chance Fratus dont swim even if Brazil qualifies for final because he put much more focus in his 50 free.The substitute will be a choice between Nicholas Do Santos(49.1) and João De Lucca.Dos Santos is faster individually, but De Lucca is better relay guy, sometimes around 1.1s faster than his individual event.
The key is how good will be Chieriguini and principally, Nicolas Oliveira, a guy capable to swim 1.6s faster than his individual time, but sometimes, he burns Brazil relay because he makes a bold start(He burned Brazil in Beijing prelims in 2008 because of a early take off).

bobo gigi
3 years 10 months ago

2 options for the american relay.
First, it would be a classic option with Michael Phelps, Jimmy Feigen, Cullen Jones and Nathan Adrian.
Second, it would be a more surprising option with Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte, Jimmy Feigen or Cullen Jones or Matt Grevers or Jason Lezak and Nathan Adrian.
For me the second option is the best even with a more tired Ryan Lochte after his 200 free. And good luck to the staff to choice the third swimmer.
And I think behind Australia anything can happen. USA and France will battle for the silver medal.

drdv
3 years 10 months ago

OK then, here the 1st team
Phelps
Lochte
Jones
Adrian
Besides for MP no one has a back half like Lochte

Rafael
3 years 10 months ago

for the US team only… their back half of them are not “amazing” at international level (if you put guys like Sun yang and Magnussen to compare)

bobo gigi
3 years 10 months ago

There are 3 swimmers who have to be in the final. Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte and Nathan Adrian. After it’s open. I have little doubts about Cullen Jones. For me he’s by far more a 50 free swimmer and perhaps he will not be able to swim as fast or faster in London. I’m sure he was fully tapered at the trials. And imagine a big surprise with Anthony Ervin if he’s impressive during the training camps! He has been world champion in the 100 free. Ok it was in 2001 but the talent is the talent. If I have well understood every swimmer can be in the relay.

john26
3 years 10 months ago

ryan lochte is far from a guarantee,you cant deny that he’s an amazing swimmer, but its obvious that the coaches of all leading countries are taking a no bs, no room of error approach on this relay. With that unless lochte can prove he’s worth at least a 47mid split, it may not be worth to call upon him after the 200. It would be risky and that time might not necessarily get the jobdone, you dont want to rely on other people’s mistakes to win a race.y

bobo gigi
3 years 10 months ago

It’s just a feeling. For me Ryan Lochte even a liitle tired after his 200 free will be more efficient than Cullen Jones.

bobo gigi
3 years 10 months ago

For me Ryan Lochte even a little tired after his 200 free will be more efficient than Cullen Jones. You can be sure he will finish well his race.

aswimfan
3 years 10 months ago

This announcement surprised me.

The men 4×100 free is now raising the stakes to an impossibly higher level still!

The final will be amazing, and might even top Beijing!

bobo gigi
3 years 10 months ago

It will be a great race but to equal the race of the last olympic games is impossible. There was a dual and most important suspense. And the end wasn’t predictable.

john26
3 years 10 months ago

What’s important is that if one of the Australians (lets just say Roberts, whose lack of form is probably the most likely weak knot on the relay), we could really see a 4 team scramble for 3 medals, with times separated by less than half a second. That would just be absolutely intense.

No one has even talked about them, despite almost upsetting the US last summer, but Italy is certainly a dark horse and a much more potent and likely team to upset than Brazil. I dont know when Brazil came into the medal picture, but even on paper they have no shot against the Americans, and probably sit in the 6th position behind Italy.

Rafael
3 years 10 months ago

Italy is behind Germany on flat start on paper..

john26
3 years 10 months ago

You know, it kind of surprises me that the 4×100 free has picked up so much importance over the last few months.

Last year, we had Agnel, going into Shanghai, saying “I only care about the 400free”, didn’t even swim the event, though his inclusion probably would’ve secured a gold medal. Then, especially with Sun Yang added to the formsheet for London, the 200m free has shaped up to become the race of the meet.

But, really, that didn’t seem to be case in the mind of the swimmers (except Agnel, who has publically said that this was what he believed because Phelps and Lochte swim it), otherwise, why would they drop the event? Even Agnel, dropped his other event to focus on the distance that will bring him relay glory, though as the Olympic favorite, he obviously wasn’t going to give up the 200free.

What has molded this focus to the 4×100?

What we’re seeing right now is that many potential finalists have dropped the event to concentrate on the relay, which really is probably going to open up the gap between the guys we know are going to be sub145, and the other finalists.

HKswimmer
3 years 10 months ago

Anyone thought about South Africa? In Shanghai they did start magnificently, second until the last leg. If Roland Schoeman’s right about himself being back to 2004 form that could be dangerous.

REAL
3 years 10 months ago

What has shifted the focus to the relay is that everyone is lining up for a piece of Magnussen…..but they won’t catch him!

JackedAndTan
3 years 10 months ago

I understand the Lochte fans, but until he turns up a good time, he doesn’t belong on the relay. There’s more to the 100 free than a big aerobic background and a good backhalf.

I was also surprised South Africa wasn’t mentioned. Crazy things happen at the Olympics and even though they were unimpressive at their own trials, SA were right in the mix in Shanghai until the last leg and if Schoeman is back near his 2004 form, all they need is Graeme Moore to replicate his out-of-the-nowhere 48.1 leadoff

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