Despite looking incredibly easy in the 200 back prelims, Matt Grevers has scratched the 200 backstroke semi-final*. He was the 3rd seed in the morning heats in 1:58.90, about a second-and-a-half behind the defending World Champion Ryan Lochte.
The scenario really made this a difficult decision. In this evening’s session, he also has the 100 free final. If he does make top two in this 200 backstroke, he’s a big-time medal candidate. But if he’s on the 400 free relay, he’s a big time medal candidate there as well. The deal-breaker seems to be that making top two in the 200 backstroke would’ve required him to be one of the best 4 in the world, whereas the 100 free didn’t at all.
Grevers already has an Olympic spot on his docket with a win in the 100 back in a 52.0.
That moves Stanford All-American 200 backstroker Matt Thompson (2:01.79) into the final.
200 back semi-final start lists available here.
*We’re pretty sure he means it this time, based on the released start sheets.