Matt Grevers Scratches 200 Backstroke Semi’s

  67 Braden Keith | June 29th, 2012 | Featured, National, News, U.S. Olympic Trials

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.

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67 Comments on "Matt Grevers Scratches 200 Backstroke Semi’s"


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Neptune
3 years 11 months ago

Makes no sense. Why even swim the Prelim then.

newswim
3 years 11 months ago

Well it certainly shows a change of mind. I suppose that besides whatever calculus he used for medal probabilities, as indicated above, he realized that “easy” 200 backs are few and far between…..some would argue its tougher than the 200 fly (LCM).
I do not think he was going to finish high enough in the 100 free tonight after the 200 back semis to be a no-brain pick for evening relay. Now he has a chance to make his case to swim at night. Hope it works out well for him. I think the US will be just fine in the 200 back, regardless.

DutchWomen
3 years 11 months ago

This makes sense for Grevers and is a good move. Will not beat Lochte and will be tough to beat Clary. His next best shot for a medal is the 4×100 free relay. We also need major help in that department.

Reed
3 years 11 months ago

The thing about the 100 is that swimming another race earlier in the session doesn’t just put an individual spot at risk, it puts the relay spot at risk, too. He would still stand a pretty good chance of making top 6 if he swam the 2 BK beforehand, but the field is so tightly bunched that there’s very little margin for error. Plus with Phelps and Lochte already advocating for swimming on the PM relay w/o qualifying in the 1, there’s no way the coaches are going to consider that for anyone else. So the schedule basically forced him to scratch one or the other, and since you can earn 2 medals via the 100 vs. only 1 in the 2 BK, I think he made the right call.

Jean Michel
3 years 11 months ago

Us realy needs a fast Grevers ! around 48.10 something .

bobo gigi
3 years 11 months ago

Yes but is he able to do it? I doubt.

ZYNG43
3 years 11 months ago

We will have to see… I mean I doubted he’d be under 52.5 in the 100 back.. but this Matt Grevers is a different swimmer than what we have seen in the past

Mike Bestvina
3 years 11 months ago

Grevers will go 47 and then split a 46 in the Olympics relay. He’s on fire right now.

aswimfan
3 years 11 months ago

right…

ZYNG43
3 years 11 months ago

46 seems VERY optimistic. Doubt it. If he’s on for the Olmpics maybe a 47 high relay split

Jean Michel
3 years 11 months ago

he swam a prelim just for confidence boost !!!

bobo gigi
3 years 11 months ago

You are sometimes very funny! Please look for another reason.

bobo gigi
3 years 11 months ago

He has taken a good decision. He had no chances to beat Ryan Lochte and Tyler Clary in the 200 back. But why has he swum in prelims? It’s absolutely stupid.

ZYNG43
3 years 11 months ago

Maybe he wanted to see where he was at in the 200? If he could’ve swam an easy 1:57 he might have gone for it. He’s obviously focused alot on backstroke. Glad he chose the 100 though think he has a chance to swim individually

Emanuella
3 years 11 months ago

US ralay cannot beat the australians, only a miracle.

3 years 11 months ago

There is a lot of things can happen in a relay final.Just a early start and the scene changes forever.

Rafael
3 years 11 months ago

Hoping for DQ is assuming you have no way to beat the other team..

3 years 11 months ago

I am not hoping for a Dq, but a relay is a four engine system.All the four MUST be perfect.Historically, US Team have a tradition of bring all together where it counts.In the paper, i can wrote even my country team(Brazil) for gold.

Joel Lin
3 years 11 months ago

I would not pencil in Aussies for gold in the 4×100 just yet. Clearly they have two guys who are flat start 47.1 and 47.6, but remember that the Aussie trials were a season ago now and each of those guys will need to replicate that form after another training cycle.

I think the US has a shot via it’s depth. I do see Adrian as a match to the 47.6. I also see Phelps somewhere around that time too leaving a half second deficiency for the US to make up for in the other two legs.

The Aussies share the same syndrome as the French did in 2008…all 4 guys need to be running hot that same time. There is no depth to look over the shoulder for if that does not happen. The US does not have the equal to a 47.1 if that time is swum again in the Olympics, but the US will – as always – hit hard with depth. Does the US have two guys more to go 48.0 or maybe a little better from a flat start? I think so. Maybe Grevers or Feigan ring that bell tonite, and there you go. On paper the US lining up with Adrian 47.6, Phelps 47.6 then Grevers and Feigan at 48.0 and on paper US is better. And that loosely assumes no other American can go 48.0 and I think that is a reach but also possible.

Let’s see for tonite.

Rafael
3 years 11 months ago

You are having too high expectations…

Tea
3 years 11 months ago

Good insight. The US may be taking 8 guys who could step onto their relay. If the coaches are worth a darn, they will have the 4 guys who are hottest that week. The Aussies… have to hope all their guys click in the same race.

Josh
3 years 11 months ago

Yeah lets be careful with thinking the Aussies can run away from everyone. Like stated before, they need to repeat that fast swimming through another training cycle then perform under the pressure that the USA is going to bring into that relay. I see us having the guys to battle the Aussies and it’s going to take a huge swim from two legs (other than Adrian and phelps) Also anyone who thinks phelps wont be on this relay isn’t thinking straight. He has swam perfect in this spot and will continue to do so. The US is going to catch the world by surprise in the 400FR, no doubt.

Emanuella
3 years 11 months ago

U.S. was third at last Worlds right?

Josh
3 years 11 months ago

Yes, with Phelps, Adrian, Lezak, and weber-gale I believe. I hate comparing that relay though to anything we’ll have this year. People bring that relay up and it just doesn’t compare. I bet only Phelps and Adrian out of the four will be on the final relay.

Joel Lin
3 years 11 months ago

With due respect, the Aussies are the favorites. And to go a bit further, next is France on paper. But remember all the cycles we have seen with the French. First, they always pick a team and then go back for a training cycle all leveraged up into those same four guys hitting it right on again months later. That is hard to do, and frankly that was the big liability for the US team last year. The US 4×100 for 2011 was selected in Summer 2010. The French? Well, Rowdy nailed it once before. Best on paper and on the blocks with a lot of swagger in 2008, 2009 and again in 2011…all with times a few months stale from the selection meet with a full training cycle. Then one of the guys without fail is just off a bit, and that is enough for the rest of the world to close in.

The big point is there is a lot of jump risk associated with sprinters except for the very best ones who can be consistent like Cielo who never fails to show up big when it is go time big time. Don’t assume the Aussies or the US or anyone else is in the safe harbour because of paper times going in added up to fastest. It does not work out that way.

Allstar9
3 years 11 months ago

I’m with you on this. Even through prior meets and my own experiences. Paper doesn’t mean ANYTHING when your called to the block and the buzzer goes off. Many people are completely different swimmers in a relay and can swim sometimes a second faster then their flat start. I agree with one thing, the Aussies are favorites going in. That’s it though.

aswimfan
3 years 11 months ago

Joel Lin,

You are incorrect.

The French was not the best on paper coming into Beijing.

The USA was.

the aggregate time from top 4 fastest americans was FASTER than the french’s coming into Beijing.

Tom MCG
3 years 11 months ago

Hey…we have seen miracles before in relays…have you forgotten 2008 already? We were not supposed to win that one either.

bobo gigi
3 years 11 months ago

It would be a giant miracle. One the biggest in the history of humanity.

Rafael
3 years 11 months ago

TOM, 2008 US actually had better individual times than the French… so.. No Miracle at all…

Joel Lin
3 years 11 months ago

…and again in 2009 which let to Rowdy’s famous utterance that France just willed it to not happen after being so great on paper. TWICE.

Emanuella
3 years 11 months ago

you want two miracles, US had their share of miracles. LOL

Tea
3 years 11 months ago

2004… Huge upset in the 400 free relay (South Africans)
2008… Huge upset in the 400 free relay (Americans)
…. Anything can happen.

I am glad that Grevers, for one, is focusing on this event. I’m afraid we’re going to have two sprinters and two guys who see it as their EZ-Pass to a medal. Go for it, Matt, we want this one.

Rafael
3 years 11 months ago

2008 “upset” was more a Media Frenzy not based on facts than anything

Bullddoze
3 years 11 months ago

Aussies will be tough even if the US is “on” and the Aussies are “off.”. Mags and Roberts will go 47 mids at the slowest, and the US will have 47 mids at the absolute fastest. Sullivan and Targett are as good or better than Phelps, so Jimmy or Grevers or whoever is on it will have to be exceptional at or around 47 mid to high.

Allstar9
3 years 11 months ago

Be careful with Sullivan, I wouldn’t bank on him being extremely fast come London, just what I think. Yes your right though, the USA will have to be above the top of their game to beat not only the Aussies but the French as well.

Rafael
3 years 11 months ago

the russias are also capable of upseting the US

aswimfan
3 years 11 months ago

Why is everyone forgetting McEvoy?

Even if one of the australians not performing, Mcevoy will replace as fast.

Mcevoy just tweeted that his time trials results were his fastest ever.

DutchWomen
3 years 11 months ago

With the semi-final times of the 100 free, we need to feel a sense of urgency going into tonight’s finals.

Phelps – 48.0
Adrian – 48.3
Fiegen – 48.4
Grevers – 48.7

That relay isn’t going to beat anyone in London, not the French, Aussies, or even RSA/Russia.

Also, where/how do you see Phelps leading off in 47.5? He was 48.0 at World Champs and I see him going right around 47.8 / 48.0 again. Remember his best time in a tech suit was 47.5 in 2008 – I don’t see him repeating that again in London in a jammer.

On paper –

Australia –

Magnussen – 47.1
Roberts – 47.6
Targett – 48.3
Sullivan – 48.5

3:11.5

USA

Phelps – 48.0
Adrian – 48.3
Feigen – 48.4
Grevers – 48.7

3:13.4

Russia –

48.2
48.2
48.2
48.5

3:13.1

France –

48.0
48.3
48.4
48.6

3:13.3

To recap –

1. Australia 3:11.5
2. Russia 3:13.1
3. France 3:13.3
4. USA 3:13.4

A lot of people here seem quite relaxed with regards to the 4×100 freestyle relay…we were bronze in 2011 and it looks as though the rest of the world has gotten even faster since then, especially the Russians. I need to see two 47’s tonight in order to give me more confidence going into London….why should we be relaxed? Shouldn’t you all feel more of a sense of urgency? Bronze in 2011. That is the reality. 2008 was a long time ago.

Rafael
3 years 11 months ago

Dutchwomen.. the RSA is actually slower than brazil now.. Brazil has 47,8 and 3 48,7.. If US does not improve tonight even brazil would be a threat

Emanuella
3 years 11 months ago

praying for that. Bronze for us would be a dream come true.

Rafael
3 years 11 months ago

And France has Meynard and Stravius times from 2011… so they are actually faster than the Russians

Emanuella
3 years 11 months ago

that’s a good comment. thank you for the analysis. I wish Brazil had someone other than Cielo

3 years 11 months ago

The best RELAYER(Ok, i created that word..hahah) in Brazil team is Nicolas Oliveira.He is the only guy who can put a time 1.6s faster than his individual time.Of course, Cielo is the best overall, but his normal improving in relay is around 0.5-0.7seconds.For me, Cielo must always open relay,because he has the best start of the block, but some coaches like to put him in second leg.The question is: how good will be Chieriguini,De Lucca and Dos Santos???Will be Oliveira at his best?Fratus is too much focused in 50 free?

Emanuella
3 years 11 months ago

I wish Fratus could do better. He should be up there with Cielo.

Rafael
3 years 11 months ago

Chiereguinni can be a Great Opener… he had a PB of 22.8 on 50 free before maria Lenk and went 22.07 on the opening of the 4×50 relay..

anotherswimfan
3 years 11 months ago

Good analysis/matchup, I do also name AUS the big favourites. The argument that they’ll have had another training cycle at the Olympics isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Youngsters like Magnussen and Roberts (both still aged 21) can improve a lot in a couple of months time. Especially Maggie. I won’t see him settle for anything less than a WR if he’s starting first. Plus the Aussie 4×100 Free have had months for preparing the relays. (And don’t think they haven’t…)

Allstar9
3 years 11 months ago

Ok Dutchwomen I see what your saying, but I don’t know if I’m completely on board. I know the Aussies and the French are going to be fast, nobody is doubting that. But look at our 2011 relay that got third and tell me that’s the same relay we take to London? Phelps leads off in 47.75, Then I think Grevers will be on the relay with a great split of 47.4-47.7 then I think our third leg whoever it is goes a 48.0 and Adrian splits a 47.1. Our relay always has great relay swimmers and I honestly think we will battle the Aussies. My biggest fear is Magnussen anchors the relay. If he does, we might see the best split in history….

3 years 11 months ago

Magnussen will be opening for WR.

DutchWomen
3 years 11 months ago

Phelps and Adrian stay the same. As of right now, insert Feigen and Grevers to replace Weber-gale and Lezak.

Let us say we go your exact splits –

Phelps – 47.7
Feigen – 48.0
Grevers – 47.5
Adrian – 47.1

3:10.3

The Aussies counter with, assuming no one drops time between now and London –

Magnussen – 47.10
Roberts – 47.10 (assuming a very conservative .5 better from flat start)
Target – 47.8 (WC 2011)
Sullivan – 47.7 (WC 2011)

3:09.70

Now remember that your times include hypothetical swims that three on our relay haven’t done yet post tech suit, and the Aussie times have already been done in a textile. Times they have already gone are faster than our “hypothetical times if we drop” in London times. Grevers was 48.7 in semis and has been 48.2 in a tech suit. Can he really go 47.5 with a relay pick up? I hope so, but he’ll have to go 48.1 tonight, a new best time, in order for me to believe he can go 47.5 in London. I’ll give you Feigen at 48.0. Phelps at 47.7? Would be impressive in a textile based on his best time of 47.5 and his 48.0 at World Champs in 2011. Adrian going 47.1 is a good possibility but he hasn’t done it yet and I would need to see a 47.high out of him in order for me to believe he can be 47.1.

The times you suggest aren’t out of reach, but again even those times won’t be enough to beat the Aussies, especially if Magnussen leads off 46.high which would be a full second up on Phelps. Perhaps the relay comes down to that 48.0 split…if that person, whoever it is, can pull of a 47.5 we’ll have a chance.

DutchWomen
3 years 11 months ago

By the way I love the Scottish announcer. When is NBC going to hire him?

Allstar9
3 years 11 months ago

I agree completely with the announcer! Fresh and enjoying. Back to the relay quickly though. Watching one of Grevers interviews he stated he was a lot better on a relay than individual swims. He gave himself within a second difference. Which if he goes a 48.3(which I think is very possible) lets say he gets off his relay reaction very quickly. That gives him a great start to begin with and then add the pressure of the relay and times drop before you know it. I can give you personal experience, I’m a pure relay swimmer. My 100 difference from flat to relay is always around .7-.9 difference. All I’m saying is it’s possible. Lastly I agree that Feigen gets that fourth spot, but with a semi-final swim of 48.48, you’ve got to drop .3 just off of the relay split. so I think its very possible to go 48.0 maybe better(but that’s pushing it) I’m confident in Phelps,Adrian, Grevers. but if it’s anyone, Feigen has to prove to me he can race tonight.

Allstar9
3 years 11 months ago

Oh and yes i agree. Even with those times Aussies have the lead still. But all we need is a race…if were there, I think we pull it off. We WILL be the underdogs in this relay…and that’s when we sneak in.

aswimfan
3 years 11 months ago

Allstar9,

Where did you get this Phelps opeining in 47.75?

remember that in London Phelps will have had 400 IM the previous night.

john26
3 years 11 months ago

i have been one of the most vocal in my opinion of this relay for the last few months. Nothing ive seento this point has convinced me that the US is ready to put together a relay going sub310 even under best case scenario. In fact a time between 310.5 – 311.0 is far more likely.

A lot of people talk of phelps and his 47.5. Remember that this is a time achieved when he was also 142.9 in the 200… I bet if the textile record was still 47.84 that no one would dare even penciling in 47.6 as a prediction except for perhaps the prospective olympic champion. That said this time is still a holy grail in this event and the fact the there are now two men whove been this fast doesnt diminish how hard it is to get there.

If EITHER phelps or adrian goes 47.6 today or in london, i will be sligtly surprised. For adrian this is true considering is inability to adapt to what we now know is a winning strategy in even splitting.

—-

Joel lin & others
If you have to bring up the fact that miracle swims in order to justify that the Aussies ar not runaway favorites, your argument necessaily acknowledges that the Americansstart off as underdogs. Ofcourse its not100%set in stone, but analyzing the relay in various point of views (in addition to “on paper approximations”) the aussies arthe favorites

Such pov include
-age
-race strategy (top 2 could prob give them 1.5 s open water)
-depth (based on what weve seen AT BESTt the americans are clse in terms of number of guys that could bring valuable contribution, ie Sub48.6)

lv2srf95
3 years 11 months ago

After the semis at the Aussie trials, the AUS relay sat at this:
Magnussen- 47.9
Roberts- 48.6
Targett- 48.5
Sullivan- 48.8
3:13.8
USA after semis with phelps as a 48.0:
Phelps- 48.0
Adrian- 48.3
Feigen- 48.4
Grevers- 48.7
3:13.4
Even if you don’t agree with me putting phelps at 48.0 if you take his 48.4 from in season we’re tied with the Aussies at 3:13.8. I don’t think we should be worried about winning this relay.

aswimfan
3 years 11 months ago

So, winning 4×100 FR gold is based on semis time, and Phelps’ PB?

never knew about this before.

DutchWomen
3 years 11 months ago

Australia? Let’s focus on beating Russia for now. The three 48.2 flat start Russians would have been 2,3,4 at OUR trials meet!

aswimfan
3 years 11 months ago

I just LOVED the NBC interview just now with Missy.

She’s just such a well-balanced, positive girl with great attitude and such maturity for a teenage girl.

I am rooting for her to win 4 individual golds in London!
(unlikely, but still…)

and Missy should go to BERKELEY!

Rafael
3 years 11 months ago

So… now all the guys who said 47.5 for Adrian.. 47 high for one other.. 48 low flat for the others can come back to earth? This relay if it gets bronze will be good enough..

aswimfan
3 years 11 months ago

Rafael,

Thiat was how I got into HUGE argument with Mel Stewart and others who claimed that the US sprinters would go 47.4-47.5, etc (and Phelps goes 47.5) in Omaha.

And I will repeat again, many don’t realize that what Magnussen has done is not only get back the 100 free WR to its line, but he actually revolutionized the men 100 free, ridiculous as it might sound.

Going under 48 is STILL VERY VERY DIFFICULT thing to do.

Rafael
3 years 11 months ago

Only Sub 48 guys Textile
Magnussen
Roberts
Cielo
Pieter Van Den Hoogeband
Brent Hayden

Maybe Agnel can join them on London

100 free is given for magnussen.. But I Think Robert and Cielo are now the “main favorites” for Silver/Bronze (won´t think of an order).. with Hayden and Agnel as the real Darkhorses..

aswimfan
3 years 11 months ago

Rafael, based on this final, it will be even quite a battle for USA to win bronze as Russia (and even Brazil) has a chance now.

Allstar9
3 years 11 months ago

Alright I’ll give it to you. I was really banking on some great(if not, atleast good) times from the 100 free final. So after seeing those times. I’ll stick with this…

Phelps- 47.9-48.2
Grevers- 47.9-48.00
Jones- 47.85-48.0
Adrian-47.4

Now before you jump the gun let me explain….Phelps WILL be there for London, whether you want to believe it or not, he shows up when he needs too, and for this relay he will. I understand the 400IM is before this, so that’s why my time is alittle wide for him. I believe what Grevers said, he seems like he’ll be a great relay guy so a good time drop there. Cullen Jones has been there before and will be more comfortable this time around. Adrian is just a monster, his adrenaline will be racing, so I see him taking it out really well.

To be honest though, I do think the Aussies have the big advantage. Remember both Magnussen and Roberts are new to this, we have a veteran crew now.

Allstar9
3 years 11 months ago

Also Feigens prelim time is faster than Grevers final time so I’m not sure how they’re going to choose that. If I were them I’d keep phelps off and throw Feigen on for prelims. That will give Feigen a chance to beat out one of those guys and show he’s ready.

Who do you think they’re putting on this relay?

ZYNG43
3 years 11 months ago

I’m still a little skeptical about Jones. Yes he swam well last night compared to where he has been lately.. but I’m not sure how much better he can get

DutchWomen
3 years 11 months ago

I called this one. We are in BIG trouble in that 4×100 free relay in London. The three Russians would have went 2,3,4 at the UNITED STATES trials meet.

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The most common question asked about Braden Keith is "when does he sleep?" That's because Braden has, in two years in the game, become one of the most prolific writers in swimming at a level that has earned him the nickname "the machine" in some circles. He first got his feet …

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