Matt Targett, Australian Olympic 4×100 Insider Info

  32 Gold Medal Mel Stewart | June 05th, 2012 | Featured, Gold Medal Minute, London 2012 Olympics, News | Sponsored by: SwimOutlet.com

In This Story

Comments

  1. Nadador says:
    0
    0

    Excellent! Thanks!

  2. 0
    0

    My Prediction:
    1) USA
    2) Australia
    3) France
    …I don’t think I’m alone.

  3. Rob says:
    0
    0

    And the Aussies say we’re arrogant! Haha.
    ^Fares I’m putting my money on USA too.

    • Gold Medal Mel Stewart says:
      0
      0

      ROB…. Matt’s a good guy…very sober about this summer. Off-camera, he said he felt Team USA was the favorite for many reasons; deep talent pool, history of strong performances at Worlds & Olympic competition. More than anything else, Matt felt he couldn’t really judge who was the true favorite until after US Olympic Trials…. I’ll try to get a follow up interview with him after we know who’s on the US 4×100.

    • Chris Clarke says:
      0
      0

      I did not pick up any arrogance from this interview at all? In fact he credited his US coaches for mentoring him into the person he is (Marsh and Quick). I look at that as a compliment to the US. Also Brett Hawke is an Aussie imparting his experience to US swimmers. In the end swimming and spectators get to see more exciting performances in the pool no matter where swimmers are from. My fiver is on the Aussies for the win due to depth and the fact that their guys are tapering specifically for the Olympics and not for trials a few weeks before the Olympics.

      I think USA Swimming needs to take a look at timing of the trials. As a side note with Clary in the mix for both IM’s I don’t think Lochte can mess around with not tapering for the trials. If Clary does a full taper and Lochte (notoriously slower in season) does not he may have his hands full!! Same holds for the 400IM since my other fiver is one Phelps going for the 400IM at trials. It will be a travesty for the 3rd US guy in those events since all three will be candidates for the final at the Olympics and possible podium shots too! Amazing.

      • aswimfan says:
        0
        0

        Me too. I didn’t detect any arrogance at all.
        In fact, Targett is still staying close with his former team mates: Cielo, Bosquet, etc.

  4. john26 says:
    0
    0

    Unless something dramatic happens in the next few weeks (ie. Magnussen pops his knee), my opinion of who’s going to win at the Olympics is unlikely to change until the US trials.

    It is very nice to see that the Aussie time is not overly confident about their chances even though on paper, they currently sit almost a second faster than any other country. Both Targett and Magnussen have expressed sentiments suggesting that they see the US as the team to beat. Until the final touch, they seem to be working in that state of mind, which I think is probably what they need to do to maximize their chance of winning.

    Although a lot of us feel that the Aussies are the strong favorites right now, led by Magnussen and Roberts, the truth of the matter is that the US, with the late trials is probably going to post 100m freestyle times that are pretty close to the 3:11.5 combined times of the top 4 swimmers. In 08, they had Lezak going 47.5, Phelps going 47.9, WeberGale going 47.7 and Jones going 48.3. (Totalling about 311.6)

    My guess of what we COULD see at Trials in 2012 is Phelps going what he did in 08, Adrian going a 47.7 or so and 2 individuals going between 48.0 and 48.3. Which is essence isn’t going to be too far off of what they did in 08.

    Of course the US media is going to build the hype as the Aussies going in as “huge” favorites (which in actuality is probably going to be less than 0.5). The scenario I’m watching for is if the times are significantly slower than the times i mentioned in the previous paragraph, where given the quick turn around to the Olympics, probably puts them at a huge uphill battle against Australia.

    My reasons for thinking Australia is the favorite is because they have so much time (since March) to further improve. This doesn’t necessarily always lead to faster times, but we are working with with reliable swimmers, among whom I expect at least 3/4 of members to improve. I honestly believe the deciding leg in the entire relay is going to be James Roberts. His taper and experience has a huge question mark, but I think he has the sort of potential that could put the gold medal beyond the US’ reach, baring “disaster”.

    • DDias says:
      0
      0

      john26,
      i am with you.Aussie team is the clear favorite, but all depends of everyone bringing all together AT THE SAME TIME.
      Just one guy underperform and BOOM!I dont know how good some of US young guys are in relays.There is always someone delivering an absurd time out of nowhere comparing with individual leg.

    • Gold Medal Mel Stewart says:
      0
      0

      JOHN26, having OTs early in the year is a huge advantage for the Aussies! I do not understand why the US has them right before the OGs. My cynical side goes to the obvious answer that there must be some kind of financial advantage (though I don’t see how as having “official” Olympians for a longer period of time in an Olympic year would seem to be more profitable). Can anyone answer this for me? There could be a very simple answer.

      Also — I think the Aussies have another big advantage being that their highest priority is the 4×100 relay. They will hang much of their success as an Olympic squad on a 4×100 win and Maggie’s potential win and WR in the 100 free… HOWEVER, 50% of the US 4×100, Phelps & Lochte (if Lochte is the go-to like many of us believe), are focused across 6-7 other events… There is a lot to be said about focusing in a few areas, applying as much pressure there as possibe. The Aussies are the favorites, even if Team USA posts two 47+s at Trials in Omaha in the 100 free final.

      • Chris says:
        0
        0

        I think the primary motivation for having a late trials is to have the best team at the time. For the 2007 and 2011 Worlds, the team was chosen well in advance to let the chosen swimmers have at least another training cycle. In 2007, the US had a great meet and everybody liked it; in 2011, the improvement of young swimmers like Franklin and Pelton (and decline of some other swimmers) in certain events led to someone at the top saying “we’ll never do this again”. Imagine if we had our trials this past March: young/college swimmers like Feigen, Schmitt, Messerschmidt, Lia Neal, LaTourette, Beisel, and Leverenz probably wouldn’t be as fast as they will be this June because of scy commitments and rate of improvement. In particular, swimmers who could be the difference between a relay medal and a relay win (Feigen and Schmitt) would certainly not have been at that level in March. On the other end of the spectrum, if a guy like Walters made the team in the 100/200 free, will he still be at that level after breaking his hand? There’s also some other factors as you mentioned: a summer trials fits with the Olympic hype buildup better (and doesn’t conflict with other sports), and this is the way it’s always been done (“you don’t mess with something that works”).

  5. DDU says:
    0
    0

    Aussie can break world record 400m free relay with Magnussen “missle”

    • aswimfan says:
      0
      0

      It is highly unlikely that the men 4×100 WR will be broken in London. Not gonna happen.

      • Gold Medal Mel Stewart says:
        0
        0

        I think there’s a shot… ASWIMFAN, I say they will. I’ll take that position. Let’s regroup after Trials on this and after the OGs to see who’s right…

      • john26 says:
        0
        0

        To be under the WR, the Aussies need to swim the following splits:
        Magnussen: 46.7
        Robert 46.9
        Sullivan: 47.3
        Targett 47.3

        Which, to be perfectly honest, is not outside the realm of the possibility. It’s insane to think how much of a better team they have than last year. Even the older guys seem to be swimming better and there is definitely less of a question mark over their consistency (I’m talking about Sullivan’s frail body here). Without a doubt, this is the most powerhouse 4x100free relay in recent memory

        Ofcourse those splits could be adjusted.. add 0.1 to this guy, minus 0.1 from that guy.

        I dont think they’ll break this WR, they would more or less need a perfect race where Magnussen goes out, smashes the WR, and each guys goes out swims they own race in absolutely open water. I think, though, that if they swim well they could be within a second, if not 0.5 of the WR

        • Gold Medal Mel Stewart says:
          0
          0

          Hard to argue with your reasoning. 1 second or .5 from it? Got it. I’ll take the WR position at the OGs, knowing that US OTs is still a question mark…. the story evolves

        • aswimfan says:
          0
          0

          I sort of agree with you. I think the winners of the men 4×100 free in London will be around one second of the WR.

  6. Jean Michel says:
    0
    0

    With a great Jimmy Feigen or a Ricky Berens on fire , all is possible here ! I predict a special new Us relay to be born , just to challenge the Aussies to their limits .

    • Gold Medal Mel Stewart says:
      0
      0

      After Feigen’s 48 at the Austin Elite Invite, he could be 47+ with a good taper. Eddie Reese trains his men a little harder during the season than most coaches. Feigen should taper well. That would be a star-making swim for him….and Eddie’s been saying Feigen’s going to be a superstar for a long time. Omaha may be his moment.

      • Chris Clarke says:
        0
        0

        I definitely see both of these guys in the mix for the top 6. The problem is that the guys that make spots 4-6 will be fully tapering for the US trials and will have to be at their bests to make just to make it. The question is can they hold that through the Olympics and perform at the same “best time” level again (or better) a few weeks later? I think adrenalin will take you so far but the Brazilians and Aussies will be full of adrenaline too! Folks are talking about pressure on the Missile but on the 4×100 relay the real pressure will be on the 3rd and 4th swimmers for the US.

        • Gold Medal Mel Stewart says:
          0
          0

          Chris Clark….great point. Feigen (college swimmers/a lot of younger swimmers) will have 3 tapers, maybe even 4 tapers this year; conference, NCAAs, OTs and the OGs…if they make it. That’s a lot of up and down training.

          • Kirt says:
            0
            0

            I hope for Feigen’s sake that he wasn’t tapered for NCAAs, because his times were thoroughly unimpressive.

  7. Jean Michel says:
    0
    0

    Exactly Mel , with a tapered Feigen , Berens , Adrian + Phelps and maybe Lochte …Us has a potential great 400 free relay . I beleive they can do something special again . With the olympic head coach of that quality , something great will be tuned up . Maybe a dave walters will show up in good shape as well , after he recovers from his injury . wishfull thinking all the way …

  8. craftysquire says:
    0
    0

    We should probably worry about the French as well here. They will have three guys that can go 48.0 on a flat start and we currently just have 2 (Adrian and Phelps). The french and Russians could surprise us and keep us off the podium altogether.
    If James Roberts 47.63 was not a fluke then only a big mistake by the Aussies will prevent them from getting the Gold. Magnussen went 47 flat and he was not 100%! Lets be a bit realistic folks.

    • aswimfan says:
      0
      0

      I agree, we must not forget about the french.

      Last year they were only 0.14 seconds behind the Aussies, and that was with Bernard swimming 48.75!!
      Had they swum Agnel instead of Bernard, they would have won it.
      and now Agnel is even a lot faster than last year.

      Unlike the previous years, I feel this time the french is actually underrated.

      • Gold Medal Mel Stewart says:
        0
        0

        …I’ve heard from a several elite US swimmers and coaches that they are eyeballing the French team as well. They certainly have a lot to prove after Lezak’s peformance in 08.

      • john26 says:
        0
        0

        This may not be a popular opinion, but I think Yannick Agnel may be better than Nathan Adrian this summer. I say this in light of his recent performance in Canet- 49.0//145.2.

        He was a full second off his best in the 100free, yet only 0.8 off in the 200free. Obviously the world doesn’t work perfectly, but it is difficult to see Agnel not being AT LEAST a full second better than 145.2 when he is fully tapered. What this suggests to me is that Agnel has improved his second half speed as the (48.0/<144.2) combination is faster than the (48.0, 144.4) he showed at French Nationals. Based on this, I think its quite possible that Agnel is going to continue dropping time in the 100m, and probably not just marginal improvements. As for the 200m, if someone is going to beat Phelps, its going to be Agnel, not Lochte.

        What does this mean?
        In the grand scheme of the relay, I think it means that if Agnel, Gilot, and some combination of Meynard, Leveaux, Stravius show up on form. We are looking at 4 guys who can each put up at least 48.0 flat starts and 47low splits. If you consider the French relay from last year, if you substitute this year's Agnel for last year's Bernard, we are already looking at a time that is 310.low.

        The US would be _foolish_ to write them off for a minute, simply based on their potential, that said, for the Australians it would mean that if they slip up, they might not just be losing to the Americans, but the French as well.

        As for the Russias, was anyone else very surprised by how fast everyone was? 3 guys 48.2, and a 48.4? They have definitely improved a lot from last year, but I feel that I dont know enough about their taper, or their taper isnt consistent enough for me to choose them for a medal (I'm looking at Izotov here, though Lobintsev has been pretty consistent in dropping time).

  9. Gold Medal Mel Stewart says:
    0
    0

    …something to consider. A lot of Olympic first-timers pop, emotionally, from the pressure. Maggie Missle has an enormous amount of pressure for a first go at the biggest competition in swimming. Will he pop? What are the chances?

    • Kirt says:
      0
      0

      Less likely for Magnussen to capitulate than, say Feigen. Or even Berens, since US 800 relays have never been in doubt.

    • aswimfan says:
      0
      0

      You should see how calm and relaxed Magnussen and how calculatingly deliberate he was in slowing down taking off his tracksuits (as he was the last person to be called in) was during the introduction to the start of the men 100 free final in Shanghai. By then, he was already the absolute favorite to win it.

      Personality wise, I think Magnussen is even more balanced and stronger to withstand pressure than Thorpe, who had to withstand pressure unlike any other swimmer has ever been in Sydney 2000.

      But we’ll see in London.

  10. Irish swimmer says:
    0
    0

    I realise that anything can happen at the Olympics but consider some raw stats. He is 0.5 seconds ahead of his closest rival (James roberts) and he’s been racing (and beating) this guy since he was 12. His next closest rival is over a second behind which in 100metres is an eternity. He has also opted to remove himself from the media which is genius on his part. I don’t merely think he won’t choke I think he will break the wr and make the biggest winning margin ever seen in the 100m freestyle.

  11. Swimoz says:
    0
    0

    Saw Magnussen swim at Olympic trials, when asked what others should think about his swim – he said “brace yourselves”

Leave a Reply

Name will be published. Email address will not. By commenting you agree to our Terms of Use & Privacy Policy.

About Gold Medal Mel Stewart

Gold Medal Mel Stewart

MEL STEWART Jr., aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. Mel's best event was the 200 butterfly. He is a former World, American, and NCAA Record holder in the 200 butterfly.As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, …

Read More »