Michael Andrew: 5 Races For Wednesday Finals at FINA Junior Worlds?

5th FINA World Junior Swimming Championships 2015

It’s only Day 2 of 2015 FINA World Junior Championships in Singapore and already USA’s Michael Andrew is facing a grueling schedule. Entered in a total of eight individual events (50m free, 50m back, 100m back, 50m breast, 100m breast, 50m fly, 100m fly, and 200m IM), he finds himself competing in all four of the most difficult, over a period of 2 hours and 6 minutes, on Wednesday night.

Wednesday, August 26, Final Session MA Schedule
Men’s 100m Backstroke Final Lane 3
Women’s 200m Butterfly Final
Men’s 200m Freestyle Final
Women’s 50m Breaststroke Final
Men’s 100m Butterfly Semi-Final Heat 1, Lane 3
Women’s 100m Freestyle Semi-Final
Men’s 100m Breaststroke Final Lane 5
Women’s 100m Backstroke Final
Men’s 200m Medley Final Lane 4
Women’s 800m Freestyle Final
Mixed 4x100m Medley Final ?


While Andrew’s training method lends itself to consistency from prelims to finals, and from day to day throughout a meet, he has never been put to the test quite like this before. Andrew will be trying to win gold medals in the 100 back (where he is seeded third), 100 breast (seeded second), and 200 IM (seeded first). In between he has a tough 100 fly semi-final, in which he qualified sixth, .71 behind top seeded Daniil Pakhomov of Russia, and .62 away from the dreaded ninth place.

Andrew is the favorite in the 200 IM, having qualified first with a margin of .64 with the only sub-2:00 swim out of prelims. He came within .42 of the meet record this morning, and within .02 of the U.S. National Age Group Record. Yet this will be his fourth event tonight. He will have very little wiggle room with the 2:00.50 qualifying time put up by Australia’s Clyde Lewis in heats. Spain’s Hugo Gonzalez wasn’t all that far behind with his 2:01.88, as well.

The likelihood of the mixed medley relay being his fifth event will depend on Andrew’s ability to recover after each of his previous races. While it is true that Team USA has a deep bench, it is still within the realm of possibility that the coaching staff call up Andrew for a leg in the final.

With or without the medley relay, Michael Andrew has a challenging evening ahead.

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CT Swim Fan
6 years ago

It didn’t work out at all. Next time they need to use some common sense with his schedule.

Reply to  CT Swim Fan
6 years ago

Tough with that 200 IM last. Though kind of a Catch-22, if it were first he might have won that but that’s the most taxing race out of the ones he did, so it may have hurt later events even more. Who knows.

Rick Mears
Reply to  CT Swim Fan
6 years ago

It wasn’t a good night results wise, but I applaud him for trying it and it’s better to find that out here than at trials. If they want to continue with a multi-event schedule like this they now know that something needs to change with the training and that maybe 2 races per session is more realistic.

6 years ago

showing off that USRPT ‘stamina’

Reply to  Durham
6 years ago

How many people on earth could split within .5 of their best 100 breast time after a 100 back, 100 fly, 100 breast, and a 200 IM?

Reply to  xenon
6 years ago

Did he medal with that split? No. So it doesn’t matter.

Reply to  Pvdh
6 years ago

Second place doesn’t get a medal anymore?

6 years ago

Seems like he maybe needs to have a little more respect for the Level of competition he is at. Whilst some might argue it was brave, it my opinion having a smaller focus might have won him a medal or two. Not even the G.O.A.T would have attempted this sort of scheduale as a Junior and he was from a program that focused on aerobic capacity as base work.

Reply to  AUSRPT
6 years ago

His fathers eyes were full of medals, but his self fulfilling ‘Ultra Short’ prophecy has failed…

6 years ago

Hard to justify putting him on the relay from the coaches’ perspective. He was the second American male in each stroke: why not use Whitley or Hoffer for the relay?
1:01.0 was a great split, but can’t figure out why they went with him.

Reply to  floppy
6 years ago

Well.. they had to give him a medal… he should thank the team for at least avoid him being zero medals after so many finals.

Probably his only Olympic event medal will be the medley relay.. no individual olympic event medal here..

6 years ago

I was in San Antonio and saw him swim all of the events @ Jr. nationals — he was very impressive. And BTW, isn’t he like 16 years old?

If so, where is the COACHING that puts a brake on the enthusiasm of a great, young swimmer and says, NO, you need more rest.

If your father is your coach, I guess that becomes more difficult, if not impossible.

RE: USRPT – I don’t have a good familiarity with the program, which what Michael DID do in Singapore was still very impressive.

OK — the stamina thing probably has a 25% validity ranking here, but great swimmers had to deal with crappy turn around times — better for… Read more »

6 years ago

I think MAs performance here, some good, some bad, will be a motivator for his team to make him more successful. He is only 16 and will learn a lot for the future from this..

Also, he still has all the 50s, which could have some GOLD in there.

Good Luck Team Indy! It’s inspiring that you are stepping out of the box.

6 years ago

It is funny to see how quick everybody jumps all over USRPT and his Dad, and his training. It is typical of the naysayers, the followers to wait for the moment something does not go quite perfect and pretend to know it all. Imagine how strong that family unit is to withstand all the negativity and be brave enough to stand up to all this nonsense and continue to do their thing. If people spent as much time thinking about themselves as they worrying about MA they might actually have a swimmer at these World’s.
We need to applaud people who try something different, the world is made by people doing something different. If nobody stood up and challenged… Read more »

M Palota
Reply to  OutofBox
6 years ago

The issue for me is USRPT, it’s the US Team’s and his own coach/father’s coaching decisions.

I think they were exceptionally naive about the level of competition at this meet. This isn’t a top-end US-only age group meet. These kids are the best of the best for their ages from around the world. It borders on insulting for them to believe he – Michael – could swim a schedule like the one he did against the caliber of athletes present at this meet.

For the record, I think that in the context of his schedule, his results were exceptional. I also think, though, that focusing on, for example, his 200 IM and maybe one other event today would have… Read more »

Reply to  M Palota
6 years ago

Agreed.. I won´t mention him as guilty but probably his father, some fans, some money digger companies/people and some guys at federations who wants to promove themselves at the cost of any swimmer probably wanted to sell him as the unbeatable guy and much better than anyone, maybe he was naive enough to believe in that, maybe he did not have a choice.

He is racing against top level swimmers many of them who can already contend for Adult teams with good results, Chalmers, Ribeiro, Chupkov. Pakhomov, Brandonn, Rooney among others, all of them who are specialists on their races (And counting that guys like Li Zhuhao bypassed the meet) and should know what is the actual competition level.. Probably… Read more »

6 years ago

Full disclosure:

I am not a fan of USRP as a sole method of training, but certainly utilized something close to it in phases of my season plans. IMO – if you are not incorporating race pace training into your plan, then you are not preparing for racing; however, it must be in moderation and after the aerobic base has been established. Many of my athletes and ast coaches categorized me as “old school”.

Saying all of that, I think it is too early to throw Michael’s training philosophies under the bus. Time will tell, and up to this point he has had more success than most 16 year olds – correct?

I cannot speak to the motivation behind the… Read more »

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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