Michael Phelps Drops 200 Free From Olympic Schedule

  157 Braden Keith | July 02nd, 2012 | Featured, London 2012 Olympics, National, News

Michael Phelps has scratched the 200 free from his Olympic schedule, his coach Bob Bowman reported via Twitter today.

“MichaelPhelps will be removing the individual 200 freestyle from his Olympic program. This will give him a full slate of 7 events.”

The move is a stunning one, after he won the individual men’s 200 freestyle event at the Olympic Trials that wrap up today in Omaha. His final time of 1:45.77, just bettering Ryan Lochte, was probably his most disappointing of the week, where he not only missed a World leader, he didn’t even go a season-best time.

Bowman explained the decision further that “This change will allow him to focus more energy on relays for Team USA.”

That means Ricky Berens is the new entry in the race for Team USA when they travel to London. For Berens, a self-described “relay-swimmer,” that would be his third swim and only his first individual race in two Olympic appearances. Berens is unlikely to medal, while Phelps would’ve been a strong favorite to end up on the podium somewhere.

With this move, Lochte and Frenchman Yannick Agnel will be the two favorites in the men’s 200 free; Lochte is the defending World Champion, and Agnel has looked spectacular this morning after switching his focus from the 400 free to the shorter 100-200 schedule this season.

Based on Bob Bowman’s assertion that Phelps will still swim 7 events, we can expect that means that he’s been assured a place on the 400 free relay (though he didn’t swim the 100 free individually) and the 800 free relay, even with the scratch.

This was probably the shakiest of Phelps’ potential 5 individual medals going into the Olympics, and should really strengthen his run to hold off Lochte in the 200 IM and possibly catch his rival in the 400 IM.

We’ve heard a common question about whether or not this bumps Davis Tarwater onto the team after he finished 7th (usually 6 are taken). Shortly after Phelps’ announcement, it was revealed that Tarwater would be added to the team.

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157 Comments on "Michael Phelps Drops 200 Free From Olympic Schedule"


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CraftySquire
3 years 10 months ago

Smart move. There was a very good chance he woulda failed to.make the.podium in that event.

aswimfan
3 years 10 months ago

I agree.

very smart move.

Also, 200 free does not give him the chance to three-peat.

Keith
3 years 10 months ago

I agree that if he was to drop one this was it. It falls on a good place in the schedule for him to not have an individual event. Plus it still gives him the opportunity to 3-peat in four individual races.

Liliana
3 years 10 months ago

It should have been 400 IM…

Reed
3 years 10 months ago

Second.

aswimfan
3 years 10 months ago

No way Phelps is ditching 400 IM.

I’ve been saying this all along since last year when the London schedule is published.

Bob Bowman is interested in the “last symphony”

while Phelps is interested in records and his place in history. 200 free does not really add to that, while it could potentially leave him without a medal, so Bowman and Phelps make the best decision.

Phelps want to THREE PEAT.

100/200 fly and 200/400 IM will give him that.

And yet when I said this, I was attacked by Phelps mililitant fans.

aswimfan
3 years 10 months ago

This decision not to swim 200 free also proved that I was correct when I got into huge debate with a couple posters here when they claimed that Phelps was “coasting”, “dogging”, and “gamesmanships” in the 200 free final.

Phelps will NOT swim an event if he’s pretty much sure he won’t win it, and based on the final (when he gave it all and yet only recorded 1:45high) it just seems Phelps knows that he won’t win 200 free in London.

junker23
3 years 10 months ago

He’s basically a lock for a medal in that event, though. He could easily end up 5th in the 200 Free. In terms of a total medal count (which is what I think he’s going for now) it makes more sense to swim the 400 IM over the 200 Free.

bobo gigi
3 years 10 months ago

It’s one of the smartest decisions of all time. I say for many months now that Michael Phelps couldn’t swim all these events without a risk for his 100 fly. It’s a good news for Ricky Berens who has never swum on individual in a big competition and it’s also a good news for the american men’s 4X100 free relay. You will have a fresh Michael Phelps at the start. Now I hope Missy Franklin will take the same decision.

milly
3 years 10 months ago

“one of the smartest decisions of all time”? i can think of a number of smarter decisions in the history of mankind. for example, the decision to invent the crunchwrap supreme. mmmm.

FREEBEE
3 years 10 months ago

just let it ride–gotta luv BOBO GIGI’s enthusiasm

Craig H
3 years 10 months ago

Perhaps, he did not mentioned it, but Bobo Gigi is French. As a frenchman, there is much enthusiasm. Hyperbole is a way of life.

bobo gigi
3 years 10 months ago

I’m happy because I repeat for many months now that Michael couldn’t have 8 events to swim and many people thought I was wrong. Michael is older and has to make choices.
Missy has to make the same thing now to focus on the 100 back. I repeat that very often. My lobbying will pay off. She has a great coach who will take the smartest decision.

Mitch
3 years 10 months ago

The 200 back won’t be close.

aswimfan
3 years 10 months ago

Bobo Gigi,

and you also want Phelps to ditch 400 IM. It didn’t happen.

Hopeful
3 years 10 months ago

Wasn’t Kara Lynn Joyce named to the last team after a 7th place finish in the 100 free when Dara Torres dropped the individual? Hope Tarwater makes it…

completelyconquered
3 years 10 months ago

I like it. He is gonna bust it big time when he leads off that 800 free relay.

Jean Michel
3 years 10 months ago

He will be stronger for the relays ! no doutb about it ! It shows how much he loves the <usa to medal on the 400 free relay ! thanks Michael , great move .

Joyce
3 years 10 months ago

What the hell. 🙁

Eric
3 years 10 months ago

He is a guaranteed silver in the 4 im even if lochte beats him. The same can’t be said for the 2 free, so it’s a smart drop.

gosharks
3 years 10 months ago

This is a brilliant decision. This is the only one of Phelps’s individual events in which he would not be able to become a three-time Olympic Champion by winning. It also allows him to be fresh for the 4×100 free relay where (unfortunately) a medal is hinging on his amazing performance. He could also lead off the 800 free relay in a world best time (maybe). He (or Bowman) also recognizes the incredible international talent in this event that now Lochte has to deal with on his own.

I believe that Kara Lynn Joyce, after finishing 7th in the 100 free in 2008, was named as a relay alternate after Dara Torres (1st place) dropped the individual event.

aswimfan
3 years 10 months ago

Goshark,

I totally agree.

this news proved what I said all along that Phelps is very much interested in records and his place in history.

bobo gigi
3 years 10 months ago

Yes I wanted he drops the 400 IM and the 200 free to focus on 3 events on individual and on the 3 relays. He drops the 200 free and I’m happy about that decision. And I agree. Michael wants to make history in the 400 IM. But after what I’ve seen in Omaha it will be very tough to beat Ryan Lochte. But Michael is a genius so we’ll see.

3 years 10 months ago

They’re traveling to Beijing?

Liliana
3 years 10 months ago

Nick Thoman thinks Davis Tarwater is in. We really need info about this.

Daaaave
3 years 10 months ago

Is there a rule or otherwise compelling reason *not* to bring Tarwater even if at most he’s a morning relay swimmer (if that, depending on the next few weeks)? If it were simply a coaching staff decision, wouldn’t they bring him? I can’t imagine budget is a decision driver for one additional athlete at this point.

Liliana
3 years 10 months ago

As far as I know, Phelps stays in the 4×200 free relay, so there’s no room for Tarwater. USA still have 6 swimmers for the relay, they don’t need 7th swimmer, basically.

aswimfan
3 years 10 months ago

Even if Phelps swim 4×200 free, by rules, Tarwater is in.

shiki
3 years 10 months ago

On that day, Berens will compete 200free, Grevers will compete 100back. So the relay members are: Phelps-Jones-Feigen-Adrian???

Ole 99
3 years 10 months ago

This is actually not all that shocking. Dropping the 200 Free has everything to do with “Michaels goals”. Phelps was clearly not going to be able to repeat the 8 gold medal performance of 2008 (the reality of the 4 x 100 Free relay alone would end that quest). Look at what events Michael is swimming: 400 IM; 200 IM; 200 Fly; 100 Fly; 4 x 100 MR; 4 x 200 FR; and 4 x 100 FR. All of those events, save the 4 x 100 FR, Phelps has won the last two olympics. As was made clear when he swam the 400 IM at trials, Phelp’s goal is to be the first man to win the same event in three olympics. If Phelps can not beat Lochte in the 400 IM, then Kitajima will most likely get that honor. Kitajima stands a fair chance of laying claim to winning the 100 and 200 Breast in three olympics. Phelps clearly wants to surpass that total.

aswimfan
3 years 10 months ago

Ole,

Yes this is what I’ve been saying since last year.

But I was attacked and ridiculed, not only here but in other swimming sites

Karen_Mizzou
3 years 10 months ago

David Marsh, Davis’s coach at SwimMAC, just tweeted that Davis is officially a part of the Olympic team.

USSwimFan
3 years 10 months ago

Tarwater would be a great addition. With Ricky having to swim the individual 200 free why have him swim an AM prelim swim in the 4×200. Let Dwyer, McLean, Houchin and Tarwater swim it…whoever emerges with the fastest split, can then swim with a fresh Phelps, Lochte and Berens.

Daaaave
3 years 10 months ago

TARWATER IS IN!!!

Liliana
3 years 10 months ago

OMG seriously?! 😀

don
3 years 10 months ago

So does that mean they will go to the 8th place if Schmidt and franklin drop the 2 free’s as Garrett thinks might happen/

Craig H
3 years 10 months ago

Why the hell would Schmidt drop the 200 free?!

don
3 years 10 months ago

My bad, I meant Volmer..

This was Garrett’s scenario:

The rest of this final wasn’t nearly as good as Schmitt’s swim; the runner-up was Missy Franklin to grab her second individual swim as well, but much slower than expected in 1:56.79. Dana Vollmer was 3rd in 1:57.47.

Here’s the interesting scenario: I don’t think that either one of those, based on these results, will swim this race individually in London. I can see a scenario where both scratch to focus on the relays and their other individual events; and in fact I think it’s likely.

That would leave Virginia’s Lauren Perdue as the second American entry for the 200 free at the Olympics. That would be absolutely absurd, coming off of back surgery in the spring, and could become one of the amazing stories of this American Olympic Team – along similar lines as Breeja Larson in that 100 breaststroke.

Wirotomo
3 years 10 months ago

it might be. But subject to rule of “maximum 12 relay-only swimmers” that permitted by FINA for country that have 6 relay attendances in Olympics like USA.

Dan
3 years 10 months ago

Look at the schedule for London. 400IM is first (July 28), and Phelps has to race 800M in 24 hours. By skipping 200 free, he has zero races before the 4×100 relay finals July 29. The US needs every tenth of a second in that relay and Phelps will be at his best. He also can exert maximum effort on the 400 IM – which will be required to beat Lochte and be the first man to win three consecutive golds (before Kitajima has a chance). Very smart scheduling. Lochte will swim two 400 IM races and two 200 free races over the first two days. He shouldn’t swim the 4×100 (just in case anyone thought he should).

3 years 10 months ago

Not surprised. Look at the 400 free relay. With all the guys making the team individually, they didn’t NEED Lezak, but he is going. They could basically swim two different relays for the 4 x 100 andnose the 4 x 200. It keeps the A’s as fresh as possible. Everybody wins, literally.

don
3 years 10 months ago

Not the same thing. They always takes 6 for relays, have they ever gone 7?

3 years 10 months ago

If Phelps is scratched for the 200 free and not being taken for it, making it 6 with Tarwater. They don’t need to take Lezak like they don’t need to take Tarwater, but they are taking 6.

3 years 10 months ago

they took seven in 2008: adrian, grevers, wildman-tobriner, phelps,jones, weber-gale, and lezak.

Wirotomo
3 years 10 months ago

Australia had 2 different teams (in preliminary and in final) on female 800m relay in 2008 Olympics, they got gold. As long as you got “depth” it didn’t matter how many person you choose to swim.
But again you can only have 12 relay-only swimmers. so be wise. 🙂

gosharks
3 years 10 months ago

Phelps wasn’t taken to Beijing in the 4 x 100 free relay.

aswimfan
3 years 10 months ago

MIchael Lin,
Phelps only swam prelims in the 100 free, so he wasn’t taken as part of the 100 free swimmers

Neptune
3 years 10 months ago

No offence to Tarwater but kind of a cheap way to become an Olympian if this is true. The guy has had multiple chances for two trials and did not earn a place on the roster. Really good swimmer, but a lot of of really good people have been close yet still cannot call themselves Olympians.

Daaaave
3 years 10 months ago

Yeah, he should probably decline, or at least insist an asterisk be next to his name on wikipedia.

So should Lezak, since he was “close” to making the final for the 100 but didn’t “earn” it, and had to benefit from a big fave from Lochte for the chance to swim.

Neptune
3 years 10 months ago

Being bumped into the final and earning it and opposed to being in the final and flat just not gettind the spot??? The top six is the selection format for the relays. Phelps will still be on the relay so Tarwater is still 7th. Not like Berens being bumped to the ind swim!

Ole 99
3 years 10 months ago

Interestingly enough, Adrian was 9th in the semifinals of the 2008 trials. He only got in the finals, where he finished fourth, because Locthe scratched.

WHOKNOWS
3 years 10 months ago

Adrian tied for ninth place with Alex Righi with a time of 48.89. Adrian won the swim-off 49.01-49.10. He placed fourth with a time of 48.46 in the finals.

Phil
3 years 10 months ago

False. If a swimmers scratches, what does it matter when he does? If Phelps scratches the 200 *before* the final, Tarwater is on the team. What’s the difference?

Neptune
3 years 10 months ago

No. That would have meant PVK would have swam the final and could have earned the spot.

aswimfan
3 years 10 months ago

Neptune,

Your premise hinges on a lot of “ifs” and “buts”

Tarwater is in, based on the selection rules.

There’s nothing “cheap” about it.

CraftySquire
3 years 10 months ago

I agree. I would be embarrased to earn a roster spot that way.

Neptune's Daddy
3 years 10 months ago

A “cheap” way to become an Olympian? Really? Even if we overlook the fact that Tarwater owns an American record and is one of the best swimmers in the world, there is no cheap way to make the US team. This is a testament to just how deep the US team is.

Well done, Davis. What a way to end a brilliant career!

Duffy
3 years 10 months ago

What a CHEAP shot to take at one of the most dedicated, conscientious swimmers that ever put on a cap and googles. A swimer who has made numerous National Teams, been a multiple time NCAA Champion, a US National Champion and has always represented the sport in the finest possible way.

And don’t start a comment with “no offence” (sic) and then proceed to offend. I find that offensive!

There is NO CHEAP way on to the US Olympic Team!!! You have to get up on the blocks and SWIM YOUR WAY ON!!!

Neptune
3 years 10 months ago

Meaning I would feel the same way regardless of the swimmer. I am sure Davis is a great guy and hard worker, but I am sure that is the case with the huge majority of people in the meet. Not sure what that has to do with Olympic Team selection.

European
3 years 10 months ago

I wonder will Jason Lezak be swimming the heats of 400free relay in London ,he was 6th at trials but Michael had a secured spot so..?will he?

Jean Michel
3 years 10 months ago

I don’t see Lezak swimming the relay prelims ! No way ! Better put a young fresh Feigen + grevers + Berens and Adrian

Reed
3 years 10 months ago

No way does Adrian swim prelims and Lezak not swim at all. Just look at what they did 4 years ago: Phelps was pencilled in to lead off at night, so they put 3 through 6 on the AM relay and told them they were facing off for 1 spot instead of the customary 2. They all understood, swam their butts off and broke the WR in prelims. That’s what will happen this time, Lezak, Berens, Feigen and Grevers will swim the prelim, and the fastest man makes finals. They’re not going to drag people over to London and then not let them swim anything.

Ole 99
3 years 10 months ago

Adrian won’t swim the prelim. Prelim will be Grevers, Feigen, Lezak and a fourth. Berens may not swim the relay given he is now swimming the 200 Free. I think the evening will be Phelps, Jones, Feigen and Adrian. I’m not sure Grevers is the best pick to swim the evening with the 100 back semifinals two events before the relay.

Neptune
3 years 10 months ago

And Feigen has still been faster than Grevers.

Ole 99
3 years 10 months ago

True, but you really need to see where they are all at during the meet. Also some guys are just great relay swimmers. If Grevers didn’t have the 100 back right before the relay, I’d give him the nod all else being equal. He has been a great relay swimmer throughout his career. Frankly, I’m a little concerned Cullen Jones may have used up all his magic to get on the team.

Neptune
3 years 10 months ago

Great point. Agree on Jones too.

Craig H
3 years 10 months ago

Are you guys still doubting Jones even after all he’s done here? Geez, for some people it’s never enough.

Neptune
3 years 10 months ago

He may have had the best meet out of anyone. Still ok to think that certain people may have trouble repeating performances.

gosharks
3 years 10 months ago

What reason do you have to suggest that Berens would not participate in a relay that he objectively qualified for?

Ole 99
3 years 10 months ago

Berens may want to get as much rest between prelims and semifinals of the 200 Freestyle. The prelims of the 4 x 100 Free Relay are at the end of that session of prelims.

USSwimFan
3 years 10 months ago

Team USA needs all the help we can get in the 4×100. I say, let’s see where Berens is at before you dismiss him on the relay. He earned a spot to compete on 4×100 and it would be foolish to dismiss him from it just because he now has an individual 200 Free. If we want to be anywhere near the Aussies, someone will have to give us another “Lezak” swim…to dismiss Ricky from that opportunity would be wrong.

Rafael
3 years 10 months ago

in 2008 US times were actually faster than french, bousquet split was amazing there… this time a “lezak” won´t do the cut cause the aussies are about 2 seconds faster..

JackedAndTan
3 years 10 months ago

Haha, you guys are crazy speculating whether to not put Lezak on the morning prelims!! Why send him to the Olympics at all then?! You think he’s gonna go to London as a spectator??

Steven
3 years 10 months ago

This is perfectly fine for Tarwater to earn a spot like this. He is a fantastic swimmer and he put himself in as good a placing as he could have. You people need to get off your high horses and realize he didn’t choose to get in this way….saying that he should decline and have an asterisk. I’d love to see you in that position and decline a dream come true. The point is he’s worked his whole life and if he’s selected it’s pure jubilation and pride and if he gets a chance on the relay he’ll do his damn best to make sure USA is going in #1.

Daaaave
3 years 10 months ago

Um, if you couldn’t tell I was being sarcastic saying Tarwater should decline and edit his wiki page to add an asterisk I am sorry you were born without a sarcasm detector. See any of my other half-dozen posts on the topic. Exec summary:

1. Overt enthusiasm for DT
2. No rules broken
3. Given MP’s drop, benefits USA to have add’l fresh legs at night on relay

aswimfan
3 years 10 months ago

Not only no rules broken, In fact, it is according to the rules that they take DT.

drdov
3 years 10 months ago

crazy crazy decision
Who’s to say the prelim guys won’t DQ

ZYNG43
3 years 10 months ago

who’s to say the finals guys wont DQ? never know until it happens

TX Swimmer
3 years 10 months ago

Smart Decision but not the best for swimming fans.

The 200 Final was shaping up to be the race of the century with Phelps, Lochte, Agnel, Biederman and Park!!

I am pretty bob really cancelled this event to make sure MP was fully recovered for the 2IM

Ole 99
3 years 10 months ago

kind of the exact opposite of 2004, when he entered the 200 FR even though he wasn’t the favorite. Said he wanted to race the best. The 200 Free is clearly the best fielded event of the meet. As a competitor, you’d think Phelps would be dying to get in there, but apparently he just wants to maximize the number of “three peats” he can get.

junker23
3 years 10 months ago

He’s older now, can’t recover as well as ’04. He’s working more on his “legacy” than his ambition at this point.

aswimfan
3 years 10 months ago

Both Bowman and Phelps are interested in “final symphony”, records, and place in history.
200 free would not add much to that, while it could potentially be embarrassing by not medaling in the event.

They are both very much interested in the three peats.

Jerry Shamu
3 years 10 months ago

What about Peter VDK for the 800 Free Relay?. Going into the meet he was 3rd fastest US and 2008 Medalist.

don
3 years 10 months ago

That was in a suit and he has not been close since then. He has been 146 range, same as berens,mclean,Houchin and dwyer.

Jean Michel
3 years 10 months ago

No way PVK on that relay !!!!! too slow …….

newswim
3 years 10 months ago

Well I was wrong about Phelps not swimming the 400 IM in London but I fully understand the reasoning. It allows a sequel to an epic duel the first day and sets up Phelps for another epic race against Magnusson as both probably lead off the 400 free relay at night. Defeating the Australian “missile”, more a wish than prediction, would certainly add to the swimming legend’s swan song.

As USA swimming fan I’m disappointed since the US will likely lose one medal in the 200 free but as a swimming fan I’m delighted because we are likely to see better races from Phelps throughout the meet.

Ole 99
3 years 10 months ago

I will be disappointed if Australia leads off their relay with Magnussen. This is the olympics not a high school meet. You put your best guy last.

aswimfan
3 years 10 months ago

Ole99,

In Australia’s last two most successful relays (sydney 2000 and Shanghai 2011),
Australia put the best sprinters first: Klim (who broke WR) in 2000 and Magnussen (who broke textile WR) in 2011.

The strategy works.

liquidassets
3 years 10 months ago

If Magnusson and Phelps both swam first, it would hardly be an epic duel as Magnusson is nearly a second faster than Phelps, though it would be interesting to see how close Phelps could get. Phelps will probably go first since he’s not as good with flying starts. Magnusson may go first, to get clear water for the subsequent legs. Sometimes they put the best first, sometimes last; depends on their strengths with flat vs. flying starts relative to the other swims on the relay, and how much faster than their competition they are expected to be.

Lisa
3 years 10 months ago

It’s not that he’s not good a flying starts he’s fine on the medley relay. He just likes a flat start and so they let him have that (cause really why wouldn’t they?)

aswimfan
3 years 10 months ago

So I was right that Phelps is more interested in threepeat.

Justin Thompson
3 years 10 months ago

I’m going on record to state awswimfan was right about Phelps. After a long year of ridicule and enduring countless taunts aswimfan can rest easy in knowing he was right! Now for the love of god please quit with the I told you so rant.

JackedAndTan
3 years 10 months ago

Probably a smart decision, but I’m super bummed about the race between him, Lochte, Angel, Biedermann and Park not happening. This is the conservative Phelps we’re seeing, instead of the one not shying from competition. Would’ve loved to see him in the backstrokes and race more short course, but I guess you can’t have it all.

With Tarwater in, should we see more giveaways? How about Clary letting Bollier into the team in the 2 fly, so he can be rested for the 2 back. Doesn’t really have a chance at medals in the fly anyway

Korn
3 years 10 months ago

Hate to say but is he scared of the competition in the 2 free?

3 years 10 months ago

Good on you Davis Tarwater. Swim fast in London and enjoy yourself, that’s pretty much what Phelps will be doing. More importantly any more news to the rumour the female olympic qualifiers got qualifiers cookies and the blokes didn’t? Horrific.

Jean Michel
3 years 10 months ago

Good point Braden ! i think same …he prefers to be able to swim the best anchor 100 relay to give Usa best chance to be at least 3d or second , or even first !!! than also comes in the line the focus to be at best for other events .

Ole 99
3 years 10 months ago

Phelps won’t anchor the relay. He will lead off so he can get an official time.

aswimfan
3 years 10 months ago

Phelps will not anchor and never has.

Phelps is not good on anchor.

junker23
3 years 10 months ago

If he’s never done it, how do we know he’s not good at it?

I’m not sure why he’s always preferred first, but I’d assume it has something to do with those splits being more useful for record purposes. (AR in Beijing in the 100 Fr, no?)

aswimfan
3 years 10 months ago

Junker23,

Other US swimmers are usually much better at flying start than Phelps by virtue of their NCAA experience. Phelps doesn’t have that experience.
It’s not about record or whatever, it is about probability what gets them fastest.

gosharks
3 years 10 months ago

Phelps went 2nd in Athens 2004 and split 48.74. Granted this was after Crocker’s infamous lead-off, but that was the last time he didn’t swim lead-off. I think he has said he prefers to start from a level playing field.

aswimfan
3 years 10 months ago

Junker23,

For absolute surety the US coaches could not care less about Phelps breaking AR in the lead off than about US swimming the fastest and winning the relay

junker23
3 years 10 months ago

It’s not like he doesn’t know how to do a relay start – he’s always third in the medley.

Jiggs
3 years 10 months ago

Sun Yang is going to tear everybody a new hole in their suit at this Olympics!!!
200/400/1500
Gold Medal Trifecta ! ! !

aswimfan
3 years 10 months ago

JIGGS,

That is quite a strong possibility actually. It will be marvelous when that happens.

Liliana
3 years 10 months ago

It’s funny how a year ago everyone was going nuts about possible Phelps-Thorpe rematch in 200 free. Today, this race looks less glamorous than ever to me. Most of medal contenders are more 400 than 200 swimmers and we have a versatile one who isn’t a true freestyler. Plus, we also have an insane rubber suit WR that won’t be broken in the recent future.

200 free, from stud to dud.

Rafael
3 years 10 months ago

Recent Future? Sun Yang may prove you wrong.. maybe now in London.. but not too far in the future..

Rafael
3 years 10 months ago

Correction: Maybe NOT now in London..

Liliana
3 years 10 months ago

Well, if he drops 1500 and starts training for shorter events only, he might.

Rafael
3 years 10 months ago

based on his last 100 and more his last 50 from 1500.. he does not need that for 200..

Ole 99
3 years 10 months ago

Maybe NBC was going nuts for a Thorpe/Phelps rematch, but I think those paying more than quadrennial attention to the sport were more excited about the fact that six guys that have been sub 1:45 in 2011 were going to competing against each other. I’d argue its still going to be the most exciting race of the meet.

aswimfan
3 years 10 months ago

Ole99,

I agree with you.

Nothing like olympics bring out people who make the most ridiculous predictions and statements.

aswimfan
3 years 10 months ago

Liliana,

the 200 free is not a dud.

Phelps was never the strongest gold medalist potential in 200 free, only his most militant fans would think that.

Also, Agnel is 100-200 free specialist, Tae-Hwan is 200-400 specialist, Biedermann is 100-200-400 free specialist (in the vein of Thorpe, but much less magnitude).

aswimfan
3 years 10 months ago

And Sun Yang closes his last 50 in any event faster than Phelps does in his second half of 100

JackedAndTan
3 years 10 months ago

“Nothing like olympics bring out people who make the most ridiculous predictions and statements.”

I’d say Tae-Hwan is as much – scratch that, much more – of a 100-200-400 specialist than Biedermann. Come to think of it, he’s the world’s premier 100-200-400-800-1500 guy. Heck, I’d even say Agnel is as good a 100-200-400 guy as Biedermann in textile, just doesn’t focus on the 400 anymore

Also, Phelps is the only guy ever to go under 1.44 without a suit. So how was he not a strong gold candidate in London?

So yeah, outrageous statements all around 😉

aswimfan
3 years 10 months ago

Phelps swam that 1:43.8 in 2007 in FS III Pro and he was at his absolute physical peak by then.
Phelps never got close to that record (even his LZR 200 free swims never compared relatively to that 1:43.8), while his competitors have been getting faster.

This is 2012, NOT 2007.

aswimfan
3 years 10 months ago

JackedandTan,

Agnel dropped the 400, how that made my comment that he is now 100-200 specialist incorrect?
In fact, he is now much more dangerous in 200 free, and i predicted him to win 200 free right after I heard the news that he dropped 400, and I predicted him to be Magnussen’s greatest rival in 100 in the coming years.

aswimfan
3 years 10 months ago

Also,

How can you say that Tae-Hwan is much more a 100-200-400 specialist than Biedermann, andf then in your next phrase you said Hwan as the world’s premier 100-200-400-1,500?
So which one is he?

Also, you know that Biedermann’s 100 free PB is actually faster than Hwan’s, or do you not know that? While their 200 free PB is roughly the same (1:44.8)?

aswimfan
3 years 10 months ago

So how can you say that Tae-Hwan is a much more 100-200-400 specialist than Biedermann when Biedermann’s 100 PB (48.6) is fater than Tae-Hwan’s (48.8), and Biedermann holds both 200-400 WR (albeit in rubber-suits), AND Biedermann only swims 100-200-400 while Tae-Hwan also swims 1,500?

yeah, outrageous statements all around.

And I still maintain “nothing like olympics….”
🙂

aswimfan
3 years 10 months ago

Also, phelps has said this on record:

He will not swim an event if he is not confident he can win it.

ZYNG43
3 years 10 months ago

Sun Yang is such a champ

Rafael
3 years 10 months ago

Sun yang closed his race (after LONG 1450 meters) with a amazing 25.95, he is a guy that could keep all his splits around 25 mid high if needed.. and maybe faster if he wants the WR.. he can triple those WR..

aswimfan
3 years 10 months ago

The key for Sun Yang is to be aggressive and attack the 200 free from the start.
He usually left it at the last 50 to make a charge.
Totally can’t afford to do that in 200, and with Tae-Hwan in 400, he can’t afford to do that in 400 either (witness Shanghai).

REAL
3 years 10 months ago

Park swam a 14.47 over 1500m at an in-season meet in Sydney in Feburary this year, closing in 25.9. He’s got it all. Be wary of him in the 1500 if he chooses to do it. He’s my favourite going into the 400m, Sun has never beat him head-to-head in that event

john26
3 years 10 months ago

Honestly, from what we’ve seen, Phelps definitely stands a much better chance of winning the 200free than winning the 400IM. At trials, Lochte had at least a full second on him, and I really find it hard to believe he’s going to make it up.

Additionally, what I’m interested in is what if Thorpe had qualified for the Olympics and won the 200free finals at Aussie Trials with a 1:46low. In that scenario, would Phelps have dropped the 200free?

Tea
3 years 10 months ago

It’s amazing how people change over time.
In 2004, Phelps started training for the 200 free, knowing he probably wouldn’t win, but because he wanted to race the best.
In 2008, he’s said the 200 free is his second favorite race and doesn’t want to swim the 400 IM anymore. But, he drops the one that he knows he’s less likely to win.

I think the only pressure he feels is to go out perfect; to not lose anything. He’ll probably three-peat in multiple events; no one cares if the schedule lets him do it one day before someone else. If you think he cares about getting the three-peat before Kitajima, you’re grasping for a storyline.

aswimfan
3 years 10 months ago

So, Phelps is swimming 400 IM in London for fun?

Your statements above are full of contradictions.

Tea
3 years 10 months ago

No, he hates the 400 IM. He’s just swimming it because the competition is much weaker. The worst he could really do is silver in that race. Point is, this is not the young Michael Phelps hungry to prove himself. He’s just looking to pad his legacy at this point.

Lisa
3 years 10 months ago

why does he need to torture himself with 8 events when he has nothing to prove?

aswimfan
3 years 10 months ago

He still very much wants to be the first, records, and his place in history.

That’s why he swam 8 events in Athens and Bejing: to break Spitz record.

That’s why he is swimming 400 IM in London (even though until Shanghai he kept saying that he would NEVER swim 400 IM again, and yet changed his mind after London schedule was published): to be the first male swimmer to threepeat.

200 free in London doesn’t add anything to his legacy, and in fact it is his weakest event with strongest competition.

Kori
3 years 10 months ago

I tried to say this on SWM (not sure it’ll post there), but I’ll say essentially the same thing again here:

If he’d dropped the 400 IM, someone would have said he was afraid of losing to Lochte again (before Trials, some people apparently were already saying they didn’t expect him to have the nerve to swim it because of that anyway). And he does still stand a good chance of losing that race to Ryan, on the very first day of the meet no less, and that certainly wouldn’t be him “go[ing] out perfect”. He could have just as easily dropped that race as well.

No matter what event Michael ended up dropping for London (and let’s face it, something was going to have to go), somebody was going to have something like this to say about it, despite things in the guy’s career that show otherwise. And not just the 200 free in Athens, either…

See the 100 fly in Rome ’09 when a whole lot of people thought Michael didn’t stand a chance of winning it against Cavic. See all the battles that he had in that same race against Ian Crocker and how close his wins against him were.

Look at him deciding to swim that 400IM at trials when people thought he had no chance of beating Ryan and some even thought he wouldn’t be able to out-touch Tyler Clary for the 2nd spot…and he’s still deciding to swim it in London despite coming in second at trials. There was no hesitation in his answer when Andrea Kramer point-blank asked him if he was going to swim it in London right after he got out of the pool.

And he’ll very likely be leading off the 400 free relay against Magnussen, who everybody expects to kick everyone else’s @$$ in the pool, including Michael’s yet Mike isn’t exactly backing away from that race. And it’s not only very likely that the U.S. men won’t win that relay, there is/was a possibility of them not even making the podium.

Might as well just do his own thing and screw what anybody else has to say about it. Forget about people making up their own reasons for why they think he is or is not doing a race, no matter the reason(s) actually coming from Bob and Michael’s own mouths.

aswimfan
3 years 10 months ago

Kori,

Phelps kept saying he would NEVER again swim 400 IM after beijing, but he changed his mind after he saw London schedule published.

It has NOTHING to do with Lochte.

gosharks
3 years 10 months ago

I’m not sure that I understand why the publication of the London schedule had an affect on Phelps. Isn’t the 400 IM exactly the same?

Tea
3 years 10 months ago

Yes, he wants to three-peat, but I don’t think he or anyone will care if he can say he’s the only man to have done it for all of 24 hours.

Two women have done that: Dawn Frazer and Kristina Egerzegi. Does anyone think Frazer’s was more impressive because she did it earlier? No. And if after London the list of three-time individual event champs goes to Frazer, Egerzegi, Kitajima, Phelps, Phelps, and Phelps, no one is going to remember or care whether Kitajima’s or Phelps’ race came first in the schedule.

Straight up… Phelps (or his coach, who seems to make all his decisions for him), dropped the 200 free because it was the least likely gold.

Kori
3 years 10 months ago

Never said it had anything to do with Ryan. I actually don’t think it has much of anything to do with Lochte myself, but assertions like the one Tea mentioned about Phelps wanting to protect his legacy by not losing a race have been made since at least the summer of 2010 that I can recall. If it was truly just about wanting to have the best chance of going out “perfect”, then you’d think the race that he didn’t win this week (and wasn’t really close to winning since Ryan stopped going all out at the end whereas Michael was still in full racing mode) would be joining a race he did win in the trash bin, especially since it can only further help his cause later in the meet. Yet it isn’t.

Despite the greater international competition in the 200 free, he IS still the 2nd fastest performer in the world this year in both it and the 400IM and therefore still has the capability of winning gold in London in either one, but it’s the shorter race that’s off the menu now. And the reasons for the no-go on the 200 free given by Bob Bowman make the most common sense. That’s essentially what I was trying to say in that first long post of mine.

I do kind of agree with Tea in one aspect. I’m not completely bought on this idea of Michael doing the 400IM just to be the first male to 3-peat, especially when I read about 1) how the discussion about his London program played out (basically, there wasn’t much of one), and 2) why/how the decision was made to even go for this race at trials/Olympics according to what Bowman himself said. And I do tend to trust that Bowman says what he actually means, because he hasn’t demonstrated that he’s one to pussyfoot around…he certainly didn’t do so when expressing his frustrations in 2010. From everything I’ve read and heard, Michael puts a ton of trust in his coach when it comes to his meet scheduling. So, at this point in his career, he doesn’t strike me as the type who thinks that he must enter this grueling event just so he can be the first male to 3-peat. (In fact, the only time I recall him putting his foot down on what he wanted to swim was the 200 free over the 200 back for 2004.)

Because unless something goes absolutely horribly wrong for him, not only is he going to 3-peat regardless, he has a chance of doing it more than once, and THERE is where he has another chance to truly do something that no swimmer, whatever their gender, has ever accomplished and likely ever will. Which one looks more impressive on a resume: getting a 3-peat once along with 2 or 3 other swimmers in history, or being the first/only one who does it (at least) 3 times? The latter of which he can do even when you take the longer medley out of the equation.

It’s not an impossibility that that’s what went through his head, but I’m not going to take it like an absolute fact either. I’m not a mind reader, nor have I ever met the dude. I can only go on what I do know, and that’s restricted to his own career history and what he and (especially) his coach have said.

aswimfan
3 years 10 months ago

Then PLEASE tell me why:

Phelps said repeatedly on record that he would NEVER swim 400 IM again,

and then changed his mind after the London schedule was published, even though he could pretty much be beaten by Lochte?

aswimfan
3 years 10 months ago

No one has actually offered any opinion/insight as to why
Phelps changed his mind from the ABSOLUTE NOT swimming 400 IM to swimming it.

Kori
3 years 10 months ago

“I can only go on what I do know, and that’s restricted to his own career history and what he and (especially) his coach have said.”

And so I’ll paraphrase, to the best of my ability, what they’ve been quoted as saying in various places (including on camera): Michael was doing the 400IM for training purposes but when Bob and he saw that he was swimming good times again in Grand Prix meets, they decided to put it back into consideration. And Mike ‘officially’ decided he’d go for it at the end of March this year.

I also remember that Mark Schubert, back when he was still head of USA Swimming, was quoted (on Swimnews, I believe) saying that he and Michael had a conversation about his intentions for the longer medley right around Pan Pacs in 2010. I don’t know if Michael’s results there put the lid on that temporarily and got it consigned to training purpose-only territory, but it was being re-considered even back then.

Tea
3 years 10 months ago

So is this the relay scenario? It seems like there are a lot of people expecting a spot.

Men’s 4×100 FR
prelims:
Grevers
Berens
Feigen
Lezak

finals:
Phelps
+1 from prelims
Cullen
Adrian

…. No room for Lochte, even if he’s looking great?

Men’s 4 x 200 Fr
prelims:
Dwyer
McLean
Houchin
Tarwater

finals:
Phelps
+1 from prelims
Berens
Lochte

… No room for Vanderkaay, even if he’s looking great?

Women’s 400 FR
prelims:
Neal
Weir
Coughlin
Vollmer (yes, she finished 7th, but it’s hard to see them not giving her a spot)

finals:
Hardy
Franklin
Schmitt
+1 from prelims

Women’s 4 x 200 Fr (assuming Franklin drops individ. 200 fr, but not Vollmer – it doesn’t conflict with anything else for her)
prelims:
Perdue
Vreeland
Anderson
Romano

finals:
Franklin
+1 from prelims
Vollmer
Schmitt

aswimfan
3 years 10 months ago

I agree with your relay analyses. I think that’s what’s going to happen in London.
Except that Franklin is not dropping 200 free, and it doesn’t affect the 4×200 relay anyway.

gosharks
3 years 10 months ago

I like the relays, except Megan Romano is not on the team. If they feel confident that they want Vollmer on the 800 relay in finals only, I believe Hersey is next in line time-wise.

I think the only way that Lochte and Vanderkaay make those respective relays is if they time trial something at camp faster than ALL 4 prelims swimmers and take the remaining 4th spot in finals.

Goodsport
3 years 10 months ago

Phelps not fast enough or does he deserves to be on the 4×100 relay. He should of swam the 100 in trials and proved that he belongs there, not go on how he swam 4 years ago.

Lisa
3 years 10 months ago

his inseason swim of 48.49 still puts him in the top 4

Goodsport
3 years 10 months ago

hmmm, I was thinking more of his end of season meet right before trials, his last 100 m free, he got beat by a swimmer that finished 5th at trials.

Kori
3 years 10 months ago

Good thing he and Bob aren’t going on what he did 4 years ago then. His 48.49 in the spring of this year would have placed him 3rd at the trials in the final. He’s been proving he belongs on that relay since 2004. And, based on the times set at trials, the men need all the help they can get in London just to make the podium in 4×100 free, so it’d be suicide to leave off a guy who’s been top 2 for the U.S. in this race for the last couple of years (and top 10 internationally, sitting at #2 in 2010 and #9 in 2011), when he was in worse shape than he’ll be in during London.

Lisa
3 years 10 months ago

He’s 4 years older, he’s been saying he wouldn’t do 8 again all along…I would have preferred to see him drop the 400IM over the 200free but he may have felt the 200free was his weakest event…

Kori
3 years 10 months ago

Yeah, that men’s 200 free lost that something extra special with this decision, though I understand why they made it. Should still be a great race, but I’m not looking forward to it as much and it’s no longer a race-of-the-century candidate for me now heading into the Olympics…not without the reigning Olympic champion/former world record holder/former two-time world champion and two-time world silver medalist in it.

Lisa
3 years 10 months ago

Seems like Phelps didn’t want to do 8, and let Bob choose which one he dropped.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
Early in the week, the coach planted the idea of dropping the 200 free.

Once Phelps won his last event, the 100 butterfly Sunday night, Bowman brought it up again.

Phelps never flinched.

Seven is enough. More than enough.

“He was absolutely fine with it,” Bowman said. “He and I had discussed it early in the week. I said, ‘Just put this on your menu. We’re not going to talk about it again, but think about it.’ And then, last night, he was more perturbed that I made him sit down with his management team and myself to go over it. He sat down and said, “OK, we’re scratching the 200 free. Anything else?’ I think he was hungry or something.”

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

also: the final of the 400 free relay — a race the American’s desperately wants to win, especially since Australia is a heavy favorite.

“We respect the challenge that we’re up against,” Bowman said, breaking into a sly grin, “and perhaps we will be more ready than people think.”

Lisa
3 years 10 months ago
DDU
3 years 10 months ago

Phelps go lead-off 4x100m free relay 47.92 s,and USA finish fourth

john26
3 years 10 months ago

@ Kori & everyone else

Okay, guys, before this gets overblown. I want to address this VERY clearly.

A lot of people are now saying statements like ‘And it’s not only very likely that the U.S. men won’t win that relay, there is/was a possibility of them not even making the podium.” I fear that the result of this mentality is that if the US gets fourth in London, the response will be of “okay, that was expected, they were seeded 4rth in terms of flat starts, so it was the expected result”
On the other hand, if the Aussies gets 2nd, some response may be “oh man, 2nd! they could’ve not medaled! What an upset”.

__No__, the fact is that the US in terms of flat start is about 0.05 slower than France, and 0.2 slower than Russia. However, these decimals mean next to nothing (I also want to mention I’m not proponent of the “flat starts times mean nothing in a relay race” movement, as the 2 seconds the Aussies have is VERY significant) because relay change changeovers range from 1.0 to 1.8s credited to the relay time, so those flat start differences between the 3 countries are meaningless. What IS meaningful is that the Russians, the last 2 years, have been pretty bad on their reactions (generally 0.4s on take overs), while the US and France has been between 0.2 and 0.3, while the two latter nations also have a better track record in terms of dropping time, as well as having additional swimmers would could come to the assist.

With that said, before anyone tells you otherwise (and if anyone does otherwise in a few months), remember that the US is favored to win a medal.

To analyze beyond that, France may have a 0.05 advantage in flat start times, but had Phelps swum this race last week, the advantage would likely have been for the US. And as far as I could see, the US are heading into London as the narrow favorites for Silver over France. However, France’s form will largely depend on the return to form of either Stravius or Meynard. If either show capable of what they achieved last summer, the French relay would probably hold an advantage over the US that is similar to the difference “on paper” in 08 (about half a second).

Put either way, no matter how I look at it, it will take more than 1 individual on team AUS to tank for them to relinquish the gold medal.

aswimfan
3 years 10 months ago

I agree.

john26
3 years 10 months ago

EDIT: On the other hand, if the ***US*** gets 2nd, some response may be “oh man, 2nd! they could’ve not medaled! What an upset”.

DDU
3 years 10 months ago

@john26:USA can’t take gold medal,are you agree?

DDU
3 years 10 months ago

phelps sure he can’t win gold medalin 200m Free,and he scratched

bobo gigi
3 years 10 months ago

Breaking news! Amaury Leveaux also drops the 200 free to focus on the men’s 4X100 free relay.

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