Christian Sprenger earns another medal after finishing second in the 50 meter breaststroke. After winning the 100 breaststroke earlier this week, Sprenger has gained a lot of confidence. Today he touched second, earning the silver medal with a time of 26.78. He broke the Oceanic and Australian record with this swim. The Olympic champion in the 100 breaststroke a year ago in London, Cameron Van Der Burgh, got to the wall first with a time of 26.77. Van Der Burgh came under a lot of fire after the Olympic Games because of the use of “underwater kicks” in his breaststroke pull out. Per FINA rules, one dolphin kick is allowed in the underwater breaststroke pull out. Without the use of underwater cameras, which FINA recently voted against using in meets, it is too hard to judge the number of dolphin kicks that some elite level swimmers take. Sprenger has been very vocal against the use of extra dolphin kicks in the breaststroke pullouts.
“It will make a mockery of the stroke, It will change the race completely. It’s a bad move because breaststroke has always been based on technique, more than any other stroke, and that would change.” – Christian Sprenger
Many share Sprenger’s opinion, even though Cameron Van Der Burgh admitted to cheating, adding additional dolphin kicks on his under water pullouts. It is great that Sprenger has continued to be successful following the FINA rules. FINA officials are aware of what happened last summer, and are supposed to watch for any deviation from the FINA rules during each race. The best officials in the world are judging the meet, but the system is not perfect. There have not been any major disqualifications for underwater kicks, but a few were able to get away with it a year ago.
James Magnussen‘s 100 freestyle is another race to look forward to tomorrow. Magnussen is one of the favorites in the men’s 100 freestyle. He was off to a slower start than most expected in the 4×100 freestyle relay, swimming 48.00 on the lead-off leg, but he showed off his speed in prelims with a 47.71. His time entering the meet was the fastest time in the world in 2013.
Magnuessen’s teammate, Cameron McEvoy, also qualified for the final. Olympic Champion, Nathan Adrian should be competitive as well as Vlad Morozov and Fabian Gilot. Morozov has been having a very successful year, and Gilot split a 46.90 in the 4×100 freestyle relay. All eight swimmers entered in the final have the ability to walk away with the Gold medal, it will be very exciting to see how the race finishes.