The day 6 finals at the 2011 Pan American Games are a real mixed-bag. Some of the races are set up for very intriguing and interesting finals, while others could be more ho-hum.
The most focused-upon race will be the men’s 50 free, where Cesar Cielo put up an early-morning 22.17. In the 100 free, Cielo paces himself through the early rounds of these sub-meets masterfully, where he doesn’t need to go all-out in prelims to make the final. He cut more than a second off of his 100 free time from morning-to-evening, for example. It remains to be seen if he is able to do the same in the 50, but I think that his Meet Record of 21.84 is in serious danger.
By breaking a 48.3 in the 100, he earned himself a “big party”. If he goes a 21.3 in the 50, then his Brazilian coach will be shaving his beard. I don’t see the 21.3 coming, but one never knows.
The women’s 200 breaststroke will feature four NCAA representatives in the top 5, along with Canadian Hanna Pierse. In prelims, the top two were A&M Commit Ashley McGregor (2:29.32) and Minnesota’s defending NCAA Champion Haley Spencer (2:29.51). Joining them in medal contention will be Hanna Pierse, Alia Atkinson, and Michelle McKeehan.
There’s not much mystery left in the women’s 200 back final, where Liz Pelton took the top seed with a 2:10.66. That leaves her only a tenth behind Teresa Crippen’s meet record (.57), and makes her a big favorite for the gold. If anyone is going to catch her, it’s her future Pac-1o foe Bonnie Brandon, who was 2nd in 2:13.87 but is also capable of going sub-2:10.
The two Mexican Swimmers, Fernanda Gonazlez and Lourdes Villasenor should battle for the bronze with Canada’s Gabrielle Soucisse.
And in the men’s 100 fly, Brazil is lined-up for another gold, with the top morning swim coming from Gabriel Mangabeira in 52.95. American Chris Brady, a Michael Phelps training partner, was 2nd in 53.67. Every name into this final is a big one (Shaune Fraser, Ben Hocking, Eugene Godsoe) but none might be bigger than the 5th-place swimmer from the morning: Venezuela’s Albert Subirats. This is his first meet back after having a year-long suspension for three missed whereabouts filings repealed by the CAS. He went a 53.84 in prelims.
Click here for live video of tonight’s final, “Natacao” is Brazilian for swimming.