Ryan Lochte Handles Double Easily Through Preliminary Rounds

  33 Braden Keith | August 01st, 2012 | Featured, London 2012 Olympics, News, Previews & Recaps

Day 5’s preliminary session will see the women join the men in the first of the two individual sprint freestyle races, with the heats of the women’s 100 free kicking things off. Ryan Lochte will also move into his very difficult double, beginning with the prelims of the 200 back and ending with his 200 IM showdown with Michael Phelps that is expected to be a much better matchup than was the 400 IM.

We’ll also get to see Rebecca Soni begin chasing her first gold of the meet in the 200 breaststroke, and the women’s 400 medley relay where the Americans are big favorites.

Full results here in PDF, including splits.
Live video stream here (US only).

Women’s 100 Free – Prelims

This was a fantastic start to the women’s 100 free for the majority of the field, led by a personal best from China’s Yi Tang in 53.28: just missing a National Record. She swam a pretty fair race in terms of front-half, back-half speed, and will have a center lane headed into the semifinals.

The other middle lane will belong to Australia’s Melanie Schlanger in 53.50, which is a best time for her as well. She was followed very closely behind by the defending World co-champions Jeanette Ottesen and Aleksandra Herasimenia in 53.51 and 53.63.

The Netherlands’ Ranomi Kromowidjojo, the heavy favorite, was 5th in 53.66. She didn’t look great, but we saw much better things from her in the relay, so she can be better. The Bahamas’ Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace, an NCAA Champion and collegiate record holder, made it look like a decision to not fully taper for NCAA’s is paying off. She will be the 7th seed, winning the slowest heat, in a half-second drop of 53.72.

Britain’s Fran Halsall (54.02) and American Jessica Hardy (54.09) were the next two seeds. Most of the favorites, including Missy Franklin and Canada’s Julia Wilkinson were through safely as well in 54-lows.

Both of the Germans will move on, including the World Record holder Britta Steffen, but just barely. Her teammate Daniela Schreiber tied for 15th and last among qualifiers, but had a very interesting start. She used a 1960’s, standing start with her hands set behind her before launching them forward.

Russia’s Veronika Popova, who looked very good in the 200 free, was the biggest name not to qualify, placing four-tenths off of her 2011 best. 15-year old 100 breaststroke champ Ruta Meilutyte, came up short of her best time with a 56.33.

Men’s 200 Backstroke

The top four seeds in this men’s 200 back, all of whom were easily into the semi-finals in 1:56’s, took very different approaches to this 200 back prelim, though only China’s Fenglin Zhang seemed to have exerted much energy en route to a 1:56.71 for the 3rd seed.

Top-seeded Tyler Clary (1:56.24) went at a good clip for about 150 meters to build a big lead, but by the time he touched the final wall, he was down to nearly just a kick. Meanwhile, American Ryan Lochte (1:56.36) had a huge kickoff on the final turn, and with about 25 meters of hard swimming was able to take the 2nd seed. Ryosuke Irie (4th – 1:56.81) saved his push for the last 40 meters of the swim.

Based on what we saw, Lochte should still be in control for this gold, but he is working on a double so exerting as little energy as possible through these first two rounds will be his goal.

The 5th seed was a surprise from Hungarian Gabor Balog in 1:56.98 – a best time by a second-and-a-half. His teammate, and National Record holder, Peter Bernek is the 9th seed in 1:57.5.

Israel’s Yakov Toumarkin had a much better 200 back than 100, and safely advanced in 1:57.33. Mitch Larkin was the only Australian to move through as the 10th seed in 1:57.5. Others safely into the semi’s were Poland’s Radoslaw Kawecki and Columbia’s Omar Pinzon.

Arkady Vyatchanin fell short of the final with a 1:58.69 for 17th. This is more heartbreak for the Russian who relocated to Florida to try and refind his form; after finishing 1 spot out of the 100 back final, he’s now 1 spot out of the 200 semifinal. Also missing were both British swimmers, as well as Spain’s Aschwin Wildeboer – their only male qualifier for this swimming competition.

Women’s 200 Breast – Prelims

Perhaps in an effort to make sure that everyone knows who’s in control of this 200 breast, and quash any designs on an upset early, American Rebecca Soni swam very hard to take the top seed in 2:21.40, the best time in the world this year.

She was positioned very differently in this 200 than in the 100, having led wire-to-wire after going out in 1:08.5. She likes to lead this longer race, though, so expect that to continue.

Pulling along with her, as we so often see in these early rounds, Denmark’s Rikke Moeller-Pedersen took 2nd in 2:22.69. That lops more than half-a-second off of her own Danish Record in the race.

Satomi Suzuki was a big heat winner with a 2:23.22 for the 3rd seed overall, followed by a big jump to American Micah Lawrence in 2:24.50.

The fastest Russian was Anastasia Chaun, who infamously missed the World Championships last year after a botched doping test left her with blood clots. She’s recovered and returned to training, and performed very well with a 2:25.39 for the 5th seed. Sweden’s Joline Hostman swam easily her best time since the rubber suits went away with a 2:25.44.

Others to move on include both of the South Korean swimmers, a good boost for the expansion of swimming in their country. South Africa’s Suzaan van Biljon was 9th; in 2008, she final’ed in the 100, but after a brief retirement to focus on schooling, she now looks like she could final in this 200 instead.

Morocco’s Sara el-Bekri was 10th in 2:26.04, and the other Russian, Yuliya Efimova, struggled again to tie for 14th in 2:26.83.

The most shocking miss was China’s Sun Ye, who was just 24th in 2:27.94. There were big expectations on her in this race: she was 5th at Worlds in the 100 last year, but was replaced in that race to focus on this 200. To miss by that badly will be a disappointment for her. Her teammate Ji Liping made the same move (except that she was bronze at the World Championships) and didn’t look great either, tying for 7th.

Men’s 200 IM – Prelims

So far, Ryan Lochte has not exerted much energy in little-more-than a warmup as he cruised to a second seed in this 200 IM with a 1:58.03 heat win. He pushed a little bit on the freestyle leg, and despite a lazy cruise into the wall, looked like he may have jammed a finger on his right hand a little bit, or perhaps broken a nail. It didn’t appear to leave him in too much pain, but it was enough to warrant his closer inspection after the finish, so something to keep an ear out for headed into tonight’s finals session.

The only swimmer better was Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh in 1:57.20. Cseh was the man who finished 2nd in a heat to Michael Phelps in the prelims of the 400 IM by just a tenth, which was enough to knock him out of the final. This swim showed he had no interest in being left out again.

Japanese 17-year old Kosuke Hagino, a bronze medalist in that 400, swam very well also in 1:58.22. Michael Phelps was just out-touched by Hagino by .02, finishing as the 4th seed in 1:58.24, and Thiago Pereira was 5th in 1:58.31, with neither seeming too concerned about these morning heats.

Chad le Clos certainly didn’t look as good in this 200 IM as he did in the 200 fly, but was till 11th in 1:59.45, with a 2:00.28 from Canada’s Andrew Ford taking 16th in another slow prelims round.

A huge surprise came from Hungary’s David Verraszto. He’s certainly better in the 400 IM, but he finished 2nd-to-last in this race in 2:04.53, and was never really in this race.

Women’s 800 Free Relay – Prelims

The Australians showed off their superior depth in this women’s 800 free relay prelims with a 7:49.44 to take the top overall seed. They were led by a trio of 1:57’s, and a 1:56.99 anchor from Blair Evans. That means that some very good swimmers will be left off of the finals, but the Australians needed this internal competition to dig out the best 4th leg to finish off the finals group if they hope to repeat for gold. The prelims splits:

1. Brittany Elmslie 1:57.50
2. Angie Bainbridge 1:57.70
3. Jade Neilsen 1:57.25
4. Blair Evans 1:56.99

The Americans were looking for two swimmers this morning that would join Allison Schmitt and Missy Franklin in finals, and they’ve found at least one in Shannon Vreeland. She split a 1:57.04 on the 2nd leg, which should seal up a spot for her in the final. The other spot isn’t as obvious; Dana Vollmer would’ve been expected to take it, as the 3rd-place finisher from Trials, but she anchored in only a 1:58.31. There is a chance she was told that the spot was hers, so that she should just ensure that the Americans won their heat after being given a big lead. Both Lauren Perdue and Alyssa Anderson out-split her though.

1. Lauren Perdue – 1:58.07
2. Shannon Vreeland – 1:57.04
3. Alyssa Anderson – 1:57.33
4. Dana Vollmer – 1:58.31

The Canadian women had a great morning swim to sit 3rd in 7:50.84. They will be able to sub in Julia Wilkinson for Amanda Reason in the final if they choose, and though Wilkinson is not a great 200 freestyler, she’s been swimming very well in this meet. It took a 7:47 to medal in Shanghai, so the Canadians will be looking for a few more seconds in finals.

Those bronze medalists from last year, China, didn’t seem to have a relay as good this year as they did last year after many changes, and that showed without Yi Tang on this prelims relay. They qualified only 6th in 7:53.66

Outside of the top two, who should be gold and silver in some order, the third-place position is wide open among the finalists that include Italy, France, Great Britain and Japan. Other great splits include France’s Camille Muffat in a 1:55.5 anchor, and Federica Pellegrini’s 1:55.4 for Italy. The look of the Italian and French relays are really encouraging.

The biggest surprise finishing out of the top 8 is Hungary. That country has struggled a lot at this meet, overall.

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33 Comments on "Ryan Lochte Handles Double Easily Through Preliminary Rounds"


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DanJohnRob
4 years 26 days ago

Where is everybody this am? Olympic burnout so early in the program!?

Philip Johnson
4 years 25 days ago

haha, just a little early in the morning.

aswimfan
4 years 25 days ago

I was still at work, although in my part of the world it was 4 pm.

DanJohnRob
4 years 26 days ago

Efimova looks in danger of not progressing to the semi! I had her in my 200 breast pick, damn!

DanJohnRob
4 years 26 days ago

She just makes it in a tie for 14th, whew! I wonder if she is ill.

Shiki
4 years 26 days ago

I’m sure China will put Ye Shiwen in final. She swam 1:56.85 in April, she should swim more faster now.

Tea
4 years 25 days ago

Ye Shiwen will be very interesting to watch. Based on her IMs, her 200 free should be on par with Schmitt and Muffat, maybe faster.

don
4 years 26 days ago

Women’s splits with RT’s: Vreeland and Anderson both look the best by a half second, even allowing for reaction times.

PERDUE Lauren 0.72 27.55 57.59 1:27.83 1:58.07 1:58.07
VREELAND Shannon 0.38 27.47 57.28 1:27.28 1:57.04 3:55.11
ANDERSON Alyssa 0.46 27.57 57.29 1:27.15 1:57.33 5:52.44
VOLLMER Dana 0.38 26.77 56.23 1:27.23 1:58.31 7:50.75

Philip Johnson
4 years 26 days ago

Soni should take it easy, no need to go that fast in the heats.

Andy Dixon
4 years 25 days ago

I agree, the race is hers to lose as long as she doesn’t do anything stupid. And I feel the same about Clary too, he always seems to take Prelims a little too seriously. I really hope he’s managing his energy output well, because he’s in no way assured a podium position here. If he doesn’t kill himself in the semis tonight he has a great shot at bronze or silver tomorrow.

Philip Johnson
4 years 25 days ago

Hoping Clary gets a medal in the 200 back. he’s looking good so far.

Barb
4 years 25 days ago

You guys do a great job! Do you sleep?

4 years 25 days ago

Long story short… no.

Shiki
4 years 25 days ago

Rikke Moeller-Pedersen and Satomi Suzuki swam well.

Joel Lin
4 years 25 days ago

It should be Vreeland and Perdue joining on the relay tonite for the US. Vreeland earned it with a fastest split, and Perdue earned it twice by being top 4 at Trials and holding the line today with a 58.0 flat start morning swim. Anyone pointing to something else is full of it after yesterday…Berens was picked on for being a little off in the 200 individual, etc. But he earned it with a top 4 at Trials. Same with Perdue. The US selection meet should mean something and should hold unless one swimmer is really off…and that is not the case here.

lastonefastone
4 years 25 days ago

Vollmer just tweeted that she felt “nice and smooth” and “…can’t wait for the Finals!” I would guess that Braden’s guess re: her already having secured a spot would be correct.

Joel Lin
4 years 25 days ago

It is a coaches decision, but really what is the point to getting top 4 at Trials? And what is the point to the #3 through #6 placers at Trials swimming Trials to establish who is going to earn it if being top 4 at Trials is out as a criteria? No point apparently.

Lochte felt great going his 48.9 at Trials, and the coaches wrote a pretty liberal hall pass for him in the 4×100. Look how that worked out.

Joel Lin
4 years 25 days ago

And in addition, who coaches Vollmer? The head US women’s coach. Who coaches Lochte? The head US men’s coach. The inferences are unavoidable. Again.

Tiger
4 years 25 days ago

Can’t call out favoritism for Vollmer after being left off the 4×100. She split a 53.2 at World’s last year, and she’s clearly in a better place now. Relay selection is excruciating on every level of the sport.

Joel Lin
4 years 25 days ago

Tiger, it is not excruciating at all and it is not anything personal. There us a process for this, #1 and #2 finishers are (or should be) on the night relay. #3 through #6 should swim the mornings, and the process should favor the top 4 finishers are trials, but if it is a performance issue take the fastest splits, and give the standard 0.8 to 1.0 second buffer to the lead off swimmer.

The point is that there is a system and a process and it should be followed. Or just forget the Olympic Trials criteria for relays and pick whoever you want off of individual qualifiers.

LBSWIMFAN
4 years 25 days ago

So they should have left Phelps off the 4X100 free relay?

Brian
4 years 25 days ago

Vollmer, however, has been on fire at this meet. She’s arguably one of, if not the, fastest woman on the team, and has a WR under her belt for confidence. If nothing else, she has her speed going.

Joel Lin
4 years 25 days ago

Phelps was 48.4 unshaved and untapered before Trials. Apples and oranges compare to Lochte.

LBSWIMFAN
4 years 25 days ago

But Phelps wasn’t 1st through 6th. Therefore based on your argument, he doesn’t belong. Then with your new argument, Phelps can use a time from earlier, so why can’t Vollmer? Pick your side, it appears you’re flip flopping just to win.

Joel Lin
4 years 25 days ago

I don’t agree with Phelps not diving in and punching out a 48.4 or better at Trials. I didn’t agree with it in 2004 either. But if we are going to rationalize it (and I don’t support that) Lochte swam 48.9. We have other guys at 48.9 who stayed home.

It is insane to suggest Phelps didn’t belong, but I do think we in the US have star exemption status that has gone too far. Dive in and do a 48.4. Do it in prelims, do it in semis, have US swimming do a time trial for some exempted swimmers to do a 100 after their events schedule during 8 day Trials…something. Anything. Phelps could have done 48.4 straight out of his warm down from the 100 fly, his last swim. But if the hall pass goes to him, the slipperly slope is that it goes to another and another down the line.

I think it is a basic point: abide by the system or don’t.

gosharks
4 years 25 days ago

Berens isn’t really a good comparison because had he not swum finals, he wouldn’t have earned a medal at all. He was only 0.31 off of his Trials time, and he is also the world record holder and defending gold medalist in the event.

Why would you choose Perdue over Anderson based on prelims? Anderson’s raw swim was faster. I’m only arguing because I’m tired of both United States head coaches being accused of nepotism.

Joel Lin
4 years 25 days ago

It is a flat start versus a rolling relay start.

I understand the critical points on both sides. If you are tired of hearing about nepotism with the US coaches, you should have already been exhausted before these London Games. We can go all the way back to 1988 and 1992 for examples. Google Scott Jaffee sometime…same thing a quarter century ago.

The point is not an advocate for one and a slight on another, but let’s at least be this honest. #1 and #2 are night swimmers, #3 through #6 audition for two spots at night at an outer boundary, and there should be some bias for the #3 and the #4 finishers at Trials. Otherwise the Trials selection process means absolutely nothing.

Consider this: the people on these threads will forget the details of this meet and go on with a daily life after the Games. None of us spent a lifetime working for a podium moment at these Games, don’t really care and should not care. But ask Scott Jaffee today if he still has some angst that his podium swim was taken away in 1988, and I will bet you a peso or dollar he will say yes.

gosharks
4 years 25 days ago

Ok I googled Scott Jaffe. There isn’t much on his Wikipedia but I think he was only in the 1992 games? This is interesting to me because someone on another thread mentioned “Jon Olsen and guarantees on 800 relays” and Olsen (in 1992) is listed as being on a finals relay over Jaffe. Do you know the story and would care to share?

don
4 years 25 days ago

They may have told her to back off in prelims. She was 3rd at trials and has been swimming lights out.Vreeland had a great swim this morning so should get the nod.
No comparison to Lochte getting put in because he didn’t even swim finals at trials or prelims.

gosharks
4 years 25 days ago

Technically Lochte qualified as tied for the 5th seed in finals, however scratched, allowing Lezak to earn his spot on the team. So it wasn’t completely outrageous for him to swim the 4 x 100 relay. Even if it wasn’t the best decision…

John Sampson
4 years 25 days ago

Although Vreeland gets the nod she makes me nervous because, in college at least, she was always lights out in prelims then never could match it in finals.

beachmouse
4 years 25 days ago

Nice swim by Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace. If she’s managed to figure out long course racing at the international level, she could be more dangerous than people thought.

David Berkoff
4 years 25 days ago

Joel. I think you are a bit off. I doubt it’s favoritism. If Vollmer went 54.5 in the 100 and 57.5 in the fly, she would not be swimming finals.

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The most common question asked about Braden Keith is "when does he sleep?" That's because Braden has, in two years in the game, become one of the most prolific writers in swimming at a level that has earned him the nickname "the machine" in some circles. He first got his feet …

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