What Does It Take to Make it Back? Day 2 Prelims

Yesterday we started a series where we compare what it’s taken to advance out of preliminaries at this year’s Olympic Trials to what it took in 2008 and 2012.  Remember, it takes a 16th place finish to move on in events where there are semifinals (200m and down), and an 8th place finish to move on to finals for the longer events.

Here’s the comparison of events from this morning:

2008 2012 2016
Women’s 100 Back 16th 1:02.32 1:02.22 1:01.32
Men’s 200 Free 16th 1:48.76 1:49.71 1:48.63
Women’s 100 Breast 16th 1:09.75 1:09.39 1:08.54
Men’s 100 Back 16th 55.45 55.49 55.41*
Women’s 400 Free 8th 4:14.54 4:10.38 4:10.52

What immediately sticks out is that the only event where it got (slightly) easier to qualify was the women’s 400 free.  This is particular interesting because yesterday the men’s 400 freestyle was the only event where it took a slower time to qualify in the 2016 than it did in 2012.

The women’s 100 back, men’s 200 freestyle, and women’s 100 breast all got quicker this year by this measurement.  The 1:02.22 it took to make semis in 2012 in the women’s 100 back would have placed 37th this year, and it took a time 0.90 second faster this year than last year to advance to semis.

Even with Michael Phelps out of the race today, the time it took to secure a semifinals spot in the men’s 200 free was 1.08 seconds quicker than in 2012, while 16th place in 2012 would have placed 31st this morning.  Although, 16th place this morning was only a hair faster than in 2008, possibly due to the influence of “supersuits” on the times, especially in that event.

In the women’s 100 breast, the 1:09.39 that tied for 26th this morning would have placed 16th in prelims in 2012, and you needed to be about eight-tenths of a second faster this year than the last go-around to qualify.

One event did not see a sizable shift in qualifying time in either direction, and that was the men’s 100 back.  To get 16th place, it took a 55.45 in 2008, a 55.49 in 2012, and a 55.41 this morning.  However, that 16th place time this morning was actually a three-way tie for 15th place, leading to a swim-off.  That swim-off produced qualifying times of 55.41 (again!) and 55.44, which doesn’t materially change the analysis.  The 100 back has been one of the deepest and strongest events for the U.S. men for years, but the time needed to advance out of prelims the past three Olympics have all been within one-tenth of a second of each other.

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U.S.A. Fan
7 years ago

Becca Mann swam the 400 this morning

Reply to  U.S.A. Fan
7 years ago

She went: 4:11.59 – 14th place

Reply to  U.S.A. Fan
7 years ago

Becca can’t be happy with her 400 Free this morning – came in 14th place

Reply to  U.S.A. Fan
7 years ago

Yeah plus the comment about her and Biesel scratching is kinda irrelevant. Im sure higher seeds scratched in 08 and 12 as well

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