Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Getting Psyched

Tonight on NBC Olympics is my personal event the 100m Freestyle. After watching the World Record get broken by AUS Eamon Sullivan leading off the 4x100 Free relay and Jason Lezak swim the fastest 100 free split ever anchoring the American relay to gold I am more excited than ever for this race. 

After last nights semi-finals the final 8 swimming the finals of the 100m Freestyle should be seeded like this.

1) Lyndon Ferns RSA  48.00
2) Stefan Nystrand SWE  47.91
3) Pieter van den Hoogenband NED 47.68
4) Eamon Sullivan AUS  47.05
5) Alain Bernard FRA  47.20
6) Matt Targett AUS  47.88
7) Jason Lezak  USA  47.98
8) Cesar Cielo BRA  48.07

What a fast field. The all-time top 10 list has now re-shaped to this.

1)  Eamon Sullivan  AUS  47.05
2) Alain Bernard  FRA  47.20
3) Michael Phelps  USA  47.51
4) Brent Hayden CAN  47.56
5) Jason Lezak  USA  47.58
6) Pieter van den Hoogenband NED  47.68
7) Amaury Levaux FRA  47.76
8) Garett Weber-Gale  USA  47.78
9) Matt Target AUS  47.88
10) Stefan Nystrand  SWE  47.91
       Cesar Cielo  BRA  47.91

So 11 guys have now swam under the elusive 48-barrier in the 100 freestyle. A club so exclusive as of last year only 3 had ever broken in (Hoogenband, Bernard, Nystrand).

Hoogendband is the 2-time returning 100m freestyle champion (Sydney, Athens) and just last night swam his fastest time ever. Lezak has the fastest relay split ever by just under 6-tenths of a second (46.06) (good relay swimmers can drop 7-tenths with a relay start). However, it could require a lot of heart for Lezak to unleash the speed he used to overtake France's Bernard in that last 50 of the 4x100 Freestyle relay. 

Bernard and Sullivan have exchanged the 100 World Record multiple times in the last few months, yet neither have medaled in individually at the Olympics. In fact, Hoogenband is the only swimmer in the final to have medaled individually.

My prediction is that multiple swimmers will break Sullivan's World standard set in the semi-finals expecting swimmers to amazingly dip under the 47 barrier.

G Eamon Sullivan
S Cesar Cielo
B Pieter van den Hoogenband

I have great expectations of Sullivan and Cielo (reigning NCAA multiple time 100 free champion). And Hoogenband has so much experience. I have high hopes for Lezak, but it would take a lot of heart for him to repeat the speed he used to overtake the French (that I'm not 2 fond of).

Good luck to all these swimmers. I hope they all swim fast!

Leave your own prediction in the comments.

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