A 21-Second Free-For-All: U.S. Olympic Trials Battle In 50 Freestyle A Loaded Affair

Olympic 100m champion Nathan Adrian (USA) by Patrick B. Kraemer

Nathan Adrian leads a deep list of American contenders for berths to the Rio Olympics in the 50 freestyle.

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Nathan Adrian leads a deep list of American contenders for berths to the Rio Olympics in the 50 freestyle.

Comments

ThereaLuigi

I will root for Anthony Ervin as always. He is the most naturally talented of the lot and has a natural speed over the water that is unparalleled. His dive unfortunately is not as good: the 5th in place in London was entirely due to slow RT and subpar dive. Alas, he has not swam a single fast 50 in 2015 and that worries me. I hope his recent change of coach gives him new boost. Catch that dragon, Tony!

Yozhik

So much love. You probably like him more as a person, than a swimmer. Maybe success in swimming doesn’t mean that much to the person who was taken to the pool as a child by mother just to keep him off the street.

ThereaLuigi

As a person? He is cool, but I never met him and I am too old to believe that I know someone just because he is a public figure. No, I like his swimming. His coolness is just a plus. Believe me, if he hadn’t let the sport early in his career we would be talking of a legend. Olympic gold medal at 19, double world champ at 20. What he did in 2012 was what made me a fan.

felix

Ervin is technically brilliant but I think Adrian and Dressel will get the spots. Rio Gold to Manadou, cannot see him getting beaten not even by the home town boys.

Yozhik

OK, his personality has nothing to do with wishing him not just to win the medal but catch the Dragon πŸ™‚ I just got confused with your comments about Anthony posted earlier this year. Maybe it wasn’t you – I am also getting old and my memory may play jokes with me πŸ™‚

commonwombat

It will certainly be an interesting race at US Trials. What is unspoken is the hope on the part of the selectors and coaches that the qualifiers are both at least competent 100 swimmers and can put out 48mid minimum relay splits for the heats ….. better still if at least one qualifies in both.

ThereaLuigi

Yozhik, that was a reference to his announced biography, “Chasing the water dragon”. I am not saying that I don’t think he is cool, I am just saying that I don’t let that cloud my judgment when it comes to swimming: I believe he is the most talented and has the best technique, period.
Of course Felix is right, Adrian and Dressel right now are the two favorites and Ervin is the underdog. He won’t make the 100 free relay either I am afraid, in his last showings he swam the second lap in 27”, slower than Sarah Sjostrom ….

Yozhik

50m distance is the weirdest racing one can imagine. Some may like it because of short lasting excitement and seeming absence of any complications and sophistication from the spectators point of view. It is like sniffing ammonia – emotions are short and strong.
But look, what kind of swimming racing is it if one third of racing has nothing to do with swimming. They have at least to start from the water and eliminate the effect of reaction time by subtracting it from final time. The contemporary technology allows to do so.

DDias

ThereaLuigi,
I remember Ervin semi final in Barcelona where he popped a 21.4. His first 15 meters were 5.4s what is very,very poor for a top sprinter.

felix,
while I think Manaudou is the clear favourite, Olympic year have a way to twist the odds. In 2011 Cielo won the 50 free at worlds by the biggest margin ever, in London, he was third. And the last two winners were 21 years-old. I would not be surprised if the names of Sedov,Proud or Dressel shows in the podium.By the way, Dressel blasted a great 18.77 in yards today.

ThereaLuigi

Yozhik, I am not with you on eliminating the RT (after all, reaction time is part of any race, even in real life – and I believe that sport should reproduce real life situations). I am with you on starting from the water. I even wrote it once, perhaps on this very website. Someone raised a technical objection if I remember well, something to do with touching pads.

Yozhik

@ThereaLuigi. I’m guilty, I didn’t make reference to your earlier posting in order not to make the impression that I am reading your comments only at this site but not editorials πŸ™‚
Do you know why each lane is equipped with the device producing start signal? It is because it takes one twelfth of a second for the sound to travel from one side of the pool (where starter used to stay) to another one. The difference in time that may separate the first place from the eighth in the short racing.
0.1sec difference in RT may be nothing when a 15 minute race is ahead but it become a decisive factor at shortest distances. C1 for example. Sure we can make it a part of the swimming contest. But to make my point more convincing let’s make racing 25m long. Or to ridicule it even more make it 15m. So swimmers shouldn’t even swim anymore. But it is still a racing and can be very exciting with the only problem that we won’t know who won the race until official announcement.
Downhill skiing competition eliminated RT for good. And it is not that short in time as one can think.

Back stroke competition doesn’t have any problem with the start from the water. But it would be funny to watch if they do it from the block πŸ™‚

I would rephrase your “real life” argument as “life is not fair”. So if you want to introduce this element into swimming racing competition then we may have a situation similar to one where two elite basketball players – 6′ guard and 7′ center compete for the jump-ball. Yeah it is a tradition that has a little to do with the game itself. But imagine the situation when it is only 0.5sec left on the clock and who gets the possession is critical in tied game.

ThereaLuigi

Of course life is not fair, Yozhik. Is it fair that Michael Phelps has won medals in London in a time when he was not even seriously training, according to the recent article in SI? Is it fair that some swimmers get injured in an Olympic year? Ultimately, is it fair that some have talent and some not? To me, RT is part of the package. The dive not so much.

Yozhik

I would add to your list of unfairness the hearing problem. What if some swimmer is not good with sounds? To make a SWIMMING contest more fair I would introduce strong electrical shock commuting from the block. It will make swimmer to start wants he or not and all of them will do it practically simultaneously. πŸ™‚

Yozhik

Luigi, I noticed that your “smiley” has a full mouth of teeth and one of mine keeps lips pressed to each other being afraid to get embarrassed to open the mouth in wide smile. How do you do it? I just type “:)”. Smile, please.

ThereaLuigi

Why, Yozhik, you need to type a capital D instead of the )

Yozhik

Thanks πŸ˜€

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