Canet Calling: Mirror, Mirror On The Lane, Who Will Make The Biggest Claim?

Mirror, mirror on the lane, a world title to reclaim: Ruta Meilutyte, of Lithuania - by Patrick B. Kraemer

The Mare Nostrum Tour kicks off in Canet-en-Roussillon at the Centre de Natation Arlette Franco in southwest France next weekend, June 6-7, the echoes of generations of world-class swimmers on their way to podiums Olympic and World – and some giants of the sport well beyond those – bouncing off every swim in waters apt to turn from smooth to choppy with the change of Pyrenean breeze.

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The Mare Nostrum Tour kicks off in Canet-en-Roussillon at the Centre de Natation Arlette Franco in southwest France next weekend, June 6-7, the echoes of generations of world-class swimmers on their way to podiums Olympic and World – and some giants of the sport well beyond those – bouncing off every swim in waters apt to turn from smooth to choppy with the change of Pyrenean breeze.

Comments

Bad Anon

Kirsty Coventry will be taking part in the Canet and Monaco legs of the series. Such a quality human being and great ambassador for the sport!

aswimfan

I love Mare Nostrum series. It’s my favorite swimming event series as the swims have always been incredibly fast. In the US, it’s Santa Clara for me.

Bad Anon

Mare Nostrum is a mini world champs meet, the best from Europe, Japan, USA, australia as well as South Africa. Good line ups and fast in season times

Kim

Typical American arrogance from Spitz!

Danjohnrob

While Americans in general may not be renowned for their humility, Mark Spitz was famous for his conceit.

Bad Anon

Katie Hoff, Natalie Coughlin, Ledecky, Franklin, Ledecky, Phelps and Lochte are all examples of successful USA athletes who have been gracious in victory and defeat alike and have all demonstrated great sportsmanship both at career highs and lows

aswimfan

I am sorry, but I wouldn’t put Phelps among those names like Lochte and Franklin who are among those gracious in defeat.
Lately he’s wisen up and improved though.

Bad Anon

The most significant incident I would remember about Phelps’ lack of sportmanship was an over celebration after winning 100fly over cavic in rome 2009. the circumstances justify his behavior then

Rafael

Bad anon his reaction to bieldermann was not exactly good too.

Bad Anon

Sjostrom just went 1.54.77 at the Bergen festival. Hosszu busy as usual with a 1.56 for a distant second, Hosszu also 2.11 200fly, 2.09 200 back and 1.00.59 over 100. Gonna be a FAST women 200 free in Kazan

aswimfan

You know, I changed my mind now. I wish Sjostrom drop 50 fly in Kazan. She’s so far ahead the competition it’s not even funny, and she holds WR and 50 fly is not an olympics event.

Now I really really hope she swims 200 free in Kazan, partly because I want to see potentially the greatest women 200 free race in history, and partly because I want to see how far Sjostrom can push herself in 200 free not to mention potential gold.

Yozhik

Sjostrom’s splits doesn’t show any changes in style and strategy compare to her best races of 2014. It is whatever is expected from her when she is not rested. No progress so far to get too excited. So the estimate of her time at 200 free in Kazan ( if she swims it) is still very low or flat 1:54. Her adjusted relay time ( RT 0.7) is 1:54.02

Danjohnrob

I know this article is about the Mare Nostrum Tour, but does anybody know the largest number of individual medals/golds a woman has won at the World Championships? Missy apparently won the most golds in 2013 (6 toal), but 3 of those were relays. Missy and Katie each won 3 individual golds in 2013; has anybody won more in one World meet? I’m going to assume Phelps winning 4 individual golds/7 total in 2007 was the men’s record?

I’m asking, of course, because Sjostrom’s time in the 200 free makes me wonder if she can win 4 or even 5 medals individually this summer! Hosszu could win 4-5 also, and Ledecky could win 4. I think all three of those women have a better chance of winning 4 individual medals than Missy, but she did just miss the podium in the 100 free for #4 in Barcelona…

What a talented field of competitors we have in the world of swimming today!

Bad Anon

Kirsty Coventry won four individual medals; 2gold and 2silver in montreal 2005 worlds lcm . She also won 4 individual medals in Beijing1gold and 3silvers.

commonwombat

Libby Lenton walked away from 2007 LC Worlds with 5 Golds (50fs, 100fs, 100fly, 4×100, 4xMED).

Danjohnrob

OK, I’ve done a little research, and apparently multiple women have won 4 individual medals at various LC World Champ’s, including:
1975- Shirley Babashoff
1978- Tracey Caulkins
2005- Kirsty Coventry
2007- Laure Manaudou
(Others may have too, but that’s all I’ve found so far)

So it would take 5 individual medals or 4 individual golds to set a new record for indiviual medals won by a woman This summer.

Of course:
1. There are a lot more events now than than there were in the past, which makes winning multiples easier.
2. There are more LC WC meets than there used to be, which also increases an athlete’s chances.

However, swimming is a LOT more of a global sport than it used to be, and the level of competition overall is probably tougher now.

So, if Sjostrom or Hosszu can win 5 individual medals or Sjostron, Hosszu or Ledecky could win 4 individual golds, or Franklin could win 7 medals (including relays), in my opinion, it would be the greatest performance in history by a female swimmer at a LC World Championships.

Pvdh

Over celebrated? It was cavic who was trash talking, saying he wants phelps in the suit so he has no excuses. And then phelps beat him with the LZR. He had every right to celebrate like that.

aswimfan

Yozhik,

Sjoestrom adjusted relay time is not 1:54.02.

It is a fact that she split 1:53.64 in Berlin last year.

Yozhik

Sjostrom’s rt in Berlin was 0.32. I adjusted it to 0.7 that is close to her average rt in solo starts. That is how I got 1:54.02 from 1:53.64

aswimfan

Danjohnrob,

for comparison, I am not sure how you can include relay medals fairly.

For example, Coventry, Manaudou and even Trickett would have certainly won more relay medals had they all swum for the USA with its crazy depth.

aswimfan

And I forgot, had Sjostrom swum for USA, she too would win crazy amount of medals in Kazan.

aswimfan

I just saw Sjostrom’s Bergen 200 free video. It was a very impressive, controlled swim.

Her stroke rate was lower than Hosszu’s and her technique is certainly better than Hosszu’s.

Seriously, if her schedule holds up, she does have 1:53 in her.

Danjohnrob

@Aswimfan: My posts were about individual medals, not total medals. I made one comment about Missy winning 7 medals, including relays, because that would equal the number Phelps won and because she is gearing her performance around the relays. If she wanted to, Missy could try for another individual medal in the 50 back, but she doesn’t because it conflicts with a relay. Anyway, even though it is likely Missy will win 6 medals, including relays, it is less likely she will win 4 individual medals than the other 3 women, as I stated.

roy

Aswimfan that,s why I only use individual medals ( especially individual gold medals ) to judge the best performers. The US has dept in the relays so someone like Missy franklin or ledecky may win more medals than someone like sarah sjostrom or kosuke hagino. In terms of individual gold medals among women, it,s going to be close between sjostrom, ledecky,franklin and hosszu. Miera belmonte Garcia may also be in the mix.

sjostrom can win the 50 fly,100 fly and maybe the 200 free. That is 2 or 3 individual golds. The 100 free will be tough with cate cambell.

Ledecky can win the 400,800 and 1500 free. she can maybe win the 200 free. That is 3 or 4 individual golds.

Franklin can win the 200 back. Maybe she can win the 100 back and 200 free. That’s anything between 1 and 3 individual golds.

Hosszu can win the 200IM and maybe the 400IM. That,s 1 or 2 individual golds.

Belmonte Garcia can win the 200fly and maybe the 400IM. That,s 1 or 2 individual golds.

So ledecky is the favorite for most individual golds in Kazan with 3 sure individual golds. The 400,800 and 1500 frees.

aswimfan

DanJohnRob,

Missy is not the only one who will swim relays. Sjostrom, Hosszu etc etc will also do, so I don’t understand why not swimming 50 back because she has to swim relay got anything to do with it.

In any case, Missy is lucky that she will only swim relay finals, while swimmers from other countries with much less depth will also have to swim relay prelims.
In fact, a swimmer like Sjostrom may swim brilliantly all relay prelims and finals and even faster than Missy with no relay medals to show.

Therefore in my opinion, greatest performances should not include relay medals.

aswimfan

In fact, I can almost guarantee Sjostrom’s relay free splits will be faster than Missy, and her fly split in MR will also be relatively faster than Missy’s back split.

And yet, she will not have one single relay medal to show.

aswimfan

Roy,

Yep I agree that Ledecky will be the likely MVP female swimmer in Kazan with her almost guaranteed 400/800/1500 and chance to medal in 200.
Which will make her performance very very similar to Grant Hackett’s 2005 Montreal.

Bad Anon

world championships are an opportunity to win more medals for top swimmers because of the 50s and now mixed relays. However the olympic games are incredibly tough to win multiple individual medals ; history will show that athletes train in such a way as to peak in the olympic year more than any other, some have huge PBs from olympics which they never come close to again. Will use Phelps as an example ; he’s never come close to his 4.03.84wr which was a technical masterpiece. similarly, its doubtful someone like Dana Vollmer will ever get close to 55.98wr from london or Ye Shiwen to her 4.28wr

Danjohnrob

@Aswimfan: The way you can always find one sentence fragment, phrase or word to argue about, even when somebody is essentially agreeing with you is infuriating! It’s not about the number of swims, it’s about their proximity in the schedule! Missy could swim the 50 back (as she did in 2011, winning a medal I might add), but now the US is depending upon her to be the leader of the 4×200 relay and there is only the men’s 200 back separating the two races. She needs to be in the ready room with her teammates, otherwise she’s just being selfish.

There’s no fair comparison between these 4 athletes no matter what you do when talking about who will have the best performance this summer because they all do such different events/schedules. They won’t all swim 5 individual events or 3 relays. Hosszu is the most versatile, Ledecky only does one stroke, but her endurance is amazing. The most direct comparison can be made between Sjostrom and Franklin, but we don’t know what events Sarah will be swimming anyway! My point (did you actually read my comments?) was that you can’t judge the greatest performance in history by the total number of medals if you include relays because the US has an unfair advantage in relays. I suppose a correlary to that is you can’t penalize a US swimmer’s performance because she chose not to swim the same number of individual events because of relay responsibilities.

IF all four athletes swim the 200 free it will be very interesting and exciting! By the way, I didn’t even mention Heemskirk because she probably won’t swim 4 individual races, but she could be amazing in Kazan too!

roy

Heemskerk will only swim the 100 and 200 free and she,s a threat in both events. The women,s 200 free will be stacked if sjostrom swims it. We,ll have franklin, heemskerk , sjostrom, ledecky, hosszu , McKeon and pellegrini. Sjostrom can go 1:53. Her technique and stroke rate are pretty good.

aswimfan

DanJohnRob,

I’m sorry if my post infuriates you.

This is what you wrote in your intial post:
“…or Franklin could win 7 medals (including relays), in my opinion, it would be the greatest performance in history by a female swimmer at a LC World Championships.”

so forgive me for thinking and reading at face value that you include relay medal to evaluate greatest performance.

Also, perhaps if you don’t take my post out of context then you might not have been so infuriated. 🙂

In your follow up post, you wrote:
” I suppose a correlary to that is you can’t penalize a US swimmer’s performance because she chose not to swim the same number of individual events because of relay responsibilities.”

Not sure who you think does it, but I certainly never even propose or hint that we should penalize US swimmers for not swimming individual events because of relay responsibilities.

In fact, you were the one who said that Missy did not swim 50 back because she had to swim relays. It’s as if Missy was at disadvantaged because of that.

And I countered that many other top swimmers also have to swim relays, not just Missy. You seem to introduce the notion that Missy is at disadvantage here. It is Missy’s choice whether she wants to swim 50 back or not, just like it is Sjostrom’s choice whether she swims 200 free or not, because she has too many other individual and relay (prelims and finals) swims.

Did you know that swimmers like Alicia Coutts and Sjostrom had to swim relays prelims in 2013 Barcelona?
Missy had the luxury of never swimming relays. Am I saying we need to give extra points to non-US swimmers for swimming relay preims?
No.

Just like we can’t either give extra point or penalize Missy whether she swims extra event or not.

It is what it is. Sometimes the schedule works for a swimmer, sometimes they don’t. But I am sure almost all top swimmers in the world would prefer they have relay teams as deep as the US which guarantee them more medals.

Look, I am a huge fan of Missy, but there was no guarantee that Missy would have won 50 back medal in Barcelona if she had swum it. Her PB is from one month before Barcelona in 27.98, and the bronze medal in Barcelona was won in 27.53. Almost half a second in a 50 is huge.

Missy did win 50 back bronze in 2011 Shanghai, but you may have forgotten that was without the addition of all three rounds of 100 back and 100/200 free like she did in Barcelona.

Meanwhile I can give you guarantee that if Sjostrom swim for USA in Kazan, she would win extra 5 relay medals (women relays and mixed relays).
This summer, Missy has the chance to win 9 medals: 4 individual and 5 relays. the relays medals are almost a given.
Even if Missy wins “only” 8 medals, that would be another record, after her record in Barcelona.

But will it be the greatest performance? Only if her individual wins are substantial. Missy won record golds/medals in Barcelona, but in my opinion (which I wrote in several swimming forums), Ledecky had the greater performance as I think her individual swims were much greater than Missy’s.

aswimfan

d’oh..

Missy had the luxury of never swimming relays PRELIMS.

Bad Anon

Aswimfan
Missy is a great taper swimmer, her best efforts come in the big meets, her only off year was due to injury at pan pacs which readers like Pol blamed on Mckeever. I have no doubt she will rock the games in kazan. she may as well win 4 individual medals. Hemskerk and Sjostrom tend to “choke” on the big stage. Missy will ALWAYS deliver ; barring illness and injury ofcourse

roy

bad anon, sjostrom chockes?

Danjohnrob

@aswimfan: This discussion is ridiculous, at least until we know what events Hosszu and Sjostrom are going to swim. If either of them decides to swim 5 individual races and wins 5 medals it will be a historic, exciting first! However, if Franklin wins 7 medals including relays it will also be a historic, exciting first! If Ledecky wins 4 individual medals and sets some WR times in the process, that will be exciting too!

Since they are very different athletes swimming different events/programs, I guess we’ll have to compare them in the end based on the quality of those performances, not just on the total medal count. I agree 5 individuals is more impressive than 7 total including relays, but we don’t even know of Hosszu or Sjostrom will attempt 5 yet!

Perhaps your selective reading didn’t include my statement, “I think all three of those women have a better chance of winning 4 individual medals than Missy…” I’m not trying to argue Franklin is better than anybody else, I’m expressing excitement re: Sjostrom’s swim in Norway, so please don’t twist my words to create a Sjostrom vs Franklin argument.

aswimfan

Sjostrom may not even swim 5 individual events, thanks to all the potential 5 relays prelims and finals she will have to swim where she is the most important leg in all relays.

I wish she just does not swim a single relay swim where Sweden chance to win a medal in all of them is very minuscule, and instead concentrate in individual events so she can win 5 individual medals.

aswimfan

Bad Anon,

Missy may win 4 individual medals in kazan, but 50 m back is a different game altogether.

I am her huge fan and Missy almost always delivered in the biggest stage (she didn’t in 200 free London), but swimming 50 back on top of three rounds of 100/200 back/free where 50 back is her weakest event is something else.
In fact, in the past 4 years, Missy is only ranked #19 in 50 back. It’s no guarantee for bronze.

aswimfan

The problem with Sjostrom is that she always had very big program. Remember that also had to swim relays, prelims and finals – as she did in Barcelona, on top of her individual events.

aswimfan

Sjostrom lost that 100 fly in European last year to Ottesen, something which was unthinkable. The 100 fly was towards at the end of her big program at the european.

Yozhik

Danjohnrob, there is no reason of getting upset or infuriated. You are entering this blog to get information and to share your knowledge. There are several people at this site who are here just because they like to argue. No matter how interesting or correct or fair your opinion is if it has something to dispute then it would be disputed right away and most of the time very aggressively. And be sure that if you enter the discussion to prove your point your word won’t be the last one. Never. But, honestly, this is what makes this site alive and interesting. If you remove this part of it or restrict people with a few entries for discussion only you will wash out all entertainment. Reading just editorials will be no much different than reading news headlines with the references to Wikipedia. If I can suggest – please, take it easy.

Craig Lord

Yozhik, I’d like to think there is plenty of entertainment (live and interesting) before any of you have your say 🙂 To ape the words of Danjohnrob, ‘ridiculous’.

Yozhik

I am sorry Mr. Lord. I didn’t mean to offend you. Just don’t have sufficient vocabulary to be clear. You and your coworkers are always complemented for almost all your articles by many readers of swimvortex.com. What I meant was that even if the food is very testy and the flavor is unusually complex one cannot eat all the time and something simple or even a little bit rotten also is needed to make a scale.

roy

I think sjostrom should only swim the women,s medley relay even though they don,t have a reliable backstroker. At least they are decent in the other legs. I think she should skip the other relays.
Sweden doesn,t have a chance in the women,s 4×200 free relay, the women,s 4×100 free relay and both mixed relays so sjostrom swimming these relays will be a waste of time and energy.

Craig Lord

🙂

Yozhik

The current ranking at 200 free most likely answering the question how the final will look like.
1 1:54.68 Heemskerk, Femke NED
2 1:54.77 Sjostrom, Sarah SWE
3 1:55.88 McKeon, Emma AUS
4 1:55.89 Hosszu, Katinka HUN
5 1:56.16 Ledecky, Katie USA
6 1:56.51 Pellegrini, Federica ITA
Add to this list Missy Franklin because of her 200y record and the picture will be almost complete. Not much to discuss. But what all these finalist would like to know is who will be the number 9 and what time they have to beat in semi-finals. If it is someone fast enough then real competition starts much earlier – in semis.
If there is an uncertainty with what to expect from Franklin and Ledecky then even more confusing is situation with Heemskerk. If she is going to swim same way as she did in April, then after half distance she will behind Franklin by two body length, Sjostrom by 1.5 body length and behind exceptional racers like Ledecky and Pelligrini by one body length. Her time of 1:54.68 may be enough for gold but who has such nerves to give that much advantage in the middle of the race. Swimming differently may bring her back to her usual range of 1:55.

roy

Craig lord you don,t agree that sjostrom should skip the relays even if she,ll be wasting her energy in them?
Sweden has no dept in all the relays ( both male and female ). The only relay she should swim in my opinion is the women,s medley relay but I don,t even see Sweden medalling in that relay with the Australia, the US and denmark.

aswimfan

Is it certain that Sjostrom will swim 200 in Kazan? CMIIW, last year or earlier this year she said she’d skip 200 this year but will swim it in Rio.
Maybe she’s changed her mind now that her 200 is strong medal potential.

roy

I think sjostrom has a better chance of winning gold in the 200 free than the 100 free. The reason I say so is because of her speed endurance. she has probably the fastest closing speed among all the contenders in the 200 free. Her closing speed when she broke the the 200 meters short course world record was crazy. Cate Campbell has raw speed but hasn,t demonstrated that she has the extra endurance for the 200 free like sjostrom. the 100 free will tough for sjostrom bcos of contenders like cate and Bronte Campbell, kromowidjojo and heemskerk. as for ledecky, she has great endurance but she hasn,t yet demonstrated the ability to close as fast as sjostrom in the 200 free although that may change in the future.

Torchbearer

Is Ledecky gracious in defeat..it is hard to tell, she never loses!

Craig Lord

I’m not her coach, Roy 🙂 Obviously the relays are a part of the drain when it comes to managing energy levels. Beyond the solo program there are issues of the swimmer’s desire to be part of a team, how that plays out for her own efforts – matters of ‘team’ in the mix and the question of what it would mean to world swimming if every nation that thought it had little chance of a medal made no effort to build their stock and make the race a race.

http://www.swimvortex.com/a-154-over-200-in-tow-how-far-will-swedish-sprinter-sarah-sjostrom-stretch-herself/

Danjohnrob

@Yozhik: Perhaps my choice in using the word “infuriating” was not the best. I was using it for purposes of hyperbole (ie: not to be taken so literally), but I appreciate your concern.

“Frustrating” probably would have been a better word. I am in full agreement with @aswimfan that, when considering an athlete’s performance at a meet like the World Championships, the number of individual medals won is more important than total medals won. I believe that is clear when reading my posts.

When you include relays you add lots of factors outside the swimmer’s control. However, since they are so important to a nation’s Team (and because they are so much fun), star athletes like Sjostrom or Franklin end up working their entire program around them. My point was that, if relays didn’t exist, both athletes would be likely to swim more individual races and we would have a clearer view of which person performed better In the meet overall.

However, I still think Sjostrom has a better chance of winning 4 individual medals than Franklin does (as I stated in my initial post) as well as a better chance of winning 5 individual medals than Franklin does if relays were not part of the meet, so I am frustrated that @aswimfan took a parenthetical element from one post (in my point of view, out of context) and created an argument out of it, when in essence I am agreeing with him!

@aswimfan: I apologize if I took what you wrote out of context also. As I’ve said before, I usually agree with you! I don’t think I’ve EVER written a comment in opposition to one of yours, but somehow I always seem to be defending my posts against your opposition…

Mr Lord: Thank you, and the other members of your writing staff, for your efforts on this website, which has added a great deal of enjoyment to my life! 🙂

beachmouse

Relays in Kazan are also allocating most of the relay slots for Rio- top twelve get a Rio spot and if one or two of the really big players (example- USA men’s medley) manage to DQ in Kazan, then it’s far harder to get one of the four remaining secondary qualifying spots than it is to just put a good squad in the water for prelims to begin with.

Yozhik

Torchbearer, I am pretty sure that she takes defeat very painfully. But she was strongly brought up to keep it inside and not to show it publicly. She is surrounded by people who knows a great deal about sport life and even more about business in sport. How many girls do you know who can play around in Michael Jordan’s owner’s box or take MP autograph being 9 year old? How many schoolgirls do you know has been invited to the limited reception in British Embassy to meet with Royalties? How many girls had an honor to represent their city for Olympic bid? If you answer “none” then you probably got a very good idea of how carefully she is trained in PR. She was lucky and we are lucky as well that such a natural talent was surrounded from the very beginning with very comfortable and knowledgeable environment. Almost a “Green House” conditions to let her develop and flourish.
BTW, what defeat are you talking about? 400? 800? 1500? Oh, I see 200. And who told you that it would be a defeat even if she misses the podium? She is definitely targeting this gold medal in Rio and for this distance the maturity helps. Kazan is intermediate step in her plans. If it would be a medal – fine, if not then it is not a time yet. If just two years ago someone told you about Ledecky’s claims for medal in Kazan then the reaction would be definitely like this: “Who? Ledecky? At 200? Come on, be serious”.
And now it is a defeat – please be serious 

Yozhik

To those who disappreciate relay medals and don’t account them to measure swimmer’s success I may advise to go directly to swimmers and ask them what they think about it. You will be surprised that many of superb swimmers like Krisztina Egerszegi, for example consider relay medals the most valuable part in their collections. And she is not alone with that. Relay is a very specific race and not everybody can fit it. It keeps a swimmer in alert state during entire race pumping adrenaline without opportunity to react with motion. If solo starter spends on the block not more than 2 sec then a relay swimmer awaiting for the start spends on the block much more time playing in mind multiple scenarios of start movements trying to predict and to adjust to the finish of previous leg. It is a lot of mental pressure that affects the following swim. By getting in the water the swimmer swims to the limit of his/her abilities no matter if he/she far behind or far ahead. This excitement of comradery can have an amazing effect on swimmer’s performance. So far Franklin, Sjostrom and Ledecky have best swims at 200 when they swam in relay. Does it mean anything? It does. And look how mentally difficult the relay is. At 800 women relay in Barcelona American team lost a second (!) in RT to other teams and only amazing finish by Franklin saved the situation. If you believe in frankness of Franklin and Ledecky then both of them consider an honor to be a member of relay team. So you may reconsider what you think about value of relay achievement.

aswimfan

Yozhik,

I don’t think anyone here, me included, has shown any their under-appreciation of relays.

Relays are often the most exciting events at Olympics/Worlds, for example the blockbuster men 4×100 free in Beijing. You just can’t get more exciting event than that!

Torchbearer

Yozhik, my comment was a joke, I cannot believe you didn’t get it, and that you wrote hundreds of words in response to it.
The exclamation mark gave it away.

Yozhik

Torchbearer, I know it was a joke. But your joke ignited my thoughts about phenomenon called Ledecky and you were lucky that it was just hundreds but not thousands words. I will try to control my emotions in the future if such topic is of no interest to anybody. Promise 🙂

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