Duel In The Pool Over Before Over: WRs For Grevers, Kromowidjojo; USA Keeps Crown

The Duel is Done - USA by an indecent margin, with world records from Dutch ace Ranomi Kronowidjojo and American Matt Grevers, Olympic champions heading into defence year with a spring in their step

Day 1 ended with the United States on 74 points, Europe left trailing with 48. It started no better on day 2, the first six battles all in favour of the USA, topped by a world record 48.92 in the 100m backstroke from Matt Grevers. By the time Tom Shields clocked the 4th fastest ever for victory in the 200m butterfly on 1:49.05, one of nine American records, the Duel was over: victory to the USA once more by more than a pond. In the mix was a world record equalled, Ranomi Kromowidjojo flying flags European and Dutch on 23.24 in the 50m freestyle on a day that rattled and the world rankings.

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Day 1 ended with the United States on 74 points, Europe left trailing with 48. It started no better on day 2, the first six battles all in favour of the USA, topped by a world record 48.92 in the 100m backstroke from Matt Grevers. By the time Tom Shields clocked the 4th fastest ever for victory in the 200m butterfly on 1:49.05, one of nine American records, the Duel was over: victory to the USA once more by more than a pond. In the mix was a world record equalled, Ranomi Kromowidjojo flying flags European and Dutch on 23.24 in the 50m freestyle on a day that rattled and the world rankings.

Comments

commonwombat

A particularly valid point in this article. These “Duels” always read better on paper than in reality. That is because two very crucial “realities” tend to be just as pertinent as the composition of the relative teams; namely the WHEN and the WHERE.

As to the performances; there can be no questioning the quality of those who broke SCM WRs.

As to any guides with regards to Rio prospects; apart from the clear indications as to who is swimming well at this present moment realistically there really aren’t any.

Yozhik

“Хорошо быть умным сейчас, как потом моя жена”. This proverb can be roughly translated as – I wish I were as much clever at the moment of making decision as my wife will be when it becomes clear that the decision I made had bad consequences. 🙂 Sure we can explain everything after things have happened. But that is the beauty of making prognosis when nothing is certain and our ability to foresee are extremely limited. Who will be interested in prediction that the Sun will rise tomorrow. But it is very funny to see how well off were predictions of Duel’s outcome.
American team looked much more like a team than Europian one. More determine and happy about success. Ranomi maybe the only exception.

Craig Lord

The warning signs were indeed obvious Yozhik, as our preview noted. Obvious, too, that a Europe team a week beyond battle ‘at home’ and including v diverse folk would not be as bonded as the US. One is a team, the other is not so that part of it is inevitable; like the sun rise, an example of how the inevitable may, nonetheless, be spectacular. Ranomi was not the only exception, I would say (great 50; over the top for the 100). There were several European career best times and national records in the mix (Ottesen seemed to get into the spirit, for eg … and Guy and O’Connor and Carlin, who was better over 400 than in Netanya, but forget the 800 this week, right now, though she will have felt at home with the coaches and several of her national teammates). And one thing that cannot be explained (among several things) after the event has happened is to say precisely who was rested ready to race at best and who not, though I’d wager my list would come close (no, I won’t be publishing it but some of those excelling will not make it to Rio 🙂 Superimpose Netanya on the Duel and you have a Duel – but that would be USA Vs many teams… As CWombat suggests, the when and where is significant and only one team is a team beyond the two-day event with a management that can consider where where and when fit into the Olympic cycle and timing of trials etc. What cannot be predicted beyond the biggest moments is absolute intent vs hope based on potential.

Ger

Personally, I found the whole event somewhat dull; probably due to reasons stated in the other posts; it didn’t feel like two teams competing against one another; more like one facilitating the other. And the “music” between the races was a real pain.

gheko

I agree boring and although some great swims the timing of the event after a long season told on some.

Craig Lord

Gheko and Ger – interesting observations, comments that place the world cup and its overwhelming mediocrity in context and explains why each passing round of that big-money series passes with not much more than one man and his dog and a few bussed in school children in the house. I’m not sure why each of these events always has to be pegged to the entire Olympic or world-championship program squashed into 2 sessions (2 sessions makes sense but not the stuffed program) or at world cups 4 sessions, including hours of heats that are of no interest to anyone beyond those on the deck engaged in a training session. There is a chance to do something else but the sport is somehow paralysed by its own uber-activity for activity’s sake and a calendar that hides treasures in an overgrown jungle. I didn’t actually think the Duel was boring nor dull but it could be much more.

Dave Nicholson

I didn’t find it boring at all, perhaps the difference being that I’m American. I think the atmosphere was actually pretty good for a swimming meet, listen to the crowd during the relays… I do agree that the European team looked fatigued and on their collective back foot. I also agree that the “Euro Stars” (horrible name) didn’t look like a team at all. On the other hand (as even Craig stated in his pre-Duel article) the Europeans just had Euros and it’s not completely unknown to extended a taper for a week. At the end of the day, the US had a reasonably good meet and the Europeans (largely) had an off meet.

The meet is meaningless in reading the tea leaves for Rio. However, I think this meet provided some tangential evidence that banking on Rio being a repeat of the relative flop of Kazan for the US team might be misguided. Given this meet and some other domestic performances over the weekend, I sense a bit of momentum building for the US team for Rio.

Craig Lord

That all sounds sound to me, Dave N

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