In The Face Of Aussie 4×100 Might Simone Manuel Focuses On Olympics Not College

Simone Manuel by Peter Bick

One of the most sure-fire gold predictions for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games is the Australian 4x100m freestyle relay, the strength of the Dolphins six deep one of the sharpest pictures of dominance in the pool across all events. Little wonder then that seven-time All-American and four-time national champion Simone Manuel has taken a decision to set the college racing season aside this season to focus on long-course training and the needs of self and the USA come Olympic trials on the way to battle in Rio.

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One of the most sure-fire gold predictions for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games is the Australian 4x100m freestyle relay, the strength of the Dolphins six deep one of the sharpest pictures of dominance in the pool across all events. Little wonder then that seven-time All-American and four-time national champion Simone Manuel has taken a decision to set the college racing season aside this season to focus on long-course training and the needs of self and the USA come Olympic trials on the way to battle in Rio.

Comments

commonwombat

Realistically this is the only intelligent she could make under the circumstances and it is to Greg Meehan’s credit that he is supportive of this move’ something that cannot be said for ALL NCAA Div 1 coaches during this Olympic lead-up period. Then again; what they are being paid for by their relevant Athletic Departments is to win meets, conferences and championships’ NOT specifically fostering swimmer’s development.

As for Manuel, she essentially has at least a second’s gap to bridge to be a medal contender in Rio (working on 52mind being “medal country”) as at this point she is realistically a 53.7-53.8 swimmer. This was good enough for a final in Kazan but that may require at least 0.25sec faster next year.

Whilst some will point to her 53.25 relay lead-off at Pan Pacs; all other evidence tends to point to that being an ‘outlier’ (ala Roberts sub 48 at Aus Trials 2012 and under similar conditions of surfing a faster swimmer’s wake) as all other swims at that swim and internationally since then have been high side of 53.50.

Whilst not impossible, bridging such a gap over this time period looks a significant ask.

With regards to the USA W4X100; their only current swimmers with a sub53 relay split to their name are Coughlin with 52.98 at 2013 Worlds and Franklin with 52.99 at 2011 Worlds …. and none for 2014 & 2015.

They would certainly be needing at least 2 sub 53legs to be challenging NED for silver. As in stands at the moment; the gap AUS has over the field in this event does not look like being bridged by the competition currently in evidence. Illness or injury to one or both Campbells or an illegal changeover look the most likely means of “levelling the playing field”.

USA would certainly welcome a sub53 anchor on the W4XMED where currently they only “maintain par” at best with other nations and haemmorage badly to those with gun FS anchors.

Yozhik

1 sec gap is probably too much. Despite she probably was under better care than Franklin and there would be no back spasms the SCY training is like a scar and some LCM time is needed to heal it. Hopefully nine months will be enough to get to the required form. Also nobody knows how tough the competition will be. Who could imagine that the most anticipated race at W200 fs in Kazan would be that slow. The race where five under 1:55 times were expected to be shown. So in Semone’s case the good luck, smart training and confedence is what is needed.

commonwombat

Yozhik, the scenario that you paint COULD play out. The W100FS in London was distinctly slow compared to Beijing with no -one below 53 and bronze at 53.44. TBH, Manuel would need a somewhat similar scenario to unfold out to be a major factor as a drop down to 53lowish for her looks more plausible than a full second.

Then again, post 2009 through London was a slower period for the W100 with 53sec rarely if ever broken whereas over this present cycle there has been a group who have cleared away from the ruck and are either “regulars” or “repeat visitors” to not only sub53 but the 52mid zone.

Maybe we’ll have a better read when we see how the Campbells & Sjostrom are tracking next year along with the Dutch.

Yozhik

I think that swimmers you mentioned are very stable. Despite not much of progress was shown this year the competition was hot. That I believe insures that the women sprint in Rio will be faster than Simone is capable of now. If she doesn’t find resources for improvement the only her hope is that someone won’t show up at finals yellow lanes. And we know that such things do happen 🙂

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