Lets Make A Deal: Chances Are That The USA Will Be Found Behind Door No 1 In Kazan

Katie Ledecky [Photo: Patrick B. Kraemer]

Looking a had to the World Championships, we started with the swim and swimmer of the season so far: Adam Peaty, 57.92, world record 100m breaststroke. Today we turn to a nation that has no trials, has kept its peak form potential behind a veil this northern winter past but remains the team to beat in Kazan

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Looking a had to the World Championships, we started with the swim and swimmer of the season so far: Adam Peaty, 57.92, world record 100m breaststroke. Today we turn to a nation that has no trials, has kept its peak form potential behind a veil this northern winter past but remains the team to beat in Kazan

Comments

Bad Anon

Ledecky barring a catastrophe will win gold 400/800free, Franklin 200m back is a lock for gold. the rest will be a guessing game. men’s team not looking that strong, dont know if Lochte can be 1.54 200im and 1.44 200free. then with Beisel and Hardy recovering from injury their medal chances arent certain. insofar as relays are concerned 800free relay for women looks good, for men not so much in view of MP being away. then medley relay US women almost even with Aus, the men’s medley relay particularly vulnerable and team GB ready to exploit that weakness

MP

Great article as always, Craig!
Whilst I am sure that the USA will be as strong as ever, I am equally sure that Lochte will never beat 1.54.00 in the 200 IM. Neither in Kazan, nor in the future. He will be lucky to break 1.56. Hagino may beat him anyway.

aswimfan

C’mon Craig!
It’s not so much of a guessing to predict USA will be behind door no. 1

I would bet my house, all my money, all my possession and would take millions of dollars loan to bet on USA be #1 at the end of Kazan.

aswimfan

Lochte will not get close to his 1:54

That’s for sure.

felixdangerpants

Badanon it’s worlds so make her a lock in for the 1500, I would lock her in for 200 as well. So that’s 5 golds for her. How many countries are capable of winning more gold than that? I’m struggling to think of any whilst being generous.

Wouldn’t be writing Lochte off…..The battle with Hagino will produce a quick time for both men & I think Lochte will be considerably quicker than pan pacs last year which will put him in the 54high-55low range.

aswimfan il join you putting every 5c coin I can find in the gutters on USA being number 1 & even more on Australia not being number 1 by 2020 which is their totally unrealistic goal.

Bad Anon

I think everyone meant great article by Mr John Lohn. USA women will definitely carry the team home . Ledecky and Franklin may have up to 8golds between themselves, that will be enough to secure top spot. Women 200free will be fun to watch, Franklin vs Ledecky vs Hemserk and maybe Sjostrom. Let the predictions begin!

felixdangerpants

Katie will belt them.

aswimfan

Oops it’s an article by John Lohn.
My apology to Craig and John.

MP

Craig or John, same result.
Swimvortex rocks!

MP

So the U.S. Has won 5 Golds in Kazan already with Ledecky, several months before the Games even start… How many will Phelps won without even competing? I suppose Lochte will win several too. Why do we even bother turning up, other Nations. Let’s stay at home and enjoy the U.S. do a clean sweep. How I wish you were all wrong with your predictions, but sadly i have to accept that’s what is likely to happen…

felixdangerpants

MP I’m really not sure what your point is because the USA will not even be close to gold in many events & their men could not win a relay gold.

MP

Felix – everyone is predicting 5 golds from Ledecky and so many more for US. Whilst these predictions may reveal accurate come Kazan, I would not be shocked if other nations have the U.S. more competition than forecast

Torchbearer

It would be a much more interesting exercise to pick the Number 2 nation- Australia, Japan, China, France, NED, maybe Britain?…..

pol

Eh. I don’t want to jinx Team USA. But they need a lot of work.

robbos

Even without Phelps, I think the US has the no 1 spot well covered, with great swimmers like Ledecky (could be GOAT freestyle women’s swimmer) & Franklin & their depth, it will be a battle for no 2.
It’s the Relays that the US may struggle, outside of the Women’s 4×200, no other US team dominates (not saying they can’t win, but no stand outs like previous teams).

Luigi

My crystal ball says Ledecky will NOT win gold in the 200 free

aswimfan

Torch bearer,

I agree with you about exercise in picking the second winningnest country.

John,
Are you going to write an article about that?
🙂

aswimfan

Countries like France and Brazil will pick up a few medals in 50s strokes.

MP

Aswimfan – you should call yourself aswimUSfan… Let’s hope y

MP

your predictions are wrong.

aswimfan

I am so confused, just a few weeks ago the poster POL accused me of being US swim hater, and now you are telling me I am a aswimUSfan
hahaha

I am just a swimfan, and I will offer opinions which I believe are true.

JohnLohn

Glad to see lots of comments. The idea of the piece, to clarify for some, was not to wonder if USA will be No. 1. Rather, meant to reflect that unlike other countries, some mystery exists due to lack of telling opportunities before Kazan.

easyspeed

Good article! I think USA is smart about their selection for worlds: get it out of the way early. We need people to peak in aug, not now; no need for fast times now, just heavy training and practice (untapered meets). Just wish we did it this way for the Olympics too. In the past, too many athletes hurt by the double taper (e.g., Lochte at every Olympics, Hansen 2004, Phelps 2012, etc). Yes we always do well at the O games but could much better if team selection was a minimum of 3 months out (6 months would be better).

Bad Anon

Missy Franklin thrives on the double taper,in 2012 she was “only” 2.06 at trials 200back and dropped a 2.04 at Olympics. Phelps went 4.07 in the 400im at trials but only scraped into the final with a 4.13 and couldn’t replicate his trials time. When Lochte was at his absolute best in 2011 he didn’t have to deal with 2 tapers, rather a long block of training from pan pacs in 2010 and a really good taper which saw him go 1.54.00wr 200im 1.52.96 200back textile best and 1.44.4 200free fine effort. I am sure we’ll see someone like Franklin take down wr in 100/200back and cause ripples in the 200free

Rafael

If I would bet today..

I would think US would have 4 sure golds.. all ledecky.. 400/800/1500.. the other sure would be 4×200 if ledecky and missy delivers.

The medley relay is as good as always..but the Danish may surprise.. the 4×100 is behind the Australians..

For 50/100.. SImone would need a huge drop to even contend.. on the 200.. Ledecky and Missy can medal… but so can Sjostrom Femke Mckeon among others..

The fly and IM.. can´t see any US gold..same on Breast..

Missy back is amazing, but she needs her old form.. otherwise we will see a Seebohn sweep..

Men side..it is more complicated.. apart from Adrian 100 free can´t see any medal contender on the freestyles.. maybe someone can get something on 200.
That put a lot of pressure where 4×100 US might not even medal.. and the australian will be tough on 4×200.

Back there is greevers Murphy.. but will they stop Hebbon and Ryousuke? They can get gold.. or silver bronze.. tough to say 100% gold.

200 Fly Le clos Seto de Deus might keep US off podium.. 100 fly.. Czerniak and Le Clos can get gold..

100 breast is peaty game.. 200.. I would not bet against Gyurta.. and even if hedoes not win.. Can´t put confidence on Cordes doing well when there is pressure.

200 IM would be US biggest chance.. but Lochte will need a 1:55 to beat Hagino at least.. will he do it?

400 IM Hagino Seto and Pereira will probably get the top 3 spots.. can´t see Clary beating the three if they deliver their best.

To end.. I would not bet against GB medley relay after Peaty Hebborn times.. Adrian will probably have a HUGE gap to close if he wants gold..

easyspeed

Bad Anon: completely agree re: Lochte and Phelps in 2012. If Lochte didn’t have a re-taper to deal with, he might have duplicated his performance at Worlds in 2011. The only swimmers who manage the back to back meets (trials/Olympics) are those who are either very young and/or those who are at such a high level they can “swim through” trials and taper for the games (i.e. Phelps 2008). Phelps was not in shape enough to do that in 2012. The danger in not tapering for trials is you lose your spot to someone who did. Adrian didn’t taper for 2012 trials and did well in the 1free at the games but he lost his spot in the 50.

Danjohnrob

@MP and @aswimfan: I’m not great at making predictions, so I’m asking you, not arguing with you when I question why you don’t think Lochte can swim a 1:54 200 IM again? That’s his focus event, and he’s a consistent performer with a great coach and no real weakness in the race. Hagino is definitely improving and will challenge him, but I wouldn’t say he’s clearly better in the event YET. However, I DO doubt he’ll medal in the 200 free, and I doubt he’ll even make the final in the 100 free.

@Luigi: I agree with you! Ledecky is amazing, but she’s still human! By the time the 200 free final starts Ledecky will have done 2 rounds of the 400 free on day 1, 2 consecutive days of the 1500 free (which isn’t easy no matter how moderately she swims), and had to turn around and QUALIFY for the final within minutes of the 1500 being completed. She has never broken 1:55, and I doubt she will under those circumstances. Franklin, on the other hand, has been focusing on her free races at Cal. I think she’ll battle with Heemskerk for the gold and Ledecky will battle for the bronze. Do we know if Sjostrom is swimming the 200 free? Anyway, I give Ledecky 4 golds.

I agree with everybody in general that Ledecky and Franklin will be the saviors for the US, but Missy won’t be such a “golden girl” in Kazan, unfortunately. I’ll give her the 200 free and 200 back, but Seebohm is looking tough in the 100; Missy is not going to be able to come from behind to touch her out this year, so unless those backstroke wedges and Cal training have improved her starts Missy might be in the mix for a minor medal there. Also, I can only see one relay gold for our women in the 4×200, so rather than 9 golds we’re probably talking about 6.

For the US men we’re looking at the same faces but without some of the post-London confidence they had. Adrian, Grevers, Clary and Lochte are consistent and well-trained and will fight for gold. Jaeger and McBroom and Plummer have proven they can fight for medals while others like Shields, Murphy and Cordes have talent but still need to make a podium on the big stage to prove themselves. Honestly, it would be optimistic to predict more than 3 golds for US men.

Perhaps 8-9 gold will be enough to top the medals table, because I do think the wealth is going to be spread around more this summer. We should have a top 5 placement in most events, and will win our share of silver/bronze to keep the meet exciting I’m sure. But, my biggest question is how many swims from US Nationals and Pan AM’s will be so exceptional that US fans will wish those athletes had been there to help the Kazan crew?

Chris

The USA has been the number nation for a long time and I can’t see anyone toppling that. Maybe Australia if they can develop slightly more depth. The USA has some great swimmers but and in Olympic year I am sure someone like Ledecky will emerge as a world beater. They have always had the numbers and world class coaches and facilities.

Rafael

Australia might top..if they play right.. they can get 100/400 free men gold.. both free relays on men side. Maybe the 200.. it would have 6 gold.

They can get 50/100 free 100 back gold on girls side.. plus both free relays… which could add to 11 to 12 golds for australia this year..

Dave

Every year the US shows its cards latest and every year people cast doubt on the team’s prospects. Also, every year the US proceeds to “shock” everyone with peak performances at the right time. This pattern can’t really be denied. I’ll admit that I don’t think the US is looking as strong this year as they have in years past, but I’m not going to be surprised if they exceed my expectations.

I think the NCAA cycle is one primary reason for this consistent underestimation. International observers can’t make heads or tails of SCY times, a problem exacerbated by the historical fact that SCY is often a poor predictor of LCM prospects. Secondly, the US selection process forces late tapers either due to late selection meets or prior guaranteed selection. Lastly, US pro and collegiate swimmers tend to race A LOT more than their international competition so observers see a lot of in-season, non-tapered times and assume the worst.

MP

@danjohnrob – My opinion is that Lochte is past it. Sure, he’ll still do a 1.55 and win it (Hagino permitting), but to expect him to do a 1.53 is wholly unrealistic. Seto or Pereira for bronze. Seto has the 200 fly final the evening of 200 IM semis, but he should have little problem making the IM final and then win a medal the next day. Clary or Cseh for fourth

MP

John/Craig – If the U.S. get t right year after year with selections, Trials, preselections, timing of Trials etc, the question begs why do all other nations, including GB, do the complete opposite?

for33

Usually my predictions are terribly wrong. That said, I expect that Ms. Ledecky will win the 400m, 800m, and 1500m freestyle. I believe she would win the 200m freestyle too, unless Ms. Sjostrom is in the race, in which case the winner will be the latter. I just hope that there are great performances by Hagino, Irie, Seto, and Larkin. And also great performances from Britain, Australia, and Japan in the relays, particularly the last two in the 4×200 m freestyle relay men. The 50m races are too difficult to predict: at times it seems to me anyone can win them. It’d be interesting to see who wins the women’s 200m butterfly.

barkergk

Anyone who doubts Missy Franklin will live up to past performances or thinks she has lost her 200 yd free supremacy to Ledecky hasn’t been paying attention. Her 200 yd free time at NCAA’s bested Ledecky’s state meet time by more than 2.5 seconds. Maybe not a fair comparison, but the only direct one we have in 2015 and fewer turns in long course are too her advantage. You don’t win 4 Olympic gold medals and 9 world titles without knowing how to dig deep when its on the line and lets not forget she is still a teenager as of this post.

Yozhik

@Luidgi and @Danjohnrob: there are too many uncertainties with the possible outcome of women 200m free that no crystal ball can possibly help. Sjostrom will participate only if her schedule permits and the getting of championship title would be an easy kill. It doesn’t look like that this year. Heemskerk will not repeat what she did in April. One must have steel nerve to swim first half by 57 sec giving a body length advantage to such racers like Pellegrini and Ledecky. Femke will either deliver something really spectacular (some doubts) or what most likely will happen finishes with middle 1:55. Who knows what Franklin would be capable of in three months? Last year showed that her transition to LCM was not simple at all. She didn’t deliver neither at Nationals nor at PanPac. The muscle spasm wasn’t the major factor to explain it. We saw this spring that she was more occupied with choosing agent than coach and place for training. It wouldn’t be easy to get close to LCM personal bests under such circumstances having three months left only. On the other hand the win at 200m can bring her back to the stardom and this distance could be of highest priority of her. Otherwise she will be remembered as elite relay addition only. If she feels not ready enough I won’t be surprised if she skips this distance for any excuse. Ledecky was tapered in January and neither her time in yards nor in meters at 200 were promising. The progress at 200m is the slowest one among all her freestyle distances and I expect it to be within 1%. I suspect that 1:55 is her target and kipping Rio in mind she will be happy to get under it regardless the color of medal if any. I think that under such circumstances when it would be a race against each other but not clocks Pellegrini’s is the most experienced racer and her changes are very good if everything gets lucky to her and not that lucky to her opponents. My prediction is that the second place will not go faster than 1:55.10. But how fast would be the winner and who it will be hard to say. All of these four can do it.

Bad Anon

Using bcn 2013 as a baseline, Franklin was most successful with 6gold. replicating that performance isn’t impossible but highly improbable; if anyone can upset Ledecky it’ll probably be Belmonte who’s been doing a lot of altitude work and if short course worlds are anything to go by, Belmonte will a factor in 400IM/800free. Lochte was 1.56 200im at pan pacs. expecting a 1.54high at least in Kazan, indications from his training base at SwimMac suggest he is fit, injury free and will peak in the summer. Just wondering where Missy will be based in the lead up to Kazan will rio

aswimfan

Missy winning 200 back is almost as a sure thing as Ledecky winning 400 free.

The only other swimmer that I think may be able to go 2:05 to offer some polite resistance in Kazan right now is Daria Ustinova, who actually has never broken 2:07. I am only basing it on the facts that she’s still young and improving, Kazan is in Russia and she’s a Russian.

aswimfan

In my theory one of the reasons why the USA always delivered at major championships -aside from perfecting the art of tapering- is their incredible depth.

Even if two or three of their swimmers missed taper or hit by off-form or illness or whatever, there are still a dozen others who will deliver. Now you apply this scenario to other countries, say Australia in 2012 London, and it would be a disaster. Magnussen was affected by pressure and his own misbehavior, Cate was ill, and Seebohm with social media, and voila… no depth, one gold medal.
Meanwhile, even if Lochte mistarget (or should I say too ambitious with the amount of his swims) and Phelps was off his peak, there were still the youngsters to save the day.

Depth is also a good measure when predicting a relay chances. For example, Denmark has incredible w4x100 medley roster, but if just one of the swimmers sick or off-form…pooffff… there goes their chances from gold to nada. And that’s why I predicted Australia to win w4x100 free in 2012 London when everyone else predicted the Netherlands’ gold. And when Inge Dekker was off-form..poof.. there went their chance from a surething gold to silver. It’s very risky to predict countries with little depth like Denmark to win relays.. but if they win it, it will be incredible, and this is why prediction games is always exciting 🙂

DDias

Damn…my comment didn’t get published!Australia will be a lock in mixed 4x100free and GB will have a great chance in mixed medley relay.

longstroke

The USA will be No. 1 in both men’s and women’s events. The men might not win the most gold medals(they might even fail to win any of the relays) but they will be No. 1 in terms of depth. When the Olympics come around they will be No. 1 by an even bigger margin. They always step up.

Viva la Bang

So who if any of the USA men are going to win gold?

aswimfan

While it’s easy to predict they will be the winningnest country, on the other hand right now it’s very very hard to predict US medal chances, with the exception of Ledecky in 400 800 1500 and Franklin in 200 back.
No thanks to no trials this year.

If I wager a bet, the safest one would be Grevers in 100 back of course. Clary in 200 back is a riskier bet as he will have to be in London form to win it because we all know Irie the most consistent swimmer will deliver a 1:54

longstroke

Predicting gold medal winners event by event is a mugs game. But it must be said the USA women have a number of almost certain gold medal winners in the women’s events. No prizes for guessing who they are. Not so in the men’s events. However, outside of the freestyle events and the 100 BS you cannot rule out the possibility of gold for the USA men.

beachmouse

A healthy Beisel is the right kind of rock- she hasn’t been off the podium in the 400 IM in a major international meet since they got rid of the shiny suits. If she’s not fully healthy, it hurts the Americans far more than Hardy, who is never quite as good as it seems like she should be, not all the way back.

Yozhik

Barkergk, it’s almost senseless to make prediction using SC achievement. And it is not because of different number of turns but because of significantly higher energy consuming load in terms of number of strokes. At 200m a freestyle swimmer makes 30% more strokes swimming LC compare to SC. And Franklin is not that type of swimmers like Evans or Ledecky who can benefit from that fact. Splits of her best race (26.3, 28.63, 29.49, 29.75). What would you say if someone uses standing high jump results to predict high jump performance? The analogy is very close. Franklin broke 200yrd record last year as well but it didn’t help her in long pool. Yes, she is still technically a teenager, but a teenager that after two years of retirement from LC returned with completely different mindset. What bothers me most is her recent statement that her goals as pro is winning more medals than anybody else. Not records, not performance, just medals. Let’s see which way she will go – Hosszu, Kournikova or something traditional. As of now she is very unpredictable and she does have a history of delivering the highest performance at the moment when it’s needed most. For the sake of sport glory I wish her to win this race in Kazan, but I wouldn’t put my money on her.

Craig Lord

DDias, there is no comment pending approval from you, so that’s a bit of a mystery. I take it you have now posted what you wanted to say?

Bad Anon

@beachmouse
Alicia Coutts as well was on all long course major podiums since 2011, its a pity she wont be in Kazan. Beisel will likely medal 400im, 200back will be tough with Seebohm, Ustinova looking sharper at this point

Bad Anon

Coutts in the 200IM that is

pol

If Franklin doesn’t perform well in Kazan I will blame CAL/Terri for that. I still can’t get over why Terri let Franklin focused on the 500free instead of her backstroke which she needs to improve especially her start. So overrated.

DDias

Craig,
did not know what happened…just vanished. i was comparing Lochte and Cielo just saying their golden days are probably coming to an end(commenting on MP older post).

About gold medals, Australia 4x100free mixed is as clearly favourite as USA girls 4x200free. I am unsure about a tired Ledecky getting gold in 200free.

aswimfan

Yozhik,

I think you over-analyzed what Missy said about her goals. Missy knows that her fate as the greatest female swimmer in the next two years is on collision course with Ledecky.
Missy is now a pro swimmer (a distinction which only applies in the USA) and knows very well that the American public have know freaking idea about records, all they know is medals.

The american general public had zero knowledge about Phelps’ 4:03.84, all they knew was that Phelps won 8 golds in Beijing, thus cemented his status as the greatest swimmer ever. Missy is very smart and knows this.

And POL, we know you hate Teri/CAL. Give it up.

luigi

Danjohnrob and Yozhik, the main reason why I do not believe Ledecky will take gold in the 200 free this time around is that she looks more geared towards the 400 and up. Her stroke is perfectly efficient, almost superhuman for these races (she races the 400 like the 200, for example, in terms of technique and stroke rate). However when she tries shorter races I have a feeling she is “spinning”, or breaking form, and it seems to me that she makes great efforts for comparably little gains. Then there are the factors of a heavy schedule and a strong competition, that you rightly point out. Therefore while of course she is going to be in the mix, because she is the best female freestyler in the world, for now I do not see her as a gold medal contender. It could be that later on in her career she will focus on shorter events and who knows what could happen then.

Yozhik

Thank you aswimfan for pointing on my excessive “lyrics” in my post. But when Ledecky was questioned in Irvin last year about her limits she answered that she is not throwing up yet at the end of race. Something like that. That makes me to believe that competition in the pool is what her life is mostly all about now and this girl is ready to do everything to her body (I hope legal only) to achieve. There are plenty of galactically stupid prediction about Ledecky and none of such about Franklin any more  I agree with pol that Missy may lost the brightest years in her career from 17 to 20. And if it is so then her coaches have been selfish. Let see what will happen. She may emerge as supper Pro that swimming has never seen before.

Bad Anon

Franklin is so far ahead of her rivals on backstroke she actually slowed down in 2013 but still remained soooo far ahead especially on 2back, In all modesty she can be 2.03low even go 2.02(or faster ) 200m back and 57mid to high 100back; however it looks like her focus is now on winning gold even if it means forgoing wr attempts in events she is clearly dominant ,it won’t be worth it going 2.02 if 2.05low will be enough for gold insofar as huge schedule is concerned. Ledecky on the other hand seems to enjoy racing the clock and I wonder if she’s gonna slow down any time soon

gbswim

Katie Ledecky is the standout swimmer of the US team heading to Kazan, and it’s hard to see her leaving without at least 3 Golds in the 400m, 800m and 1500m. Add to this the Women’s 4x200m freestyle where Ledecky along with Franklin and if in form, Schmitt, make Team USA favourites for the crown and US have 4 Golds.
Women’s 200m free will be one of the highlights of the meet with Heemskerk, Sjostroem and McKeown allowing no room for error for Franklin or Ledecky. I think 1 will medal, but not gold.

No Rebecca Soni or Dana Vollmer, Beisel and Hardy injured, there is a lack of big names and relay members and I think JAP, AUS, GBR, DEN etc. will capitalise. Maya Dirado and Caitlin Leverenz are medley hopes and Simone Manuel has an outside chance of a sprint free medal but it doesn’t look like there is much else.

Similarly with the men’s side, Lochte is no longer a contender in a sweep of events and ,still, in the absence of Phelps, USA are not looking as certain to top the medal haul. Nathan Adrian faces tough competition from Brazil and Australia in the sprint freestyles, as Do Jaeger and Dwyer in the middle distances. Kevin Cordes is expected to perform in the breaststroke events but Adam Peaty looks dead set for gold in the sprints, with heavy competition from Ross Murdoch and the Japanese in the 200m.

If Ledecky sweeps the 400-1500m free and the Women’s 4x200m free performs, USA will have a below par Championships. However, they’ve dominated the past decade of swimming and I still think they will finish Top 3 – Australia top. It would also be naive to think Team USA won’t be in considerably better shape come Rio.

I have to say this is the best GBR team for as long as I can remember and a young team I can’t wait to watch.

barkergk

Yozhik, if you read my comment carefully you will see that I was not trying to convert SC yards success to LC predictions. I was simply comparing Missy’s 200 yd free time to that of Ledecky’s this year, the only comparison we have.

barkergk

Pol, what will it take for Terri McKeever to get your respect? Four NCAA titles in 7 years and never finishing out of the top 3. Rehabilitating a nearly washed up Natalie Coughlin and turning her into an Olympic champion. Developing Dana Volmer into an Olympic champion and training Franklin to NCAA swimmer of the year and to a 200 free American record that may last a very long time. is it that she us a woman? Is it that she trains her swimmers differently by having them do other things like Pilates and dance and swim in Hawaii to break the boredom and love of the sport-killing endless yardage? What will it take Pol?

Craig Lord

gbswim, the USA have largely dominated for the past three decades and in one form/gender or shape for thy past 100 years; team-wise, heir consistent presence at the helm of medals tables is one of the great success runs of any sport all-time. I can imagine a medals tally of 25 to 30 – and that will top all others … the top of the heap depending, of course, on the gold count.

Craig Lord

barkrgk, I would add to that the care and attention paid at recruiting phase to aspects of up-bringing, attitude, family life, respect for others that speak and play out well beyond racing days and the headliners who end up getting big medals on big occasions. I heard her deliver a speech on those themes once – excellent stuff. Some of ha is alluded to here:
http://www.swimvortex.com/vollmer-leverenz-on-the-art-of-celebrating-difference/

Danjohnrob

Gbswim, You may have been referring to Rio in your comment, but FYI, neither Schmitt nor Leverenz will be competing in Kazan. They I’ll be swimming at the Pan Am Games, along with Coughlin, Cullen Jones, Nick Thoman, Kelsi Worrel and a number of other noteworthy athletes.

john26

Which American Male is going to win an individual gold? When your best shot looks to be Ryan Lochte in the 200IM (im giving it 50/50 at this point), there is justified reason to be concerned.

I would argue that the reason for this is that the youngsters of the new generation has made, at best-incremental, at worst-stagnant, progress in the events they were expected to take over. This is nowhere more prominent than America’s best events: the backstrokes and IM’s. America’s new generation has not significantly advanced since 2013. Take a look at Murphy’s 100back, Murphy, conger et al in the 200back (I’m counting a lot of 1:55/1:56), Kalisz… etc.

Their times have been good, but we’re still waiting for that meteoric swim that have been promised from these swimmers for more than 4 years. This is the year to do.

I’m sure there will be golds outside of Franklin or Ledecky, but the front line of American power is at its most depleted this century.

Yozhik

Barkergk, I apologize if you found something offensive in my response to your post. I just wanted to note that Franklin’s readiness to compete at top level in Kazan is not that obvious to me as it is for you. What I am with you on is that when she wanted to put the exclamation mark to NCAA records – she did it. With Sarah’s questionable participation and Missy’s shown ambition the puzzle of 200m gets even more complicated.

Yozhik

Roy, doesn’t it bother you that following aswimfun’s classification you are now belong to the freaking American public category :-) I like medals as much as you do, and I wish my favorite team to win no matter how good a bad they perform – just be better than opponent. I pretty much sure that Katinka is the hero and the model in Hungary and it is fair. But you are probably missing the core of the notion of WR. That is nobody before you and maybe nobody after you ever in human race can do better. Don’t you feel power of those never ever :-) I was so, so much happy when Katie was recognized the swimmer of the meet in Barcelona over those historical 6 gold medals of Franklin. Despite I despise FINA I took my hat off that day.

AvantSwim

Pol harps on about Franklin’s 500 free when the answer is simple: McKeever is always trying to win the NCAAs–as any good coach would do, she did her math of points. Last year, before Runge, Franklin was in the best position to score. Also, to think that training for the 500 didn’t help Franklin’s two ridiculously ground-breaking 200 scy freestyles is short-sighted to say the least.

pol

AvantSwim, congrats on the NCAA success! Hooray for that! Hoorayyyy!! Yipeyy!

Who cares about College Swimming?

AvantSwim

barkergk,
I suspect there is little McKeever can do to gain the poster’s respect. And indeed, I do suspect some latent, if not explicit, gender bias: he certainly does not hold any other coach to the same exacting standards which he holds McKeever. For this person, McKeever is a one-swimmer coach, with all her value based on the performance of Franklin alone. And he has already admitted that will consider Franklin a “failure” if she “only” wins a few medals. For this commenter, anything below what Franklin did in 2013–which verged on the miraculous–will prove his point, which he has stated numerous time: they are “losers.”

AvantSwim

I care about all swimming forums, Pol. I can only speak for myself.

aswimfan

John26,

I would think Grevers in 100 back has at least the chance of winning gold as Lochte in 200 IM.

aswimfan

One thing for sure,

Women 200 free will be explosive.
Before, I did prefer Sjoestrom not to swim the 200 as I wanted her to be as fresh as she could be in 100 free/fly and one of 50 free or fly.

But her 200 free progression last year was ridiculous and Heemskerk and Ledecky’s 200 free in the past 10 months have been skyrocketing not to mention Missy’s 200 yard record which has caused American swimming forums to explode in “did she just swim that time” exclamations – and due to all of these I want them all to swim 200 free to create a big big show. Throw into the race the former queen Pellegrini and the fast improving mcKeon and SMOC, it might take a 1:55 to final, and I am feeling giddy just thinking about it.

I hope all these stars show up, Yes!!

aswimfan

I don’t want to be denied this Kazan w200 free show, so someone tell Sjostrom to swim 200 free please… 🙂

Yozhik

Aswimfan, If being under 1:56 is a prerequisite of getting to the final then you can say bye-bye to Ledecky :-( Her semi-final is just 10 minutes after 1500m final.

Yozhik

Aswimfan, Last year I was as much excited as you are now anticipating a bloody battle for two tickets to WC between reigning Franklin, recovering Schmitt and challenging Ledecky at Nationals. Nothing has happened to talk about. I have a very strange feeling that the history is going to repeat itself.

Bad Anon

It will “never” take 1.55 to final, are you kidding. No championships final has had all 8finalists going 1.55. 0nly in London did it take 1.57.57 to make finals, I am certain 1.56.5 thereabouts will safely final

aswimfan

What I meant was 1:55+ or sub 1:56

But yeah I was too hyped when I was thinking about the possibility of that final race and I do agree that 1:56.50 should be safe for final.

Bad Anon

What is also true is that all finalists may be capable of going 1.55 or better, whether they ALL swim fast when it counts is highly unpredictable. ,choking in finals is hardly a new phenomenon.. .

Francene

@ Yozhik: I believe that you are mistaken saying that Ledecky was tapered in January. From what I’ve heard she’s done no more than a 3 day rest since Pan Pacs.

Also, I believe you under estimate her if you think that she cannot final in the 200 10 minutes after the 1500. I do not, however, think that it will take under 1:56 to final.

Yozhik

Francene: Frist of all I don’t think that tapering process has exact definition, so we can be on different pages with that, and secondly of course neither Ledecky nor her coach told me personally that she was tapered. My information came from Ledecky’s interview after Austin (that I heard myself) where she said that she had a great training period during last two months. After that I read an article where was mentioned that she stated that she was tapered. How trustworthy the source is I cannot tell. If it is important I will find this article and post the reference.
So far, general public opinion is that she doesn’t have limits. I wish it would be so. But there are I also some expert discussions that estimate her possible life personal bests being not that far from her current results. Again if it would be of any interest and appropriate place (we have already plenty of such predictions everywhere) I can post some citations. It would be only one short race (Men’s 100 back final) between her 1500m final and 200 semifinal. 10 minutes is my invention. Sorry for that. If she finishes under 1:56 nobody will be surprised. But to my opinion the probability of such event is out of one sigma.

pol

Ledecky will let her doubters eat some crow. Some even underestimate her 400 free in 2013. She wasn’t even the fastest in the world before Barcelona.

Yozhik

Pol, it is hard to find other person who is more obsessed with Ledecky than I am. I followed everything about her since London. I took it as personal insult that wide recognition of this phenomenon in competitive swimming came only two years later at the end of 2014. It was a shame that she got media attention abroad first and only much later in US. It was a shame when her success at 200 at Nationals in 2013 was taken as a lucky accident, and her decision to skip this distance at WC because of tough schedule as convenient excuse. I love everything about her. I read all articles about her and all articles about all articles about her. We are blessed to witness her records that we won’t see bitten by anybody else to the end of our lives. But you will probably don’t argue that she will never swim 200 faster than one minute. So there is a limit somewhere. If you have some reasonable idea where it can be I will listen to you with open mouth. But I suggest you not to respond on my comment now and wait for Craig to open a topic about women freestyle champions. I have what to say, and you probably will not be quiet as well. Sincerely …

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