Michael Phelps, Katie Ledecky Taking On Adjusted Schedules at Orlando Pro Series

Michael Phelps
Michael Phelps by Patrick B Kraemer

Michael Phelps is scheduled to race four events at the Orlando stop of the USA Swimming Pro Series, including the 100 butterfly and 100 freestyle.

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Ger

Some confusion as to whether Missy Franklin is entered. On the link above, which is listed elsewhere also, she is absent. This one here, which is from the following day, has her down as competing: http://usaswimming.org/_Rainbow/Documents/a43b691d-3ed4-4be0-bd03-686303109e16/psychtousaswimming6.pdf

Craig Lord

Thanks Ger. It looks like they missed her by mistake and then reinstated her (we’ll see when the action begins).

aswimfan

That’s an interesting schedule by Ledecky.

I wonder how serious she is about including 400 IM or 200 IM in her next Olympics/Worlds schedule.

beachmouse

I can remember a few 50 yard free/200 free relay splits from Ledecky during her high school days that, while not earth-shattering, would have drawn a little interest from college coaches. Wondering if this is a bit of a test meet here to try to figure out how seriously she should take the 100 free this summer.

aswimfan

Beachmouse,

Do you think Ledecky will swim individual 100 in Rio is she qualifies in the US trials?

beachmouse

If she can qualify with a 53 low, no reason not for her to give it a try. She’s a proven big meet racer and the schedule is relatively kind- plenty of less fit swimmers can do the 100 free semis/4×200 FR finals in the same session with success, and while the girls seems to have no ‘slow’ button, she’s so far ahead of the field in the 800 free at this point, she can dial it back in the heats and be fairly fresh for the 100 final, provided she makes it.

She will not win the 100 free, (and I dread American media for even suggesting it) but I could see her sneaking in for a bronze there because she’s just so rock solid consistent and the women all ahead of her on paper have had their share of bad big meets for whatever reason.

Rafael

Beach, I think Ledecky might go somewhere between a 53 low-mid if she wants, but she must be rested for finals and a 53 low won´t make the cut, not with the C Sisters, Sjostrom, Ranomi, It would be hard for 2 of the 4 to have a bad meet, and we have Femke and who know what Ruck will have for us

beachmouse

For whatever reason, the women’s 100 free tends to throw off it’s share of huh? results. Going back to London, the wildly inconsistent Jessica Hardy made the finals ahead of both Femke and Sjostrom and it had fallen to Mel Schlanger to take silver and try to salvage an awful meet for the Aussies.

2015 WC was kind of an outlier in running more or less to heat sheet entry times. If the odds of making the final seem to be decent, IMO no reason not to roll the dice with an athlete who recovers very well and see what comes out of that roll.

Yozhik

It is absolutely amazing what this young lady does with experts’ opinions. They just aren’t catching up. Very recently (last summer) there were serious discussions if she is capable at all of making 4×100 relay. She only once went under 54 since then and we are already hearing voices of her contesting Olympic medal. Amazing.
She will definitely compete to be the #1 American sprinter at 100. Should she succeed with that she will swim all three relays and will contest 100. Why not? To compete at all but 50 Olympic freestyle FINALS and to win three of them is by itself historical achievement.
Besides Manual I don’t see who can stop her. The competition with Franklin will repeat the 2014 -2015 story about the superiority at 200. Weitzeil has slower personal best and didn’t show strength in Austin. She was leading up to 70 meters of the race and lost to Sjostrom 0.82sec and to Ledecky 0.25sec at the end. I don’t see anybody else on the horizon who can enter this competition.

paolo rubbiani

Too optimism for Ledecky’s medal chances in the 100 free in my opinion.
1) In Kazan bronze was Cate Campbell with a time of 52.82; in Rio will need a better time to medal in my opinion, and I don’t think that Ledecky will be capable of a 52.6-52.7.
2) Ledecky isn’t a 100 free-specialist and both the heats and the semifinals will be a tricky affair for her
3) C1&C2, Sjostrom, Kromo are great specialists, then Heemskerk, Coleman, Ruck, Steenbergen, Ikee, Popova, Bonnet, Halsall, Herasimenia, Ottessen, Van Landenghem, Manuel etc to deep the field..

Yozhik

Paolo, your list is indeed very impressive but is a little bit misleading. We have two swimmers per nation restriction in place. It is very possible that W100 fs final in Rio will look very similar to one in Kazan. Two Americans who even were not at their best at all have swum their. And as beachmouse mentioned above 100m finals are places where things happen.

beachmouse

Going an excellent time in friendly domestic waters is one thing; it’s often a slightly different or additional skill set to make it to spend just enough energy in heats and semis and then peak in a final of a global championship.

Some athletes like Ranomi and Katie seem to have it all dialed in; others like Femke often struggle and there’s a ‘jury still out’ group where I’d put someone like Mack Horton on the men’s side.

aswimfan

Beachmouse,

Melanie Schalnger didn’t win 100 free medal in London. She finished just 0.03 seconds behind Bronze (Tang Yi). Herasimenis – yes, the drug cheater- won silver.

Schlanger’s time from her semi would have won the silver though.

I am so bummed everytime another swimmer is denied medal because another cheater is steroid user.

aswimfan

If Ledecky swim 100 free, she is clearly gunning for Shane Gould, which Bruce Gemmel has said is the gold standard.

Yozhik,

Winning three freestyle events in Olympics has been done: Debbie Meyer in 1968. But yes, she didn’t compete in 100 free.

Also, Shane Gould swam and finaled in all freestyle events in Munich, and won medals in all of them. In addition to a nicely winning 200 IM of course.

After the war/modern swimming, to win a sprint free medal in addition to middle/distance events in the same olympics is very rare, because sprint has always been a specialised event with the longest olympics history.

After the war, the only women who have done it (winning 100 free medal as well as 400 free):
Dawn Fraser, Lorraine Crapp, Shane Gould

And the men:
Don Schollander, Ian Thorpe

Swimmers like Gould, Thorpe and Ledecky are the rarest of the rare: their swimming excellence seems to have known no boundary, trespassing and excelling in all distances.

aswimfan

Yozhik and Beachmouse,

I kinda disagree that Olympics 100 free threw its share of huh? results.
Certainly no more than other events and much less than many other events.

Going back all the way since 1956 Melbourne, all of w100 free medalists were always among the favorites to medal.

There were a couple of gold medallists surprises like Sandy Neilson who beat both Babashoff and Gould, or Zhuang Yong who beat both Jenny Thompson and Van Almsick, but Yong were already world champion in the previous year in 50 free and bronze medallist in 100 free. While I assume fatigue were to blame in the case of Gould and Babashoff.

50 free is where anything can happen.

Yozhik

Asf, I didn’t say that Ledecky can be the only one who won multiple Olympic medals. My point was that there is no shame to compete in Olympic finals and should I were Ledecky and should I had an opportunity to do so I wouldn’t skip 100m competition no matter what my chances for medal are (For any finalist they are not zero).

aswimfan

Yozhik,

I see, I got what you meant now.
If Ledecky swims the individual 100 free, it would be courageous of her,because she already has so many events.

Yozhik

She can potentially race from four to seven events. If she does so it will be indeed courageous. But it is too early to talk about it. I haven’t even check if the scheduler permits of doing such things. In opposite to other American fast swimmers Ledecky doesn’t have a proven record of first class races at short distances. She did it just once and very unexpectedly. The only reason we have such conversation is the size of the improvement of her personal best to the world class level time. That says that she is focusing now on sprinting distances. And we do have a proven history of whatever she is touching is getting gold 🙂

aswimfan

Judging by her Orlando schedule, it does seem she is going to do focus on shorter distances and IM after the Olympics.

I wonder if her goal is to break WR in as many events as possible by the time she retires. Her 400/800/1500 WRs are virtually untouchable until she retires, unless another phenom like her suddenly appears in the next decade, which is quite unlikely.

She has better chance to break 400 IM WR than sprinting WRs though.

Yozhik

Actually Franklin did have seven events in London OG. What a petty she is not that strong as four years ago. We would have two super stars colliding. It would be a Big Bang. 🙂

aswimfan

Yozhik,

Franklin is now living and training I’m Colorado. Who knows what liiving in altitude and training with Todd schmitz will do to her. It may do wonder and bring her back closer to her best years.

Yozhik

Let wish this wonder happen as soon as possible. Her recent interviews by being wise and mature sound sad from inside. She has to start to win. She is needed to get her smile, happiness and confidence back. Otherwise no wonder will happen no matter where she is training and who her coach is.

commonwombat

One cannot help feeling that Franklin has partly been the victim of excessive expectations being heaped upon her. She would most certainly not be the first or the last.

Whilst there were most certainly grounds for high hopes for her, given her spread of events in which she has been internationally competitive and in some cases dominant at certain periods; the unreasonable “kicks in” with the expectations that she must be dominant in all at the same time and that these periods of dominance will go unchallenged.

Maybe the advent and progress of Ledecky who HAS, most likely proven to be the epochal female swimmer that the USA has been hoping for since Janet Evans, will see her seen in a more realistic light but that may not be the case.

In a way, having major Olympic & international success so early in her career has been a double edged sword with the expectations that she would retain her position of dominance whilst going through physical issues & transition from school to college life.

These expectations have also failed to take into account the realities that her competitors were never just going to “sit still” but rather have their own career progressions; some of which have superseded Franklin in various events. Cases in point 200free and Seebohm in backstroke.

In reality, she has only ever “owned” one event, that being the 200back. In others she’s been merely internationally competitive (100free) or international champion (200free/100back) without being necessarily dominant.

We would be foolish to write her off; her quality is beyond question. However she does face some very significant challenges going into Rio and one hopes American expectations are realistic ones.

Yozhik

It can be very true what you said, CW. The media invested in her and wants to have a return. That’s what makes her hurt most. I think. Should the surrounding environment be adequate she would take the challenge of sport life as it is – with all these ups and downs and ups again. Now she was put in the position like she owns something to the media and public for the credits given in advance.

Yozhik

*owes something

Rafael

common one thing i saw on many forums and sites is that unfortunately, US swimmer fans are far from being realistic and many of the sites also aren´t.

We have seem many times people expecting all US relay swimmers to be sub-48 flat easily, and that Feigen would crush the competition on 2015, that Adrian would go 21,2 and 47,4 at Worlds and would win double gold. Some people even kept saying that if Ledecky were on the medley/free relays the US would win and the list go on.

For this meet where probably many swimmers are under training there is a slate of people expecting Adrian go 21 low 47 low (Even when we saw that no one ever could do both times at the same time and that only one swimmer ever went sub 47,5 textile) and that we might see some WR..

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