Queens Of Consistency: Can Emily Seebohm & Missy Franklin Back Up What’s Been Banked?

Emily Seebohm - by Steve Christo for Swimming Australia
Emily Seebohm - by Steve Christo for Swimming Australia

Women’s backstroke and In keeping with the theme of our Olympic series series, we don’t have to look too far to find the queen of consistency in the 100m: Emily Seebohm has built one of the most powerful event ownerships in the clock all events, all-time as the owner of 28 of the best 50 100m backstroke efforts ever seen (that count in textile). All but three of those efforts are sub-59. Missy Franklin is queen of the all-time 200 ranks: 4/4, 6/10 and 20/20 of the best performances ever. The Rio contenders.

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Comments

aswimfan

Yes, and the more mind-boggling facts when you compare Hosszu and Seebohm is that Seebohm is at least as talented as Hosszu if not arguably more naturally talented than Hosszu. And yet Hosszu has been able to create such staggering improvements in a very short time.
Hard work?
I have not heard Seebohm to have been lazy in training.
Techniques?
Australian coaches have better technical knowledge than Shane Tusup.

Seebohm was already a world class backstroker at the age of 14, and she swam the fourth fastest 100 back as a 4×100 medley leadoff at 2007 Melbourne world championships.
Seebohm was a short distance Hosszu before there was a Hosszu: she was world’s top 10 in 100/200 back, 100 fly/free and 200 IM.
Seebohm won 2010 pan pacs golds in 100 free/back/fly and 200 IM beating the likes of Coughlin and Franklin.

And yet, not until she stopped swimming all other events and started focusing on 100/200 back only that she achieved speedy consistency in back events.
On the other hand, Hosszu blitzed her back events PBs by ADDING more and more events.

There has truly never been a swimmer like Hosszu.

Well, not true. I can think of someone particular from 1996, but even then, Hosszu’s scale and breadth of improvements and consistency dwarve that particular swimmer’s.

Jay Jenkins

I’m a little puzzled by Mr. Leonard’s story. He says that Missy jumped out of her semifinal in the 100 back and cheered for girls in the next heat. That all seems well and good and in line with something Missy might do, but Missy swam in HEAT 2 of the semifinal in Omaha (http://www.omegatiming.com/File/Download?id=000110000301011B01FFFFFFFFFFFF02).

Further compounding things is that no two swims in those semifinals shared the same name (although this is a less important detail, I suppose).

I’m not sure if this was an intentional fabrication or a simple mistake, but it baffles me that two major publications would endorse a story that is, at the very least, factually challenged. Missy seems like a great girl and I’m sure there are so many true examples of her good character; she doesn’t need some false story out there to make herself likable or appeal to sponsors.

kevin roose

Interesting side note Emilly and Mitch Larkin are a couple girlfriend and boyfriend . You would think there love would be a positive especially as they are swimming the same stroke and same distances……
Whats the saying love brings happiness , happiness brings results ….

commonwombat

Kevin, it can work both ways; either for positive (in accordance with your scenario) OR it can prove a distraction/have the potential for lack of focus …. which was the opinion expressed by both coaches when it first came up.

We’ll have an answer either way in 3 weeks time.

commonwombat

Franklin is certainly “up against it” as her backstroke has certainly fallen away appreciably post 2013. Is she completely out of the medal picture in the 200 back ? NO …..if simply for the reason that no one has conclusively taken this event and put it out of reach.

– Seebohm showed some potential to do so in 2015 but her 2016 showings to date haven’t as yet followed up that momentum.

-Hocking has done remarkably to return to her previous levels post injury and has to be seen as a legitimate contender but does she have anything more than a 2.06 ?

– Hosszu is a major player and, like Seebohm has the potential “top-side” that I suspect Hocking lacks. Her issue may be the potential impacts of her heavy schedule.

– DiRado bested Franklin at US Trials and swam a significant PB. Rio will be her competive “swan song” so there is potential to go out on a high but I favour her more in the IMs.

– Ustinova may be ruled out due to nationality

– the Canadians, Caldwell & Bouchard, should make the final but would be requiring significant PBs to contend unless the race is inordinately slow

– given the relative shallowness of the field, Franklin still IS a potential “wildcard” factor despite her ordinary form. Having said that, she’s realistically needing a semi-miraculous recovery of form and technique to be in the mix barring the lead contenders playing into her hands by racing tactically.

Eugene Chc

commonwombat, very well that Franklin trains last month before Rio without Schmitz. He was only in one weekend, and he did not have much harm.
But the problem is that the other coaches do not deal with her individually.

aswimfan

Jay Jenkins,

it might have been a typo, and John Leonard could have meant 200 free instead of 100 back semis.

In 200 back semi, she swam in the first heat, and in the second heat there were two Katies:
Katie Ledecky and Katie Drabot.

http://omegatiming.com/File/Download?id=000110000301001601FFFFFFFFFFFF01

aswimfan

Eugene,
Do you think Missy will go back training with Todd after Rio, or go somewhere else?

Craig Lord

Eugene, I think there’s a lot of individual attention given to US teamsters at this moment in the game…

Eugene Chc

aswimfan, some young coaches is very good.
Hosszu not fastest on top of water, but her turn fantastic. Weo years ago she raced Baker at one usa GP. Before turn she losing more than half second, but after turn she was clearly ahead.

How it about smart training, not hardest.
I think both Seebohm and Hosszu training much less than Franklin, even may be her training comparable to what they were doing together.

Craig Lord

Why would it baffle you, Jay Jenkins? Look at your small comment and the effort you went to to make it (thanks for the spot but please don’t be baffled) and then consider the volume of material you see around you on this site – you may have noticed that its about a zillion times bigger than the consideration and workload you’ve put in (complete with checking processes and interaction with lawyers that would leave you feeling truly baffled, I would imagine 🙂 – yes, I took the story as read without checking the sequence of events … that happens on things that look less pressing when it comes to the need to check. When it comes to serious issues, you can bank on it being checked … a tale of observation from trials does not make the list of ‘must quadruple check for accuracy’ especially when I’d heard it/read same from several others (minus the two names thing. I am clarifying it with John L and await an answer. I believe asf may have the answer.

commonwombat

Eugene, I’ve read both sides of the blame game with regards to Franklin’s backstroke woes and I’m just not going there (even as a former backstroker) ……. I’m confining myself to how I see her (and others prospects) on the evidence of their performances in recent times.

Seebohm HAS done a lot more specific dry land work in recent years; especially with regards to core stability. She, like Hosszu, has been one of the “poster girls” of the growing “fast year round” phenomena. Whether this has a trade-off of seeing a lesser impact at taper remains a question as yet unanswered.

aswimfan

whoopss.. in suggesting Leonard may have made a typo, I made a typo myself:
“In 200 back semi, she swam in..”
should have read
“In 200 free semi, she swam in..”

Bad Anon

The 200back is one of the most open races on the women’s schedule…. Many guys bunched 2.06mid to high…. I’m actually favouring Kirsty Coventry to make finals in both 100 and 200back but don’t think she’ll medal though… 1.00.08 and 2.09.09 are decent in season efforts and with rest i’m sure be quite competitive and be around finals at best…. For the medals
100back- Seebohm, Nielsen and Wilson
200back Seebohm, Hocking, Hosszu

Eugene Chc

aswimfan, it better for Missy to retiring than return to Schmitz.
before olympic trial she constantly talking about him and that he has full confidence in his training. Though the spring in an interview she said that not to understand why so many training and the results are so bad.
After olympic trial, she almost never says about Schmitz.

She clearly said it returns to study at CAL, i think she may skip 2017 WCH.

Eugene Chc

commonwombat, when I read the first Schmitz interview after Franklin return to him, I began to think that 2016 will be a disaster for her. After Santa Clara 2015(where her 50 back time was 29.5), I was sure of it.
I even thought that she didn qualifies for Rio , or just relay. But she qualify in two individual races.

Jay Jenkins

Craig, I’m not impugning your work in any way whatsoever. I love the site and its content. The “quadruple-check” standard fell on the first publication that ran it. I’m more baffled that certain people who should be in-the-know would post the story to their social media, etc.

Still, I find it more than a little ironic that Mr. Leonard’s “Most Memorable Moment” at Trials was more than a little mis-remembered. If the cheering part was during the 200 free instead of the 100 back the story would have been totally different. Missy did not have a terrible swim in the 200 free semi. Even then, Ledecky and Drabot were not the top 2 seeds in the 200 final.

Jay Jenkins

*not the top 2 seeds in the 2nd 200 semifinal, that is.

Jay Jenkins

If it was the 200 free SF, that would also suggest that Missy did not go straight to the warm down pool to prepare for her 100 back final later that night.

commonwombat

As I said, Eugene, I don’t wish to go there. I’m in no way impugning your opinion but none of us are in a position of actually KNOWING the full story.

As for the 100back; maybe not looking the secure bet it seemed in December 2015. Seebohm seemingly established a position of dominance over 2014-2015 with an astonishing series of sub59 swims throughout the calendar year.

Having, arguably, thrown away a chance of gold in London due to poor mental focus and immaturity; the impression has been that these have been seemingly addressed in recent years.

In fact, I’m perhaps seeing a parallel with Leisel Jones who hit the international scene at a similar age; failed to grasp Olympic gold at her 2nd games due to lack of maturity before establishing a regime of international dominance over the next Olympic cycle. Some differences of course but the scenario is not dissimilar.

Like Jones, I feel Seebohm SHOULD finally collect her first individual Olympic gold at her 3rd games and I suspect, like Jones, she may bat “1 from 2” with regards to her events.

Having said that; whilst Seebohm deserves clear favouritism I see her position as far from secure. If at her very best, she SHOULD win and the WR may be in play but if she is merely ‘very good’ then I see Neilsen as being extremely dangerous and more than capable of the upset.

Other contenders:
Hosszu: very much in the medal picture and not without a chance of winning.
Wilson: a medal contender IF she can rediscover her 2015 form
Smoliga: conceivable minor medal chance but this will most likely require another significant PB on top of the major advance she has already made this year to get to her current point
Masse: much along similar lines to Smoliga
Baker: as per Smoliga & Masse, albeit from a starting point further back.
Brits: final looks their ceiling

aswimfan

Jay Jenkins,

Leonard wrote:
and cheered for the top two seeds in the other semi-final! She yelled loudly and repeatedly, “Let’s GO X and Y and Let’s Go X No 2 (since they both had the same first name).

My guess is
X = Katie Ledecky
Y = Cierra Runge (she swam for CAL when Missy was there)
X no.2 = Katie Drabot

Craig Lord

Jay, I’ll update the file when I have an answer to a reasonable question …

aswimfan

I agree with CW. I think Seebohm will win 1 gold out of the 2 individual events.

Jay Jenkins

You’re welcome, Craig. Always happy to help!

kevin roose

This has nothing to do with swimming or this thread but it does have to do with the Rio Olympics..
The Australian team has refused to move into the Olympic Village they were to take accomadation from July 21 , this is due to blocked toilets, water running down walls , exposed electrical wires and dirty floors in the said building allocated to the Australians ….
Athletes in Rio now are being housed at hotels organised by the Australian Olympic Federation..
A official announcement was made to the media today apparently over a 1000 extra workers have been put in the village to over come these problems ….
Great Britain and New Zealand have also expressed similiar concerns ….
No Australian athlete is to move into the village at this time

Dan smith

bad anon says many “guys” are bunced at 2:06 in the women’s 200 backstroke. The “guys” swimming are women. Just saying.

Yeah the women,s 200 back really has no clear leader or favorate. I think the gold will be won in 2:05 low. I really don’t see a 2:04.
A 2:04 is very hard. I also think that Missy franklin,s back problems were caused by her 2:04 low WR. She pushed hard for that WR and was never the same. But she has the WR which is an achievement.

aswimfan

Dan Smith,
MIssy’s 200 back WR was done in 2012 London.
In 2013 Barcelona she was still swimming as fast as 2012.

Bad Anon

Dan Smith
I’ll apologize for loosely using the term “guys” in reference to ladies. The error is noted and regretted… I do agree with you that there is no clear leader and going 2.04 is a tough ask for any of the top contenders…. Even in shiny suits, only Coventry (2.04.81) and Zueva (2.04.94) and in textile, ofcourse Franklin 2.04.06(London2012) and 2.04.76(BCN2013)… A big jump to Seebohms 2.05.81 and Zueva’s 2.05.92 then the rest are 2.06 efforts…. The effect of midnight swomming on race time is yet to be seen…. Anyone cracking 2.06 will moat definitely medal

Eugene Chc

aswimfan, I do not find any information about Missy current state. no prediction until some data.

Robbos

BA, I agree with you, no-one will beat Seebohm in the 100 & with Franklin a long way from 2012/13 form, there is not many that can match Seebohm’s last lap. Seebohm for double gold.

Dan smith

Aswimfan
I,m just speculating concerning Missy franklin,s back problems off course. I think the back problems may have started in 2012 and exacerbated in 2013. A 2:04 in the 200 back in the 200 back is tough on the body, for women off course. A woman who wants to swim a 2:04 in the 200 back has to push her body beyond breaking point. Missy swam a 2:04:6 in 2012 which means she really pushed and her back revolted in protest. Just speculating off course.

Eugene Chc

if it was back problem, then her yard time were much slower than before. But she swim big personal best at 2015 NCAA in all her event.

aswimfan

Dan Smith,
I think Missy swimming 2:04.0 was just at the most efficient/peak power to weight ratio/ time to swim 200 back, just like Egerszegi did her 2:06.6 at the age of 16/17.
I doubt MIssy will ever get back to 2:04 regardless of training.

Craig Lord

Jay. John Leonard has confirmed that it was his mistake. The 200 free is what he should have referred to. The article now reflects that. Thanks.

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