U.S. Olympic Trials: Chase Kalisz Grabs Rio Ticket as Litherland Stuns Lochte

Chase Kalisz of the United States of America (USA) competes in the men's 400m Individual Medley (IM) Heats during the FINA Swimming World Championships at Kazan arena in Kazan, Russia, 9 August 2015.
Chase Kalisz by Patrick B. Kraemer

Chase Kalisz used a huge breaststroke leg to claim victory in the 400 individual medley in 4:09.54, but it was Jay Litherland overhauling Ryan Lochte on the freestyle leg that was the stunning part of the race.

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Bad Anon

Bummer….! It’s most likely an issue of not being fully tapered for Omaha and having hoped to drop time in Rio… clearly strategy didn’t work…. Hope Lochte will at least have enough in the tank for top 6 finishes 100/200frew and top2 in the 200IM…. Those are the best bets for a 31yo coming to the end of his career….

beachmouse

Given the Olympic attempts of the triplets this year, it’s like one of those click-bait headlines- “A Litherland has made an Olympic team in swimming but it;s not what you’d think!’

I have spent the past five or so years trying to remember which one was Connor Jaegger and which one was Conor Dwyer since they seem to blend together in my mind, and them both making it in the 400 free isn’t helping.

Mama Bear (Vollmer) looked so smooth and beautiful with that 56.9 that it seems like there’s something still in the tank for tomorrow.

commonwombat

Lochte certainly “died” coming home. Some talk of a groin strain, maybe this can be confirmed or denied. Times not stellar or putting it out of range of the competition; the Japanese will certainly be thinking that they’re in with a shot in this race.

Doesn’t look much chance of an upset in W100fly unless something untoward happens to either Vollmer or Worrell in the next 24 hours. Some enthusiasts are touting a sub56 from Vollmer but I think they’re getting very carried away. Anything sub56.5 would be a great sign.

Bad Anon

It’s very unsportsmanlike to feign injury after a crushing defeat… Lochte just needs to admit he isn’t 21 anymore and lost to more prepared and fitter swimmers. Not the best start for coach marsh’s star pupil

John Lohn

No click-bait. Not enough room for first name. Had to get winner and runnerup in headline.

beachmouse

John, you probably hang out in more genteel places on the intrawebs than I do. I’ll admit to reading enough gossip site articles to go for the ‘but it’s not who/what you think’ joke here based on those kinds of headlines on sites elsewhere.

beachmouse

(and already had the joke in my head before reading here- this seemed like the unlikely scenario for getting one of the triplets to Rio as an athlete.)

easyspeed

That made me sad to watch Lochte swim his 4IM so poorly. Not a surprising result, however, given he has moved away from endurance training.

Bad Anon brings up an interesting point above too- no one knows how tapered anyone is for this meet. Wonder if Ryan was hoping to do a partial taper and still make the team.

Anyway, I don’t think Lochte’s focus was really on the long IM this year. Might not have swam it in RIO even if he had qualified.. so it’s probably better that he didn’t.

Still think Ryan can finish behind Phelps to get the second spot in the 2IM.. we shall see.

Chase was a little slower than four years ago at trials? Wonder how much rest he got for this meet. Congrats to him for making the team!

Danjohnrob

FYI- Lochte had a groin pull in the prelims of this event. Apparently he decided to try to go out really fast on fly and back, take it easy on breast, and see if he could still make top 2. He didn’t. The question is now whether he can swim the 200 IM well later in the week or if his best Rio individual medal chance, the 200 IM, is now blown because of this injury.

kevin roose

Opens up the race a little now in Rio 400 i.m in terms of minor medals Fraser -Holmes slightly releived Lochte not racing gives him a sniff of a chance for minor medal providing his time improves from April..

commonwombat

Kevin, he’s been at the same 4.11- 4.12 zone for the past 4 years; unless his backstroke miraculously improves he’s not likely to break 4.10 and that’s almost certainly what will be required to be contending.

Final … yes but the medals realistically look to be heading towards Kalisz & the Japanese.

aswimfan

Beachmouse,
This title is not a click-bait at all. You should have seen extremely bad click-bait titles in the other swimming sites.

aswimfan

Apology to beachmouse,
I didn’t read your follow-up comment before writing mine. Yes, nothing in swimvortex is anywhere nearly as shameless click-bait as other sites.

Lochte may claim groin injury (which may partially help to explain his pretty bad breast leg), but he just didn’t have it in the end. A 2012 Shiwen would have beat his free leg by more than 2 seconds.

He didn’t have it in London (some people called it coasting, no it was called “spent”. Age is always a winner at the end. This could turn out as a blessing in disguise for Lochte. As I have repeatedly said in the past year since Kazan (and got into argument with both Lochte’s and Phelps’ fan bases), 200 IM is his best chance for gold.
Now, if Lochte still insist on swimming 200 back after this, I call him crazy. But that’s Lochte, he does his do or die.

aswimfan

kevin,
I agree with CW.
TFH’s chance for 400 IM medal is very very slim. He should focus his training on 200 free instead. At the very least, he’ll help AUS getting 4×200 free medal. I think the medalists will be Hagino, Seto, Kalisz in that order.

easyspeed

Yeah- I heard about the groin injury thing. I dunno. If you want to be good at the 400 IM, you have to bust your tail. Lochte didn’t want to do that anymore. You cann’t have your cake and eat it too.

It’s hilarious to me that swimming fans think 31 is old. I have written about why that phenomenon exists elsewhere so I won’t repeat, but it remains funny and slightly annoying.

Luckily no one told 32 year old Dennis Kimetto that he was too old to run a 2:02 marathon.

easyspeed

*he was 30 when he broke the record. What a geezer.

aswimfan

Easyspeed,
When did Dennis Kimetto start his marathon training?
Most elite swimmers started their daily training at 6-7 yo. That’s a lot of burnouts.
Meanwhile, Kimmetto only started training professionally in 2008.

Swimming also depends critically on technique, running not nearly as much. Getting older means body changes which affect technique in major way.

Power to weight ratio also affects swimming more than running. And getting older past 30 makes it harder to maintain optimum power to weight ratio for distance event.

Another thing, the types of training required to swim 400 IM and distance events are also very different from say, 50 free. It’s much more punishing for older swimmer to train for elite 1,500 than 200. Just ask Grant Hackett.
That’s why the GOAT swimmer is still breaking his textile PB in 100 fly but not 200.
You can’t just say it’s because they don’t want to put in the work. The GOAT is much more motivated and trained harder now than he was pre-London, and yet even the greatest swimmer of all time would not touch 400 IM with ten foot pole.
That’s why swimmers like Dana Vollmer and Nathalie Coughlin are not touching 200 free even though they are swimming fantastic times in 100 events.

Tell me when 31 yo swimmer win a 400 distance and up at major championships. Better training, nutrition and supplement may help prolong swimmers longevity, but ageing is not just an abstract concept.

easyspeed

ASF: disagree with what you wrote. One thing you did get right is the burnout problem: and that has been the main factor with Phelps, Hackett and others, not age. Michael and Grant spent long periods of time not training in their later years (both out of the pool completely for awhile).

The other reason we haven’t seen older swimmers: no $ until recently. Now that there is more money in the sport, you will likely see swimmers at their peek in their late 20s, early 30s.

easyspeed

*peak. But you got a sneak peek from me.

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