Which Champions Will Keep Their Crowns In Kazan? The Form Guide: Men’s Medley

Can Ryan Lochte stem the tide of time; Japan's Kosuke Hagino and Daiya Seto have their sights on both medley crowns [Lochte by Patrick B. Kraemer; Hagino and Seto courtesy of Swimming Australia]

In our series looking ahead to the World Championships, we’ve started to consider which titles will be defended and how the holder is shaping up. After men’s free, back, breast and ‘fly, we turn to medley

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In our series looking ahead to the World Championships, we’ve started to consider which titles will be defended and how the holder is shaping up. After men’s free, back, breast and ‘fly, we turn to medley

Comments

MP

FORZA RP!

Bad Anon

With Lochte dropping 100free and just focussing on 2free and 2IM will make him fresh got the short medley and 1.54mid to high will not be surprising from the wr holder. havent checked how favorable the Kazan schedule will be for Lochte but with no doubles he’ll be hard to beat

Bad Anon

*fresh for

aswimfan

Bad Anon,

but Lochte never swam individual 100 free in major LCM champs, so not swimming 100 free will not affect him much and should not make him more fresh than he usually was at major champs. If you are talking about Pan pacs, well Pan Pacs didn’t have semis for 200 IM and Lochte swam slow in the prelims, which made him actually more fresh for the consolation final.

Not swimming 400 IM was supposed to make him more fresh, unfortunately in Kazan 400 IM will fall on the last day.

Danjohnrob

I’m not willing to give up on Ryan’s 200 IM yet! He may not be the best in the 200 free anymore, but he’s not going to let Hagino win without a struggle! By the way, if Lochte wins he’ll be only the 4th swimmer in history to win the same event at LC World Championships 4 or more times, along with Hackett (1500 free), Piersol (200 back) and Phelps (200 fly – the only person with 5 of a kind).

easyspeed

Got my money on Lochte for the 2IM

aswimfan

If only Hagino gave up 200 or 400 free, I would have bet firm on him winning 200 IM.

Sadly, Hagino is still obsessed about winning multiple 200/400 free/IM

When he could not even do it at Asian Games and Pan Pacs, I can’t see how he does it at Worlds, and it would even jeopardize his chances in his strongest events of 200/400 IM.

When it comes to quick recovery, Hagino is no Phelps nor Lochte.

MP

Roy – I absolutely agree with your prediction for both 200 & 400 IM. It will be fascinating to see if the Japanese duo can beat Lochte in the 200 and as for the 400, I guess it is only for Hagino to lose. Seto could push him, but I still reckon the former has stronger times and credentials. Bronze is a huge question mark and open to about 10 swimmers. Good luck to all, especially to RP.

longstroke

My predictions:

200 IM
Lochte
Hagino
Clary

400 IM
Hagino
Seto
Clary

Anon

“Lochte has not topped year end rankings since 2013” … So in other words he didn’t top the 1 end of year rankings that has been available since 2013? Cmon Craig let’s not sensationalise

Craig Lord

That’s a straight fact, Anon; you can say the same in various ways but it doesn’t sensationalise at all.

Rafael

I would still not count Pereira out.. I Think he still have what it takes to go 4:08 and 1:56.. which will medal in both IM..

Craig Lord

I’m not counting Pereira out, Rafael: a variety of stroke swims here and there would indicate he’s been working on it.

aswimfan

This alternative is not a sensational way:

Lochte has not topped world ranking at ANYTIME since 2013

Bad Anon

How about 2014 was an off year after Lochte topped 200im rankings in 2013. He’s now working to defend his title with encouraging performances at the arena proswim meets a few weeks ago

felixtzu

Anon, yes, I also found that a very odd sentence. Craig, you’re the best at what you do, but come on, that was off.

Lochte should get it done. I don’t think Hagino will ever quite get down to the Lochte/Phelps 200 territory, but hopefully he’ll have his schedule right to be at his best for the 400.

easyspeed

A better question is who will put up a faster 200 IM time this summer, Lochte or Phelps. Thoughts?

Rafael

Clary is now out of 200 IM…Dwyer in.. seems US wants clary at 4×200 relay..

Dwyer get his swim.. but don´t see a 1:56 200 IM on him (Did not saw also on clary so..)

Danjohnrob

@easyspeed: I think Phelps does his best in the 200 IM when he is pushed by competition. His best time ever was in 2011 (see video above) when even though he possibly was not in his best condition he had Lochte to push him to the limit.

Phelps will likely have David Nolan, the US’s SC Recordholder in the event to race, but David hasn’t broken 2:00 in LC yet, so Phelps will be pretty much on his own. The one advantage Phelps will have is that the 200 IM final in Kazan is a couple of days before he swims it in San Antonio, so he’ll have a target to shoot for.

Danjohnrob

@Rafael: Dwyer’s best time is 0.2 faster than Clary has done, a 1:57.41 from 2014 which left him #6 in the world rankings. He’s relatively new to focusing on the event, and could improve, but under 1:57 sounds too optimistic, I agree. I think, given Clary’s busy schedule in Kazan, Dwyer is more likely to reach the final, so it’s probably good that Clary dropped the race!

easyspeed

@ Dannohnrob: good point re: competition. Actually, both he and Ryan benetfit from going head to head. Ah well, that will have to wait until Rio. True also Phelps can shoot for whatever Lochte puts up, an advantage in that regard….. Phelps wants the crown back. It is a well known fact that Bowman and Phelps don’t make their goals public (until after a big meet is over) but I’ll bet you anything that one is getting back the WR. Might not see it this year, but plausable in 2016.

aswimfan

Roy,

not sure to whom you direct your comment “As for hagino not being Phelps and lochte. Yes I agree both Phelps and lochte are great swimmers but they both had the luxury of great relay teams which boosted their gold medal count.” to.

But here’s my original sentence:

“When it comes to QUICK RECOVERY, Hagino is no Phelps nor Lochte”

I did not say anything about comparing Hagino to Phelps and Lochte in medals or even being a great swimmer.

aswimfan

easyspeed,

easy, Lochte will post faster 200 IM time this year.

aswimfan

I think a 1:55.00 should win 200 IM in Kazan.

Currently only two swimmers can do it: Lochte and Hagino.

aswimfan

Here’s evidence to support why I think Hagino is not on the level of Phelps and Lochte in quick recovery :

1. We know Phelps swam full schedule multiple times at major championships and came out on top of the world.
2. Lochte, too, did that in 2011 Shanghai and almost pulled it off in 2012 London.
3. Hagino swam full schedule in 2013 Barcelona, and the result was less than satisfactory, to say the least. He also tried to do the same last year at Pan pacs and Asian Games and they were not really great, especially following his spectacular showing at Japan Nationals. The difference :he could swim half asleep in the prelims of Japan Nationals and still through to finals. He cannot do that at pan pacs and Asian Games, let alone world championships and Olympics.

I think he realized this, and therefore edited out the backstroke events.
In my opinion, he should cut out one of the two free events if he want to secure the IM golds.

for33

I find it rather difficult to predict when Mr. Seto prevails over Mr. Hagino in the medley races. In many instances it seems random, given that Mr. Hagino impresses as a much stronger swimmer. Anyway, for the 200m individual medley I think it’ll be Hagino, Seto, and Lochte. For the 400 m individual medley it’ll be Hagino, Seto, and Fraser-Holmes.

Viva la Bang

Lochte has not looked that good for a couple of years, The young guns may surprise!

Danjohnrob

@easyspeed: One of my dearest wishes is to have a look at Michael’s goal sheet! He has said his goals are “very lofty”, and I agree with you. I think he could have broken 1:54 if he hadn’t had so many races before the 200 IM in Beijing or if his competitors had been pushing him more at the finish of the race. Also, if he had trained harder, he might have done it in 2011 or 2012, but he lacked motivation. I just hope he’s really committed and it’s not too late…

I also think it bothers him that he never beat Crocker’s textile best in the 100 fly, so I think that’s on the “To do before I Retire Again” list too.

THIS summer though, I think we can expect a sub 51 100 fly and a 1:55 200 IM. If I disappear from this forum, it may be because I’ve been arrested for breaking into Phelps’ locker at NBAC. 😉

Danjohnrob

@aswimfan: As usual, you make a lot of sense in your comments! I just want to add that, in terms of Hagino’s schedule, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Japanese coaching staff said, “Hey Kosuke, we already have a medalist in the backstroke races and we need you fresher in the freestyle relays, so we respectfully insist you skip the 100/200 back in Kazan!”

I also wouldn’t be surprised if the coaches TOLD him to swim the other 4 races this summer. He’s going to have to skip either the 400 IM or 400 free in Rio, as you know, because they’re on the same day. If Seto medals in the IM and Hagino does so in the freestyle, I think we’ll see Hagino swim the 400 free in Rio.

I also think the coaches are steering their star toward the 200 free because they want to medal (AND BEAT CHINA) in the 4×200 relay in Kazan and Rio. You know more about Asian swimming than I do; don’t you think it’s likely that the Japanese coaching staff has a lot more to say about what events their stars swim than the US coaches do?

Danjohnrob

@ Viva la bang: No argument, Lochte is going to have to prove himself this summer. I might add that Cseh, Pereira and Phelps in San Antonio, the “old” guys who have dominated the IM for so many years, ALL have to prove that they can still beat the “young guns”. Will Kazan be a changing of the guard in the IM? It’s going to be exciting to watch! 🙂

Danjohnrob

@Roy: Keep in mind that Sjostrom, and possibly Hagino as well, unlike the US athletes, probably have to swim the prelims of all 3 relays (maybe more than than 3 if their countries are targeting a “mixed” relay) to be sure they can get into finals. IMHO, swimming stars try to focus their energy on the events in which they have the best chance to get on the podium, and “laziness” has nothing to do with their decisions.

Rafael

@Danjohnrob

I think Cseh dropped the 400 IM.. the only remaining “old” guy is Pereira.. and If he goes 4:08… it is medal..apart from Seto and Hagino can´t see anyone else going sub 4:09.. Pereira went 4:09 on 2013 BCN without even putting an specific traning for 400 IM, unlike this year…

Cseh also on 200 IM has not ben able to go 1:56 since London.. will he swim it on Kazan?

John Lohn

Interesting that Chase Kalisz going overlooked in the discussion portion of the medley events. I believe he’s going to have a huge summer, as that has been the focus all along. Not concerned at all over his NCAA performances. He’ll also be fresh on the last day of the meet while others have several events under their belts.

aswimfan

John Lohn,
I was actually going to write about Kalisz, but you beat me to it.

Kalisz has the talent, the experience already, and the coaching and training pedigree (Georgia and Bowman… That’s mad) to go 4:07, if not this year then next.

Danjohnrob

I never know what to think about Kalisz. I wish he’d put more work into his backstroke because having to catch up SO MUCH on the breaststroke and still have enough leftover to try and beat somebody like Hagino in freestyle seems like a suicide mission!

IMHO, Clary’s breaststroke has improved from working with Marsh at Swim MAC. I think he’ll be the top American in the 400 IM this year.

Danjohnrob

@Roy, I respectfully disagree that 29 (Phelps)/30 (Lochte) is too old for them to swim 1:54; however, I agree we might not see it from them until next year because neither of them built up enough of a training base the last two years. Only time will tell…

pierreago

Roy, Very funny your comment about the laziness of non american swimmers who are not as “recovering” than the likes of Phelps, Lochte and so on! … What about Hoszu ?

You may consider that the other nations have not as many swimmers than the US and that the “natural selection” there is more demanding! It’s just an idea ….

I think that Phelps, Lochte, Franklin are just stronger than the others.

pierreago

Roy again,
I think that Sjöström would find very helpful your advice to work harder to win more!!!

Rafael

No swimmer recently done what Phelps had to do..

But remember.. all this guys never had to swam prelims of any relays.. some swimmers from other countries had to give it all for his country relays since prelims to give their teammater a medal shot..

Instead of counting individual races.. the best would to be count how many time each swimmer had to hit the water.. and also how many meters they raced..

YOu said ledecky.. Hacket Salkinov Thorpe Sung Park Mellouli all had a tough schedule.. maybe they even had to swam a lot more than Ledecky..

pvdh

Hasnt Thorpe done 100-800, plus relays before, while setting WR in 200, 400, 800 in 2001? Thats pretty remarkable in terms of recovery. In 2003 he dropped 800 free and added 200 im, and placed 2nd.

Craig Lord

Yes pvdh: he was 4th in the 100m that year; recovery was premeditated 🙂 … Doug Frost had him map out how many paces to team bus, from deck to changing, to doping, back to deck, to blocks, how many steps in the venue etc – a lot of thought went into managing energy levels. He brought all three Australian relays home to gold. His role was key in Don Talbot-led Australia topping the USA on the medals table, a rare moment when the USA didn’t win the meet.

Craig Lord

Rafael, I know what you mean but the quality of the result counts, too: as pvdh notes, Ian Thorpe, 2001, for e.g.: 200, 400, 800 gold all in WRs, 100 4th, all three relays gold … no, he didn’t have to swim relay heats but I don’t think we can say that explains why he achieved what he did while others from elsewhere couldn’t because they had to swim relay heats 🙂

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