Which Champions Will Keep Their Crowns In Kazan? The Form Guide: Women’s Butterfly

Queuing up to be Madam Butterfly: Mireia Belmonte, top inset, Sarah Sjostrom, centre, and Jeanette Ottesen [images by Patrick B. Kraemer]

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 the men, we turned to the women, medley followed by butterfly

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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 the men, we turned to the women, medley followed by butterfly

Comments

felixdangerpants

Id be very surprised if it’s not Sarah & Belmonte. And I don’t want to hear from any Aussies that think they can win either title cause it ain’t happening.

Rafael

50 Fly is sjostrom to lose, 100 fly only if she underswim a lot.. (Like she did at Europeans). If shes goes 100% she may even break Vollmer WR.
200 Fly Belmonte is the favorite, but Sziliagy might surprise.. Grovers and Hoshi are close, but If I would bet on an upset, would be by the hungarian..

aswimfan

I would bet Belmonte win both 200 fly and 400 IM IF she swim ONLY both events and nothing else.
This, only if 200 fly and 400 IM are not in conflict and me not knowing the schedule exactly

Danjohnrob

I hope Sjostrom learned from her experience in Berlin. She’s an amazing talent, but if she doesn’t manage her schedule carefully, she’s beatable (which is why I don’t think she’ll swim the 200 free). Of course, it would be an upset if she didn’t win the 50 and 100 fly, but I’m impressed with Ottesen’s improvement in the 100 fly (which will make the medley relay exciting).

Mareia Belmonte may take a step up the podium to win the 200 fly in Kazan, but it looks like the young stars are coming to challenge her in Rio, including Groves, Szilagyi and McLaughlin (US).

commonwombat

No real disagreement from this (half) Aussie. It’s realistically between Sjostrom and Otteson over 50 & 100. Minor coin, especially in the 100, is anyone’s guess. Belmonte has to be a short-priced favourite over 200; Groves has yet to prove she can replicate domestic performance in international competition.

Craig Lord

Roy – Denmark does no have backstroke leg as fast as Australia (Emily Seebohm world textile best) and the US (Missy Franklin, Olympic and world champion).

Rafael

If you add Denmark Best times
Mie 59,14 Pederson 1:05:93 Ottesen 56:51 and Blume 53:69 would add up to 3:55:27, US went 3:53:23 at Worlds 2013.. I think Denmank can go 3:53 too if everybody delivers..

aswimfan

Pedersen has to be at least 2 seconds faster than Australian breastsroker to have any chance of beating Australia. It’s doable, but tough.

Also, the margin for Denmark is very very thin, all four swimmers have to be fresh and on form on the day, while for USA or Australia, even their top backstroker/breastroker/flyer/freestyler is off-form, they could be replaced with the next one who is just about equal.

Craig Lord

Roy:
We will look at relays next week but I get this at a DEN Vs USA glance based on solo back and yes splits among available athletes after that, up to now… hints will change one way or another at worlds:

58.33 1:05.10 57.62 (52.60) 53.22 USA 3:54.27 (3:53.65 – Romano not there, so taking Vreeland as e.g.)
59.14 1:05.93 56.51 53.03 DEN 3:54.61 (european title winning time 2014 3:55.62)

aswimfan

If Leisel Jones decides to make a serious comeback and train hard, she might even qualify for Rio, that’s how dire Australian women breaststroker situation is.

Danjohnrob

So much of this discussion is up in the air it’s too hard to predict. Yes, Denmark only has one star in each stroke, as @aswimfan noted, but the US’s best breaststroker, Jessica Hardy, is recovering from shoulder surgery, and Breeja Larson hasn’t been back down to 1:05 since 2012. Obviously we’re hoping the US butterfliers, Stewart and Donahue, can be down in the 57 range, but that’s not at all certain. The US could have 2 weak srokes, we’ll see. Pedersen is more of a 200 breaststroker, so I don’t think she would be able to give Denmark a huge lead. Australia’s looking pretty good to me! The US is going to have its hands full with Denmark and Sweden and China and Japan…ugh! 🙁

Sabastian

As a quick note one the relays, does anyone find it strange how Taylor MacKeown can be a podium challenger over 200m, but can’t break 1:07 over 100m???

aswimfan

No.

There are many 200 breaststrokers who are like that. Pedersen was also like that. Only recently she has been getting faster in 100. Watanabe circa 2011-2012 was also the same. Much faster in 200 than in 100. Even Rebecca Soni, who was medal contender for 2008 Beijing in 200, but didn’t qualify for 100, and would not have swum 100 had Hardy not tested positive.
Even Gyurta in the old days.

Torchbearer

Huge Leisel Jones fan- bet she could train and be AUS No1 breastroker by Rio!

As for the butterfly- I never underestimate the Aussie girls, they deliver more reliably than the men. So I bet they will pick up a minor medal or two in the butterfly, but it will be tough.

aswimfan

The only time aussie girls didn’t win a fly medal in world championships or olympics in the past 25 years was in 2013 Barcelona.

aswimfan

The only male breaststrokers that have swum 58 and 2:08 in textile are Sprenger and Peaty (in addition to his 57).

To master both 100/200 breast show how a talented breaststroker you are. Megan Quann was great in 100, not so much in 200. Leisel Jones was spectacular, great in all 50-100-200. Kitajima and Hansen were legendary in 100/200, each keep swapping WRs in both distances.

Dee

Hasn’t Kitajima achieved the 58/2.08 combination too, in 2012?

Craig Lord

Yes Dee, correct: 58.90, 2:08.00 in 2012 (2:07.51 was shiny) in textile for Kosuke Kitajima (and in shiny suits – Igor Borysik and Brenton Rickard also 58 and 2:08, but not in textile)

commonwombat

Roy, with regards to McKeown and 100BRS over the past 12months she has dropped from 1.08 to 1.07mid then to 1.07flat at 2015 Trials. Another possible drop into 1.06’s at Worlds ?? Plausible and maybe a potential finalist – but still not likely to be on “medal pace”. With regards to 4XMED, it makes a 1.06mid to low leg viable which would still give ground to the likes of Pedersen & to a lesser degree US but unlikely to be the 2+sec Lorna Tonks would concede.

Aswim; I actually beg differ re Jones being outstanding across the board. She was never really on the “cutting edge” in the 50 and not even the AUS champion for much of her career.

Torchbearer; any individual FLY medal from AUS women would be a surprise. Groves has yet to show she can replicate domestic times internationally and McKeon is, at best, in a “rugby scrum” of 57low swimmers battling out for bronze. A competitive 4xMED FLY leg – most definitely and would only be conceding a gap to SWE & DEN (prob 0.5-0.7sec at worst).

Craig Lord

wombat, not sure that stacks up with Miss Jones (noting that there was never a champs focus on 50 for her):
WR holder 100 and 200m
Olympic gold – 3, 2 relays, all involving 100m breaststroke
Olympic silver – 200m twice, 100m once
Olympic bronze – 100m once
Worlds – 2x world champ 100, 2 x world champ 200
50m – 1 world, 2 commonwealth, 1 pan pac podium
2003 to 2008, only one season was she outside the top 4 in the world in the 50m (she was also No 4 in 2010 and in the top 10 2011)

I’d say that’s pretty outstanding across the board – hard to find anyone else with that kind of record and longevity in women’s breaststroke

Dee

On times alone Jones was outstanding across the board – Wasn’t her first 50 in Beijing around 30.6? That was only .3 off the WR at that time.. Surely you have to class that as “cutting edge”?

commonwombat

Craig, my point re Jones was 50’s specific and in response to a claim that she was outstanding across ALL THREE distances. Absolutely zero doubt about her 100 and 200 but 50 as a race distance ??

aswimfan

Oopsss I forgot that Coutts swam in 2013 Barcelona.

So yeah, Aussie girls never failed to pick up fly medal in every world championships and Olympics in the past 25 years.
And if they don’t win any fly medal in Kazan, that would be a first in 25 years.
So my guess is at least one of them will win a fly medal although there’s always a first.

Craig Lord

wombat – I do take your point… she was not an outstanding 50 swimmer in the sense of a Ruta etc, that’s clear (and her 100-200 skills were where she stood out) … still very much world-class though down 1 lap, of course 🙂

aswimfan

Well Jones won 50 medals in world championships and swept 50-100-200 at the Commonwealth, beating Jade Edmiston the #1 50 breaststroker in the process.

She may not have been serious about 50 as she was about 100 and 200 and her 50 was not in the same class as her 100 and 200, but she was still outstanding in 50 nevertheless.

Danjohnrob

I would definitely bet on a 200 breaststroker like McKeown eventually dropping time in the 100 to be more competitive in it (eg: Soni, Pedersen, Shanteaj) before I would bet on a 50/100 breaststroker dropping a big chunk of time once they had been at a plateau for awhile.

Is Jones actually making a comeback?

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