Which Champs Will Keep World Crowns? Franklin & Ledecky Bookend 4x200m Defence

Missy Franklin races alongside Federica Pellegrini at London 2012 a year before another 200m battle at Barcelona 2013 - by Patrick B. Kraemer

Who is shaping up for a knockout in Kazan at world titles in August? Which teams are looking strong? Our guide reaches the relays and heads to its conclusion, USA’s women in a string position to defend the crown, Australia, threatening, the battle for bronze keen

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Who is shaping up for a knockout in Kazan at world titles in August? Which teams are looking strong? Our guide reaches the relays and heads to its conclusion, USA’s women in a string position to defend the crown, Australia, threatening, the battle for bronze keen

Comments

roy

From Emma McKeon,s improvements, it would seem she can split a 1:54 something. The US are the favourates though.

My Opinion

No guarantee that the Aussies will put their four best on the blocks going on last year’s disgrace. USA firm favourites.

Torchbearer

The only difference between the US and AUS for a few years is a killer anchor for the US…

peter

US seem just as certain as the Aussies are for the shorter relay.

roy

Craig I,m curious. How did you calculate ledecky,s split to be faster than sjostrom. Sjostrom just swam a 1:54:77 flat start and has already swum a 1:53 relay start.

roy

you have sjostrom at 1:54:77 and ledecky at 1:54:36 and Missy franklin at 1:54:81. Ledecky has not yet swum a 1:54 flat start although she has swum it at a relay start. That 1:54:77 you calculated for sjostrom is off a flat start, so if you take one second off for relays we have a 1:53 something.

Craig Lord

roy, the 1st swimmer in each paper relay is the team’s fastest – and all are listed with their flat-start textile pb… 1sec off is only applied to positions listed as a flying start. To do it any other way would mean running 4 permutations for each squad, which I’m not about to do 🙂

KeithM

Other contenders to join Missy and Katie on this relay are teenagers Simone Manuel, Cierra Runge, and Katie McLaughlin. The latter being the most interesting possibility having just posted an in season 1:58 flat at a meet where she was well off her best times in the fly races, the discipline for is she is known (she’ll race the 200 fly at Worlds). The US coaches will be well aware of her progress in this event and won’t hesitate to give her a time trial or heat swim.

roy

OK Craig, I understand now. The US are favourates unless either Kylie palmer or Brittany elmslie improve and drop close to a second for Australia to join Emma McKeon at the top end.

aswimfan

USA

AUS

CHN/GBR/ITA

aswimfan

USA
I
I
V
AUS
I
I
I
I
V
CHN/GBR/ITA

Personal Best

The US are usually always favourites anyway, but more can go wrong in a 4×200; more room for error so the results could be a surprise.

Kylie Palmer has had an interesting few years. I admit I was surprised she made the Aussie team, but she is tough, and if the 400 wasn’t for her this year and she’s concentrating on the 200 then it showed.

Elmslie swam a PB recently in the 200 and almost matched it at trials, and had a PB in the 100 so she’s definitely moving in the right direction.

But with only 1 Aussie swimming 1:55s currently (and no one even approaching a low 1:55) they’ve got a big task in front of them to catch the US.

for33

If all goes well Australia could make a very good race. China seems very dangerous, as does Great Britain. But the U.S. seems far ahead and dominant. Looking forward to see who will be the fastest swimmer: voting for Sarah Jostrom in that category.

roy

Personal best, what time did Brittany elmslie swim when she swam a PB in the 200 free recently ( was it a 1:56 )

Craig Lord

1:56.91 roy

Personal Best

Actually, her PB is a tiny bit faster at 1:56.79, which was her seeded time at the Aussie trials; the finals of which she swam a 1:56.91 as per Craig’s post.

I believe her PB was from late 2014… just looked it up, Dec 2014 at the Queensland champs.

Craig Lord

yes, thanks pb. (her entry in our list is a real relay split)

commonwombat

If both Ledecky & Franklin “fire”, USA wins comfortably. To date, neither have done so at the same time which generally renders this a close race or even US behind AUS at last change before the gun anchor takes the race away.

AUS is probably the more even line-up; AUS 3rd & 4th members would shade their US counterparts but, as yet, they don’t have that 1.54 swimmer. McKeon may get there but more likely to be next year than in Kazan. Palmer or Barratt COULD drop in 1.55 legs but predicting Barratt’s international performances is akin to playing darts … blindfolded. Elmslie and or Wright are 1.56legs.

CHN has to be a medal chance but away from home, their performances can be variable. GBR has 2 potentially competitive legs in Carlin, SMOC but the other 2 fall away.

barkergk

Even though Missy Franklin has no LCM swims in 2015, after watching her put up an epic 200yd NCAA final I think she has a sub-1:54 in her.

luigi

To be honest, there is no way the US girls are not going to win gold, unless they mess with the exchanges. It’s a battle for silver really.

Dee

I think this is really quite clear…

1. USA
2. AUS
3. CHN/ITA/GBR

If SMOC can perform as she did in Glasgow over 200 Free, GBR will win bronze.

commonwombat

How races read on paper and how they play out are generally very different matters. On paper, the USA should win easily but at the past 3 major meets (2012 Olympics, 2013 Worlds & 2014 Pan Pacs); it’s been much tighter than predicted with the USA behind at the final change but on each occ the USA anchor has pulled out the “barnstormer” that decides the race.

In 2013, it was Franklin & 2014 Ledecky but both have also turned in some “less than barnstorming” legs too in this relay. Justifiable favourites – undeniable but one suspects this will play out per it’s usual script. The only way this will NOT be close for at least 3.5 legs is (1) AUS team puts in an absolute shocker (2) for once both US guns ‘fire’ in the same relay and the other AND the other 2 US legs perform much better than they’ve done before.

roy

Australia should put Emma McKeon as their anchor. Based on her pb of 53.32 in the 100 free which she swam very recently, I see a big split off a flying start. After heemskerk,s 1:54:68 recently, McKeon said she was happy that at last someone has gone a 1:54 and that she,s working to lower her own australian record and go a 1:54 something. Sjostrom has since joined heemskerk on 1:54 and I,m sure mcKeon is more determined to join them. Thanks Craig and personal best for the info on Brittany elmslie,s pb. For elmslie, she swam a new pb of 53.66 in the 100 free at the australian trials this year. I wonder if it means she can improve her 200 free time with added endurance.

MPalota

I think Ledecky will crush this summer. I think we’re going to see mind-bending swims from her at Kazan. A 1:53 lead-off or even a 1:52-high anchor would not surprise me. I’d be amazed but I wouldn’t be surprised.

The women’s 4×200 is the Americans to lose. They are as much of a lock in this event as the Ausies are in the women’s 4×100 free.

commonwombat

Hhhmm, I think you’re probably “reaching” a bit there. A 1.53 flying start leg is not implausible but that’s about it. Just remember that whilst she’s dominant over 400 & 800; her exact status over 200 has yet to be established. We know she’s damned good & a clear contender for individual gold but NOT that she’s necessarily dominant.

Also people seem to think that Ledecky is just going to keep on re-writing records “at will”. History tells us that this just doesn’t happen. All “golden runs” in any sport do eventually come to end. Her “run” has already gone for 2 years; the question is whether it lasts through to Rio. Her gap on the field in the 400 & 800 is such that she really only needs to be fit, healthy and turn up; 200 – not so.

Roy, placing McKeon at anchor COULD conceivably deliver a sub 1.55 split (just) but at this point her “flat” PB is still the other side of 1.55.5. She may yet get down to 1.54 flat start but I suspect that’s more likely to be next year rather than in Kazan. Her 100PB was only a 0.10 rather than a quantum leap.

Yozhik

First what I heard taking classes in statistics was that Statistics is like a whore – will tell you whatever she is paid for 🙂 Taking 1 sec form the pb for the flying start is too generous. Some swimmers get so nervous that cannot even react with the time of their flat start. For example, McKeon’s RT at PP last year was 0.86. The average flat RT is near 0.7. Should she start as average relay swimmer does (0.3) the outcome of this race won’t’ be that obvious. On the other hand Schlanger having 1.2 sec advantage at last leg, but standing next to Ledecky felt so insecure that she started in the way that could jeopardize the efforts of entire team (RT =0 !!!)
Also the higher chances of relay team are the more they try to minimize the risk of disqualification. And visa verse. In Barcelona the total of flying RT (sum of three legs) – 1. USA -1.62; 7. ITA – 0.54. In PanPac – 2. AUS – 1.05 (including irresponsible Schlanger’s start); 5. NZ – 0.35. So in our paper exercise we can add safely to the first place 0.7 sec to the second place –0.5 sec and to the third place – 0.3 sec.

Craig Lord

Yozhik, 1sec is nominal and makes no difference to the overall picture – it could be 0.7sec or 3sec … same answer, in the round. Your exact calculations (which would vary quite a bit from swimmer to swimmer, so like the 1sec, a rounding only) take us no further from the value of what it is: a paper exercise 🙂

Yozhik

@ Mpalota. As much as I would like to be surprised by Ledecky (in better way of course) I would be more cautious with the prediction of her 200m. It is very promising that she steadily and impressively improves her 100m, but unfortunately this progress cannot be simply extrapolated on her 200m races. I totally agree with the Luigi’s observations: “
luigi April 27, 2015
Danjohnrob and Yozhik, the main reason why I do not believe Ledecky will take gold in the 200 free this time around is that she looks more geared towards the 400 and up. Her stroke is perfectly efficient, almost superhuman for these races (she races the 400 like the 200, for example, in terms of technique and stroke rate). However when she tries shorter races I have a feeling she is “spinning”, or breaking form, and it seems to me that she makes great efforts for comparably little gains. ………..” http://www.swimvortex.com/lets-make-a-deal-chances-are-that-the-usa-will-be-found-behind-door-no-1-in-kazan/
To me it looks like she is trying to do with 200m what Evans did with 400 – high rate of strokes relying on her insurance. The style and strategy at this distance is what she has to work on toward Rio.

Yozhik

Mr. Lord, I am with you entirely. The purpose of numbers in your article to give some rough estimate – first iteration if you will of what we can start with. And of course following expert’s opinions will complete the picture. If race is close then such estimated times are irrelevant because other more significant factors will decide the winner. If everything is clear beforehand than who cares about accuracy of first approximation. But Mr. Lord (careful, the following is a joke) you are not treating everybody equally and innocently but are cheating 🙂 If you award everybody with the same amount of time then it indeed wouldn’t disturb the relative standing. But when you use as best time result shown in relay (like Ledecky for example) then you don’t give such swimmer 1 sec discount and accept what was in real life that would be never 1 sec 🙂 🙂 :)  

Yozhik

correction. In response to Mpalota please, read endurance instead of insurance. Sorry for that.

roy

MPalota I don’t see ledecky splitting a 1:52 in the 4×200 free relay. A 1:53 is even generous. I agree with yozhik. I have observed the same thing with ledecky when she swims the sprints (100 and 200 frees). She seems to be making great efforts for little gains. When you watch cate campbell swim the 100 free and Sarah sjostrom swim the 200 free, they both look as if they are moving slowly on the water until they touch the wall and you look at their times. This is because of their stroke rate. Katie ledecky is dominant in the 400 free upwards because she can maintain the same pace throughout. The 100 and 200 frees are less about pacing and more about speed.

longstroke

The USA team will be too strong thanks to Franklin and Ledecky but Australia will put up a respectable performance and then it will be daylight for the bronze which will probably go to China.

pol

The 200 free for women is the most exiting race for me in Kazan. Both in the relay and the individual events.

robbos

The USA team will be the hottest favourites of all the relays (together with 4X100 Aussies) for the gold, Australia the silver, the rest to fight for bronze. Too big too fast too strong, USA.

Craig Lord

Yozhik, 1sec is applied only to those who have a solo pb faster than they ever went in a relay (opportunity, mostly) & as for cheating, I feel that would be impossible, since in this case I set the rules and those always include let-out clauses of various kinds in my favour, without exception 🙂

Yozhik

🙂 🙂 Oh, my apology, Sir. How could I, a miserable commoner, rank Your Lordship so low? Sure, you are not a cheater, you are The Ruler. That’s why you can do whatever you want. You can give Ledecky 1:54.16 (1:55.16pb -1sec expectation) a leave her with 1:54.36 considering that she’s already gotten more than enough from another Lord so there would be no more given from this one. That’s why respecting your power, Sir I prefaced my comment with the reference to my teacher in statistics. There is only one nuance. To my knowledge there are only four swimmers currently that people are not thinking about in terms of their current achievements. They think of them in terms of expectations, that they are far from exhaustion of their gifts and their best swims that are still ahead. They are Adam Peaty, Sarah Sjostrom, Katie Ledecky and probably Rūta Meilutytė So giving Ledecky 1:54.16 would be a nice gesture, not to far from what can happen and still a good fit to your model 🙂 🙂

Yozhik

Mr. Lord, I am on vacation now and playing with words is a nice way to kill time. I will be more serious in the future.

Craig Lord

Refused, Yozhik. Have a nice holiday 🙂

Swimfan

Don’t forget the Dutch girls for the final 8. Heemskerk (1:53 split), Steenbergen, Van Rouwendaal and Vermeulen can swim around 7:50.

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