Going ‘Back’ to What Started It All Is Best Bet For Natalie Coughlin On Road to Rio

Natalie Coughlin, by Patrick B. Kraemer

Natalie Coughlin has placed considerable emphasis on the sprint-freestyle events in recent years, but focusing on the 100 backstroke figures to be her best chance for more individual glory.

All SwimVortex articles are placed in our archive after five days, the library of content available to subscribers.
Log In Register

Natalie Coughlin has placed considerable emphasis on the sprint-freestyle events in recent years, but focusing on the 100 backstroke figures to be her best chance for more individual glory.

Comments

Bad Anon

Coughlin definitely has a sub 60sec swim at this point,I’ll put it at an arbitrary 59.85 which is a virtual “untapered” effort. I think she has the potential to win 100back at trials 28.4/30.4 will put her around 58.8; Missy Franklin is hardly ever fully tapered for trials and it’s doubtful if she’ll be any faster than 58.8 at trials. Pelton, Bootsma and Baker all have 59mid -low , though Pelton chokes badly at Olympic trials… If Coughlin does make the team you’d have to favour her for a medal, her international experience in the event is unprecedented.

TommyL

Although I am a big fan of Natalie I do not see her making the team for Rio in an individual event.
4×100 free relay? Hell yes. The top six make that team and if I was her I would definitely go for it. But as I never broke 1 min in 100 back I should not be commenting on that :))).
When my coach visited the US in 1998 he came back with a picture of him and a certain 16 year old talented female swimmer. He said: “This girl is pretty special. Remember her name. It was Natalie Coughlin.”

commonwombat

I see the second US 100bk spot as being very open and Coughlin is far from “out of it”. Franklin, fit and healthy, is a “given” for numero uno but whilst those BA has named have been sub minute, none of these have made a habit of consistency in this “time zone”.

Baker is the only sub minute this year and we are going back to 2013 for the others. I’m not sure Coughlin still has a sub59 in her but that may not be required. 59.1-59.3 could well be enough.

Re USA 4×100, if she’s swimming 54flat then that should be enough to get her a relay berth. As to whether that’s a final four or heats remains to be established but the US hasn’t the current luxury of AUS of having an entire line-up plus of sub54 swimmers.

Personal Best

It will be difficult for her, for sure, but I guess one can never count her out.

She’s proven she can pull some impressive swims out when least expected. She’s truly the most impressive US female swimmer (perhaps most versatile) of late (well, the careers of Franklin and Ledecky are still fresh and young).

aswimfan

58.8?
That means she will have to swim PB in 100 back at the age of almost 33?
There’s no such thing as impossibe, and Coughlin has proved that she can still swim at her best or near her best in 50s, so it’s possible, but it’s unlikely.

TommyL

Natalie will be almost 34 by the time of the US Olympic trials.
If she swims 100back under 59 I will eat my old Jaked suit with ketchup and post a video of it on You Tube :)))).

Craig Lord

If you eat your Jaked with ketchup, you may have to get someone else to post the video, TommyL. I promise to give you a good send off 🙂
The downside to compression:
http://www.bbc.com/news/health-33223045

TommyL

I am pretty confident I am not gonna have to do it anyway.

@ Nat,
if you read this you can use it as a catalyst and prove me wrong.

Viva la Bang

50back is not an Olympic event! Natalie should swim the 200IM again, she never fully exploited her potential in this event!

easyspeed

I think NC lost confidence after messing up in ’12 and got onto this, “Let me turn into a (free) sprinter” thing. Hope this will help her come to her senses and get back to back. Once she gets her mojo back, look out!

Bad Anon

I agree with you easyspeed, 2012 was a horrendous trials for her after a solid 2011 where she went 59.12… Coughlin has always been a front half swimmer and I think if she can improve her endurance we can witness something special from her. 200IM is too long and too difficult for her to make an impact. 2.11.84 was enough for her to qualify for olmpic final in Beijing, in Rio that sort of time won’t cut it

roy

Guys marrit steenbergen has just swum a 53.97 in the semifinals of the 100 free at the European games in Baku. She split a 53.00 in the 4×100 free relay but her team, the dutch finished third. She,s just 15 or so. That girl is the real deal.

roy

Craig do you know how tall marrit steenbergen is. She looks tall but I can,t find her height online.

roy

sorry I just watched the video of the race. The Netherlands finished second in the women,s 4×100 free relay at the European games in Baku. Marrit steenbergen anchored the dutch. Before she dove in the dutch were in forth place but she surged to second place. If she had few more meters she would have overtaken the Russian girl.
You can watch the video on swimswam.
All the swimmers in Baku are juniors

easyspeed

That Steenbergen kid tho!!

TommyL

@ Roy,

according to her Baku profile she is 178 cm/5’10” and 61kg/134lbs.

roy

tommy L thanks. She may be done growing. Most girls are done growing by the time they are 15 and she,s 15 now.

felixdangerpants

Coughlin ain’t going 58, even if she made Rio in it I couldn’t see her being in the medal hunt, even at her peak she struggled to finish that race. There will be a few 58s in Rio.

Viva la Bang

Natalie won a bronze medal in 08 in the 200m medley,behind Rice and Coventry, a fun event, with hardly focusing on the event, If she trained for that race specifically who knows, she is great in back free and fly!

felixdangerpants

Not happening Viva. That event has moved forward significantly, she doesn’t have the breast leg or the back 100 for that matter, & the other girls aren’t sluggish at fly & bk either…..

Viva la Bang

I think Natalie has had her best days, and a great career, would be very surprised if she goes anywhere in the sprint freestyle, except as maybe a heat swim.

commonwombat

I’m with those saying “the 200IM boat has sailed” with regards to Nat.

The 100bk may not have with regards to making the Rio team given the current fluidity with the 2nd spot behind Franklin who remains the only consistent American sub-minute. You can, however, colour me “doubtful” with regards to her going sub59 and therefore being a contender.

Yozhik

Natalie swam very fast race at 100 free in prelims (54.04) finishing together with Heemskerk. What was the reason of DQ? By watching live streaming (poor quality though) I didn’t notice any problems with her start.

aswimfan

I noticed Coughlin took much longer time to surface after the turn past 15m.

Leave a comment

Post a comment with your SwimVortex Account. Don't have a SwimVortex Account, Sign Up?

(*) Fields are required!
×