Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Great, The Good, The Ugly: Day 5


Men's 200IM: I think Mr. Markus Rogan (@mahrqoos) summed up perfectly the men's 200IM with his tweet earlier today: "Competing with Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte is a bit like being a random third nation during the cold war. You're there, but that's it." I wrote my blog on USA Swimming's website earlier that every single swim fan in the world should mark their calendars for The Rematch on August 2nd, 2012. Because next summer, we could witness the biggest, most-hyped, and epicesterestnessfully AWESOME race in the history of Olympic swimming. Ryan Lochte is, now, the world's fastest swimmer ever -- shiny suits or not. He sliced one tenth off his 2009 WR and beat Michael in the process. Not that Michael has been training consistently. Which sets us up for next summer --- I hope NBC Sports Executives are licking their chops, because they just got a big juicy marketing steak literally handed to them.

Missy Franklin: What else can we say? 1:55.0 lead-off? That's incredible, and she's only 16 years old. Coming into the meet, I said that Franklin would have a big performance -- that she needed to have a big performance. Now she has had two epic relay performances. She's establishing herself, and she is poised to take the reins from Natalie.


James Magnusson: Aussie Aussie Aussi Oi Oi Oi! We saw this coming in the men's 100 freestyle, but still, it's a big win for the young Australian sprinting superstar-in-the-making/now. Personally I thought Nathan Adrian would pose a little more of a challenge and dip under :48 (as did some of our readers) but alas, it just wasn't in the cards tonight. Magnusson didn't beat his 47.4 time that he swam earlier in the meet, which means he doesn't get my "GREAT" status, but this was pretty much great.

American Women: Though no American swimmer made the final in the women's 200 fly (see: UGLY) the rest of the women did well. Soni looked smooth and could be poised to break a SECOND world record tomorrow. The 800 free relay was very solid, including a strong swim from Knutson. Vollmer and Coughlin slipped in the final in the women's 100 freestyle, and hopefully will improve placement tomorrow. Solid day, women!


Women's 200 Fly. Like Desantis said earlier, "I boycotted the 200 fly because no Americans made the final. I felt like it was the sportsmanlike thing to do." Indeed. 

Backlash Against Felipe Silva: Check out this Swimming World article by John Lohn, who has been doing a tremendous job covering the World Championships thus far. SWM broke the story about the Silva butterfly kick at the end of the 50m breaststroke -- a race which he won. Since, there's been an incredible backlash against him. The truth of the matter is this: If you can find a loophole in the rules, swimmers use it to their advantage. Most breaststrokers do a butterfly kick at the end of a race. Because you won't get DQ'ed for it. Jeff Commings, the correspondent who brought this issue to light in the first place, was merely advocating for improved rules, namely, the implantation of video playback in swimming. 

Which brings another issue to light: Should swimming use video playback to determine DQs? Most major sports have already used the technology. It's there. It exists. And if it aids in determining a more accurate result, why not use it? I'd love to hear your thoughts below, because I think this could be the next big issue in the swimming world (outside of the drugs, suits, etc, etc etc). 

What do you think?


  1. I don't have the extensive background in swimming that many bloggers have, but I don't understand the resistance to underwater video playback as an assist to judging. We already use computerized touchpads instead of relying on just a judge's eye for finish times. I don't see the difference. The sport has already acknowledged that the human eye cannot sufficiently distinguish between things at these speeds.

    And because I can't not say it: How about that Lochte, huh? WOW!

  2. Robin,

    Braden and I discussed this on the live feed yesterday. We agree that FINA should have underwater judging, but it is probably much more involved than you would think. First of all, they would need an additional official just to watch the underwater video of each lane, which would mean 8 more officials. These officials would need to make their decisions in real time just like the officials on deck- to go to replay and leave results up in the air would have its own complications. The technology is also not an issue at a meet like this, but consider all the other national meets. They would need this set up then for a swim to be ratified as a FINA world record. Changing this would require a lot of countries that probably don't want to spring for 8 underwater HD cameras that they have to transport to all their biggest meets in order for their swimmers performances to be legit. They would need for the UW to be an option and not a requirement. I hope that helped you a little bit.

  3. The US successfully uses an underwater system, and has, on multiple occasions, demonstrated it to FINA. FINA, being stubborn as they are (to put it too kindly) refuses to buy in.

    The system the US uses is completely behind the scenes, and works like this:
    -Deck official sees/thinks they see something suspicious.
    -no raised hand, rather, they radio it to the deck supervisor and the person in the off-deck review booth,
    -the call is then either confirmed or overruled by video in a matter of moments
    -if it's a DQ, it gets recorded, if not, no harm no foul.

    "Not that Michael has been training consistently."

    I can't stand that, that comment is being said. So what, Ryan won because Michael wasnt in top form.. GERRR

  5. No, but it certainly didn't hurt.

  6. Sorry, I that next comment was significant- I wasn't aware that USAS was already using an UW system.

    Anon, I agree- it has been obvious for some time that Michael has hit at best a plateau in his current training. It really sounds like he needs a new coach.

  7. 370 Days Until The Rematch:

  8. MP has nothing to lose and everything to gain by saying he hasn't been training consistently. If he beats Lochte, he has a psychological edge by defeating him without training as hard. If he loses, he has an excuse.

    I'm not buying it 100%. MP has to have put in some serious training to swim a faster 200 IM than he did in Beijing.

  9. Totally agree he has to train harder. I think he will. Never underestimate the excitement of the "Year Before The Olympics." It's a virus and easy to catch.

  10. You know, guys...there's precedent for FINA using video. Remember Phelps v. Cavic in Beijing?

  11. tom dolan is the man!

    1. Who is this? Imagine Dolan without all his medical problems..... Multiple event winner for sure.

  12. @ Anon: Phelps' 200IM in Beijing was one of his weaker races, he was pretty tired at that moment and the time itself wasn't too spectacular either, although it was a WR. Phelps didn't have enough time to prepare for this Worlds the way he wanted, because he started serious training when it was a bit too late and for that he has no one to blame but himself. But, I have to agree with others who have already noticed that Lochte isn't really destroying Phelps. After all the amazing training Lochte has done...well, I expected him to be spectacular, like Phelps was in 2007. Sorry to say, but I didn't see it. I think Lochte can improve only that much, while Phelps has a lot of room for improvement. Wouldn't bet on Lochte in 2012.

  13. Lochte doesn't need to destroy Phelps, he just needs to get his hand on the wall first. A victory is a victory whether it's by .01 or 10 seconds.

    Lochte has defeated Phelps for two years now. There's no reason to believe he won't continue to improve as he's done each year since 2008. Lochte has 3 years of hard work and dedication to build on. He's not going to stop training hard now.

  14. True, a victory is a victory. What I wanted to say is this: Lochte's training has been at its maximum last two years. Whether he will continue to improve or not I don't know, but I think he can't bring his training into another level. Phelps can.

  15. Likac, i think your wrong.. Ryan is better than he was last year.. which means he is improving. I think he can be better.. and I think he belives he can be better .. which is all that matters. he siad after the 200 that the race didnt go how he wanted, it wasnt perfect..

  16. FINA used UW cameras in he world cup in Europe, I guess they were testing it, and did not like the results :(