First of all, I realized that in my meet induced blur over the weekend I totally blanked on picking people women for the IM races in Shanghai. I will rectify this tomorrow night along with my men's IM choices. As for tonight, sit back as I regale you with flawless breaststroke and relay predictions. Or seethe in anger at my idiocy. There is no middle ground.
1. Cameron Van Der Burgh
2. Felipe Silva
3. Damir Dugonjic
Comment: Did you know I finaled in this event at the 2006 NESCAC Championships? What, you're not impressed? I really miss Oleg Lisogor here. And Mark Warnecke. Cameron Van Der Burgh just can't match Lisogor and Warnecke for oafish breaststroke speed.
1. Alexander Dale Oen
2. Kosuke Kitajima
3. Brenton Rickard
Comment: I am sticking to my fearless prediction here. Part of me is absolutely terrified to go on record against Kitajima as strong as he looked last summer and given his choice of training location. Let's just move on. VIKING POWER
1. Kosuke Kitajima
2. Eric Shanteau
3. Daniel Gyurta
Comment: I almost went with Shanteau for gold. I think he will be much improved now that he is also doing some swimming in the place where all the fast breaststrokers swim. Notably I am leaving Japan's Tomita out- I just don't trust any of their breaststrokers outside of Kitajima.
400 Freestyle Relay
Comment: Discretion is the better part of valor. Although I would really like to pick Russia or France and claim I knew all along, I think America has too much star power to lose this relay. Russia's time will come once Morozov develops.
800 Freestyle Relay:
Comment: Again, US has too much in the tank. Every other team is increasingly reliant on one or two swimmers. It's kind of risky putting Russia up there given the rise in China and Germany over the last 12 months. Still,.I am hesitant to pick Germany given the way they conducted their trials. China's question marks outside of Sun Yang lead me to pick Russia over them as well.
400 Medley Relay:
Comment: I think Magnussen gives Australia the boost they need to get a medal here ahead of Russia and the Netherlands. France was the fastest team in the world last year but I think the US split this race fairly poorly at Pan-Pacs. I expect them to be significantly better here.