|I feel roughly like the individual in the blue following this meet right now.|
Halfway through the meet, and I feel like I am drinking from a fire hydrant trying to keep track of all that is going on. For starters, there is the latest round of the "breaststrokers who dolphin kick" saga- which appears to have no end in site. Swimming World has a video showing gold medalist Felipe Silva rolling out a thundering dolphin kick on the finish of the 50 breaststroke. Controversial dolphin kicks are nothing new to swimming and have been an ongoing issue for at least the last six years since underwater cameras caught Kosuke Kitajima in the 2004 Olympics. Unfortunately, these infractions are exceedingly difficult for officials to call on top of the water and no underwater officiating has yet been approved. Which is strange, considering that FINA is so often willing to make swift and dramatic change. Wait a second, let me wipe that dripping sarcasm off my chin. Ahhh, that's better.
Over at The Swimmer's Circle, Roland Schoeman has a far more reasonable and mature response to the Cesar Cielo non-suspension than what we saw from Jason Dunford earlier this week. Although we were critical of Dunford in this blog do not interpret that as a defense of Cielo. I will go on record saying I do not believe he should be competing in this meet- in fact I predicted that he wouldn't be allowed before the meet started. Bravo to Schoeman to putting what so many elite swimmers were thinking into words.
See what I mean about the fire hydrant? We're four paragraphs in and I haven't even discussed the swimming yet to come on Day 5. I really think this is going to be a crucial day for the American women. After a strong opening, they have floundered a bit. The 200 free was a disappointment, with Morgan Scroggy missing the semi and Allison Schmitt finishing out of the medals. Neither of the two American women in the 200 fly advanced to the final. America needs a boost from Vollmer in the 100 freestyle, along with Rebecca Soni continuing to assert herself in the 200 breast. Lastly, they need a strong showing in the 4x200 Relay, which they could still win gold in, although they'll get stiff competition from the Aussie's given yesterdays 200 free results.
The other big event looming tomorrow is the men's 100 meter final. We already discussed the crazy atmosphere surrounding Cesar Cielo, and I sense it will only grow if he wins or medals in this 100 free. I think he's going to face a much harder test than he did in the 50 fly. The only two swimmers in this A final who would totally shock me if they won are Luca Dotto and Sebastiaan Verschuren, primarily because of their lack of experience. Personally, I am hoping that Canadian Brent Hayden wins and inspires a new generation of young men to go with the shaved head at their big meets. A man can have dreams, can't he?