London 2012: Swimming Finals night 3 – live blog and results
Night three in the pool could see the crowning of a new Australian champion. Join us for live coverage of the full session from 4:30am AEST including all gold medals.
Our swim team will want to get rid of any memories of last night’s 4x100m Freestyle Relay performance and move forward. Tonight is a good excuse for that with one genuine gold medal chance and the chance of two or three more medals.
Women’s 100m Backstroke Final
Emily Seebohm was masterful in her heat swim of the 100m Backstroke on Sunday morning when she broke the Olympic Record, then went on to be close to a full second ahead of the rest of the field.
Via twitter this afternoon (@emcbomb) she seemed quite surprised. “Really happy with everything I have done so far. I have made it to the final which I haven’t done before couldn’t be prouder of myself!”
Seebohm had a large schedule at the Commonwealth Games which saw her bring home three gold, two silver and three bronze. It included a gold medal in this event.
While the Comm Games in Delhi was the time where everyone learnt of her amazing talents, she was part of Australia’s gold medal team in the 4x100m Medley Realy team in Beijing and already has one gold at this meet (Saturday night’s 4x100m Freestyle Relay win).
She has the chance of becoming Australia’s next Golden Girl, while also giving the World Record a real shake.
She’s joined by Belinda Hocking who managed to sneak into the race as the seventh fastest with a time of 59.79. She may be able to get a medal.
In reality, there shouldn’t be too many threats as none of Seebohm’s rivals have gone under 59 seconds in their heats or semifinals so far. Missy Franklin (USA), Zhao Jing (CHN) and Aya Terakawa (JPN) are the other medal chances.
Women’s 100m Breaststroke Final
Then we have a woman who has had far too much attention on her for the wrong reasons in the lead up to these Olympics – Leisel Jones.
Maybe the Australian media knew something more than the usual lay person: get Leisel Jones angry and she’ll swim well.
That seemed to be the case watching her swim on Sunday night when she finished 5th overall to qualify for the 100m Breaststroke final tonight.
Before the meet started, some in the Australian media decided to attack Jones on holding onto a little bit of extra weight, which got her offside with those.
Not only did she react, so did many of the Australian public – and rightfully so too. Now that she’s made the final and a real medal chance, those people need to find their nearest Bunnings store, grab a shovel, start digging into the ground and then hide.
A gold medal however looks unlikely because of a new swimming sensation – Ruta Meilutyte from Lituania.
As mentioned so many times in the coverage overnight, this girl was a complete unknown leading into London 2012. But at the age of 15, most swimmers are. What baffled me was suggestions of something untoward (I won’t mention which commentator kept eluding to it, but she deserves a swift kick up the backside for it).
While we might have hyped up Ian Thorpe at the 1998 FINA World Championships in Perth when he was 15, Meilutyte and her country don’t have the high swimming profile. So for her to come from nowhere is quite acceptable.
She blew her opposition away in both the heats and semifinals and looks a real future star of the pool.
Men’s 200m Freestyle Final
A great meet for 21 year old Thomas Fraser-Holmes as he makes his second final at the London Olympics.
Getting a medal in tonight’s final is probably a long shot, but he’s made some great improvements in the last few days.
For an event that’s seen some amazing battles in the past (how could you forget Ian Thorpe vs. Pieter van den Hoogenband in 2000), this race has five genuine chances.
Paul Biedermann (GER) holds the World Record for the event and stormed home to win his semifinal last night. While he won’t get anywhere near his 1:42.00 from 2009, he showed he’s still a very classy swimmer.
Ryan Lochte (USA) has a chance to add a second gold medal to his tally and will know he’s probably the best of the swimmers in the final after an amazing last 18 months.
Sun Yang (CHN) grabbed the gold medal in the Men’s 400m Freestyle final on night one and was the fastest qualifier from the semifinals last night.
Park Taehwan (KOR) got the silver in that same event, despite a troubling lead up to the race. He was initially disqualified from the heats in the morning session, then re-instated to race in the final. He says he was mentally drained from that series of events. If that’s the case, he can improve dramatically.
But the one who has the whole world talking right now is Yannick Agnel (FRA). He’s flying finish in last night’s 4x100m Freestyle Relay was outstanding. If you take his split time of 46.84, that’s a world record time in the 100m Freestyle. Tonight’s obviously not the 100m, but the confidence he will take from that means he should go in as a real chance at gold.
Men’s 100m Backstroke Final
Hayden Stoeckel is Australia’s representative in the other final of the night. Like Fraser-Holmes, he’s a long shot at a medal after qualifying in 8th spot for the event.
There could be a serious chance at a gold medal tonight for local hope Liam Tancock (GBR) who qualified 3rd fastest. A medal is almost a certainty for him, but with the crowd behind him, it could be the first time the roof gets lifted off the Aquatic Centre at these Games.
He will have to get past a brute of a man in Matthew Greevers (USA). He was the fastest qualifier with a time of 52.66, while Camille Lacourt (FRA) is the other man who is likely to challenge for gold.
Of the semifinals on night three, our best chance of making a final tomorrow looks to be Alicia Coutts in the Women’s 200m Individual Medley. Coutts managed to be fifth fastest, while Stephanie Rice could be in trouble of missing out despite leading into the Games as the number one seed in this event.
Nick D’Arcy will be looking to put the past behind him as he lines up with Chris Wright in the Men’s 200m Butterfly, with Michael Phelps (USA) hoping to turnaround his slightly disappointing performances so far at London 2012.
And Bronte Barratt and Kylie Palmer line up in the semifinals of the Women’s 200m Freestyle – Barratt the more likely to make the final out of the two.
We’ll have all the action from night three from the pool at 4:30am AEST.
- 2012 London Olympics