London 2012: Swimming Finals Night 4 – live blog and results
Tonight we see if Australia can claim their second gold medal with four more finals to come from the pool at London 2012. Live coverage coming up from 4:30am AEST.
A lot of Australia’s hopes will once again be on our women with Bronte Barratt and Kylie Palmer qualifying for the Women’s 200m Freestyle and Alicia Coutts and Stephanie Rice making it into the Women’s 200m Individual Medley final.
Plus, Australia is represented in the 4x200m Freestyle Relay final at the end of the programme.
Women’s 200m Freestyle Final
A bit of a surprise last night to see Bronte Barratt qualify as the fastest from the semifinals. She will swim from lane four tonight.
Barratt is indeed a good shot at a medal, but there’s trepidation about saying that she could win the “G” word.
Her competition will come from the lanes either side of her – Allison Schmitt (USA) who was just 0.07s behind and Camille Muffat (FRA) who was 0.10s behind the Aussie.
Muffat claimed the gold in the Women’s 400m Freestyle on night one, while Schmitt was just 0.32s behind her.
Federica Pellegrini (ITA) is the other interesting swimmer. Someone who hasn’t been at her best since her World Record swim in 2009, but looked pretty good in the semifinals.
Men’s 200m Butterfly Final
Both Nick D’Arcy and Chris Wright failed to qualify for tonight’s final, but it doesn’t mean there won’t be much to get excited about.
Michael Phelps (USA) will be looking at becoming the first swimmer in the history of the Olympic Games to win the same event three times in a row.
Plus, he’d move to being a 15-time Olympic champion, which would be an equal record for men (Nikolai Andrianov, URS, Gymnastics, 1972-1980), while closing in on Larissa Latynina’s record of 18 gold medals in Gymnastics between Melbourne 1956 and Tokyo 1964.
The way he’s swum so far at this meet suggests he might struggle. A lot of people were surprised when he missed a medal in the Men’s 400m Individual Medley on night one (more surprising was the fact that he was four seconds behind team mate Ryan Lochte).
However, there’s signs of improvement as the Olympics have gone on that he’s closing in on his best.
The event is wide open with no real stand-out (besides Phelps). Chad le Clos (RSA) broke the African record in the semifinals and Takeshi Matsuda (JPN) was the fastest qualifier.
But with all eight qualifying within a second of each other, anyone could seriously put a claim to gold.
Women’s 200m Individual Medley Final
A lot of the world is talking about Chinese 16 year old swimmer Ye Shiwen. Unfortunately, it’s all for the wrong reasons, with accusations of doping coming to the fore from a US swim coach.
Last night, Ye was able to break the Olympic record with a quick swim of 2:08.39, 1.44s faster than the next fastest qualifier.
That next fastest was Alicia Coutts, who improved dramatically from her heat swim earlier in the morning. She was part of Australia’s 4x100m Freestyle Relay gold medal team and took bronze in the Women’s 100m Butterfly on night two.
Her packed schedule could play havoc with her, but she has had 24 hours off which will be good for her.
Stephanie Rice is Australia’s other chance. An up and down campaign has led to her being out of the medals in sixth in the 400m IM final.
While she finished 5th in her semifinal, she’s only a second off a medal and we know there’s room for improvement.
Katinka Hosszu (HUN) and Hannah Miley (GBR) will also be in the race for medals along with Caitlin Leverenz (USA).
Men’s 4x200m Freestyle Relay
The American team looked extremely strong and close to unbeatable in their heat swim this morning – and it wasn’t even their best team!
They were a clear two and a half seconds clear of the French team, while Australia performed well with the fourth best time.
The Aussie team is likely to have Ryan Napoleon, Thomas Fraser-Holmes, Kenrick Monk and then the debate over whether to include David McKeon or Ned McKendry. Both swam well this morning, so an interesting decision to be made there.
Germany and Great Britain are the other challengers for a medal, but it’s likely the United States will take all before them, with the French their main challenges.
Of the other semifinals happening tonight, Jessicah Schipper will need to lift in order to make the final of the Women’s 200m Buttefly, Brenton Rickard looked flat in his heat this morning of the Men’s 200m Breaststroke.
But the main semifinal we’ll have interest in will be the Men’s 100m Freestyle, with James Magnussen and James Roberts hoping to atone for Sunday night’s 4x100m Freestyle “failure”.
All the action coming up from 4:30am AEST. So put some vegemite on that toast, grab a glass of OJ and settle in for another big night at the Aquatics Centre.
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