It promises to be another enthralling night at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium, where Australia’s new swimming speedster, Cameron McEvoy, takes to the pool in the 100m freestyle, with another strong medal chance, Emma McKeon, in the 200m freestyle. Join The Roar for all the swimming action from 11am (AEST).
McEvoy set the fastest 100 metres freestyle time this year, by 0.68 seconds, and his aim will be clocking a time which gets him into lane four or five in the final. He cruised through the heats, so it will be interesting to see what he comes up with in the semis.
He’s joined in the event by compatriot, surprise packet Kyle Chalmers, who will want to improve on his 2016 world top-eight time from the trials in Adelaide, and sneak into the final. He’s the fastest qualifier in the semis.
Out to put a dent in McEvoy’s confidence is Zetao Ning, who won gold in this event at the 2015 world championships, and the man with two first names, Nathan Adrian. Luca Dotto and the two Frenchmen, Jeremy Stravius and Florent Manaudou, should also be in the mix.
The first final of the night, the women’s 200 metres freestyle, provides a strong chance for an Australian medal. McKeon set the third-fastest time in the world this year in qualifying for the Olympic Games, however American superstar Katie Ledecky will likely be too good for our Emma. Expect Federica Pellegrini and Swede Sarah Sjostrom to also have strong swims. Australian three-time Olympian Bronte Barratt is also in the field.
We then move to what is one of the most physically demanding events in the entire swimming programme, the men’s 200 metres butterfly final. No Australians made it in, with Grant Irvine just missing out. Laszlo Cseh has by far the fastest time this year, and you might notice the familiar name Michael Phelps in the field.
Then the women get their shot, with the 200 metres butterfly semi-finals. Australian Madeline Groves set the fastest time this year back in April and will look to figure in the middle lanes for the final the following night. The other Australian, Brianna Throssell, has a strong chance of a finals berth.
The men’s 200 metres breaststroke is no longer an event where an Australian has a realistic chance of a medal, with the Americans and Europeans are likely to experience happier times in this event.
Australia is sure to fare better in the women’s 200 metre individual medley final, with Alicia Coutts in the mix for a minor medal. Hungarian Katinka Hosszu is the hot favourite, having posted the best time in the world by almost two seconds over Siobhan-Marie O’Connor leading into the Games. The Americans are also expected to do well in this race.
The men’s 4x200m freestyle relay heats saw Great Britain register the fastest time by 0.43 seconds over the United States of America, with Russia in third and Australia in 6th. It’s hard to see the British team touching the wall first in the final, but a medal for them is almost certain. With two Americans clocking individual 200m times in the top 10 in the world this year, and the 200m freestyle world record holder in the German team, that should be where the competition is. With the best to come in for Australia, they are an outside medal chance at best.
Today will not be our strongest day overall in the pool, however with rising stars like Cameron McEvoy, Madeline Groves and Emma McKeon, and the old stager Alicia Coutts slicing through the water, it is unlikely to be our worst.
Will Emma McKeon give Katie Ledecky a reason to frown? Will Cam McEvoy secure a key centre lane for tomorrow’s final? Join The Roar from 11am (AEST) for live updates and debate in our blog.