The more I think about the outcome of the Rio Olympics, the more I believe it is dependent on how these athletes deal with swimming fast at 10 o’clock at night.
“We said no. But it’s not us who decides. It’s an IOC event, and we have to respect it. We have to adapt. … Television is very important for everybody.” – FINA executive director Cornel Marculescu
There’s nothing anyone can do to change this but at least the IOC told everyone a year in advance. It seems that everyone has their own ideas on how to be prepare to swim fast at 10 PM. British Swimming has been using light therapy from Lumie. It seems pretty interesting. Swimmers need proper sleep. It’s key to peak athletic performance.
With that being said, let’s take a look at the 100 Free.
Men’s 100 Free
As previously stated in the 50 Free write up, Florent Manaudou is legitimately making a run at the 100 Free this year. He recently dipped under 48 back in December — tying his personal best from 2014 European Champs.
Flo is in the prime of his career and I don’t think anyone can stop him. In London he only had 1 event — the 50 Free. He wasn’t even on the gold medal winning 4×100 Free Relay. That’s bad news for America and the rest of the world.
If the powers to be decide to add the 50’s of stroke to the Olympic schedule in 2020, Flo could probably win 3 out of 4 “splash and dash” events. That would be INSANE.
Nathan Adrian, the defending Olympic Champion, has not been able to crack 48 since 2013. His 50 has been far more impressive — he lowered his best time in Kazan just last summer. When the time comes, I have faith he will show up, just like he did in London.
I’m just not sure he’ll be able to overcome Cameron McEvoy, though. Busting out a ridiculous back half a few days ago, McEvoy now has the fastest 100 Free since Adrian won in 2012. He’s your prototypical 50/100/200 freestyler — his best event really is the 100. If McEvoy medals, he will be the first male swimmer under 6’3″ to do so since Chris Jacobs in 1988.
Don’t remember Chris Jacobs winning Silver in Seoul? Check out this New York Times profile from back in 1988. It portrays an epic comeback from drugs and depression.
”I’ve been tempted. It’s a major liability in college to not drink. It makes my social life boring to some people – sometimes to me. But it beats the alternative. Two years ago, I was pretty close to killing myself.”
Gold: Florent Manaudou, France
Silver: Cameron McEvoy, Australia
Bronze: Nathan Adrian, USA
Women’s 100 Free
The Campbell sisters have simply dominated this event over the last few years. Can the rest of the world keep one or both of them from the podium? Sarah Sjostrom, Ranomi Kromowidjojo, and Femke Heemskerk will surely give them hell.
Bronte and Cate have a clear cut strategy when it comes to the 100 Free: destroy everyone the first 50 and hold on for victory. Sjostrom came back and won Silver in Kazan (video below) but was nearly half a second behind at the turn.
This event looks like one of the easier ones to pick — the top tier is just that much better. Unless we see some rather large drops from people on the outskirts, the five names above should be in the Finale.
Gold: Bronte Campbell, Australia
Silver: Cate Campbell, Australia
Bronze: Sarah Sjostrom, Sweden