TYR Pro Swim Series

Tomorrow is the beginning of the 2018 TYR Pro Swim Series, one of the few meets in which professional swimmers can line their pockets with a little cheddar.

All individual Olympic events (minus the 50 Free):
$1,000- 1st place
$600- 2nd place
$200- 3rd place
50 Butterfly, 50 Backstroke, 50 Breaststroke, and 50 Freestyle:
$200- top 4 finishers in 1st round of shootout
$400- top 2 finishers in 2nd round of shootout
$600- winner of shootout

The first stop is the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center at the University of Texas in Austin.

Here are three things you might be interested in…

Li Bingjie

This meet is chuck full of Olympians and professional swimmers. The big names are here to race LCM’s and make money. Leah Smith, Nathan Adrian, Katie Meili, Zane Grothe, Ashley Neidigh, Chase Kalisz, Sarah Gibson, Clark Smith, Melanie Margalis, Jack Conger, Olivia Smoliga, and a whole bunch more. 

But the swimmer I’m most interested in watching swim is the young phenom from China, Li Bingjie. She is swimming the 200, 400, and 800 Freestyles. In China, she is already being called, “The female Sun Yang.” Whether or not that is a compliment probably depends on what country you are from. Hopefully she won’t miss her event, create a raucous in the warm up pool, or test positive for illegal performance enhancing stimulants.

She’s the real deal, though, and having her on American soil for the first time is pretty darn exciting. Going head-to-head against Leah Smith in the 800 is going to be a must watch.

Mystery 200 IM

The Top 8 performers of the 200 IM on the first night get to swim the Mystery 200 IM on day 3. The 4 strokes will be randomly picked and announced before the start of the race. How will the turns work? Are you allowed to do a flip turn from Free to Breast or Free to Fly? Making it the last event seems like a good idea. Nobody has to jeopardize making cold hard cash and the Pro Swim Series audience gets to watch something unconventional and fun. 

Shoot Out Style 50’s

The most popular Olympic event is the 100 meter dash and takes 9 seconds. Last year, instead of adding the 50’s of stroke, the IOC added a 7 minute & a 15 minute race — ample time to throw in more commercials. Or, as they say overseas, adverts.

I have probably written more about the 50’s of stroke than any other topic on this blog. If you have not had the chance to dive deep into them, here they are in order of when they were published:

Big Mistake: IOC Skips 50’s of Stroke
50’s of Stroke: Part Deux
50’s of Stroke: Peaty & Parity
50’s of Stroke: Phelps & Rowdy Aren’t Fans

The Pro Swim Series 50’s are on Saturday. Here’s a look at the Finals Session:

Finals for Saturday’s events start at 6:40 PM Eastern Time.
➢ Women’s 400 Freestyle “B” Final
➢ Men’s 400 Freestyle “B” and “A” Final
➢ 50 Freestyle (top 8)
➢ 50 Backstroke (top 8)
➢ 50 Freestyle (top 4)
➢ 50 Backstroke (top 4)
➢ 50 Freestyle (top 2)
➢ 50 Backstroke (top 2)
➢ Women’s 400 Freestyle “A” Final
➢ 50 Breaststroke (top 8)
➢ 50 Butterfly (top 8)
➢ 50 Breaststroke (top 4)
➢ 50 Butterfly (top 4)
➢ 50 Breaststroke (top 2)
➢ 50 Butterfly (top 2)
➢ 200 Mystery Individual Medley

Free/Back are back to back and Fly/Breast are back to back. Thus, if you are a sprinter, you are probably only going to choose one stroke — two at the most. We will undoubtedly watch a few people completely fall apart as they move through the rounds. On the bright side, we should see some gritty racing and more swimmers will be going home with a check in their hands.

So, don’t mind the times — enjoy the racing.