Olympic Games, London, Day 2, men's semis:
In the first semi, world record holder Paul Biedermann (GER), having missed the cut for the 400m, was not going to be left out again: out in lane 2 he kept with the lead pace the whole way before sprinting into the lead for a 1:46.10 down the last lap.
Next home in lane 4 was world champion Ryan Lochte (USA), on 1:46.31, his joint mission to make sure he got through and to conserve energy for a 4x100m restyle relay clash with Australia, France and Russia to come. Just behind was Robbie Renwick (GBR), in 1:46.65, good enough for sixth place equal into the final alongside Danila Isotov (RUS).
In the second semi, Sun Yang (CHN) swam with Yannick Agnel (FRA) and Park Taehwan (KOR) to the last turn but about 15m into the last lap turned on his outboard motor, kick kicking in towards a 1:45.61 conclusion. Agnel clocked 1:45.84, Park 1:46.02. It seemed, though as though Sun might have a response for anything this week. Fascinating developments in Chinese swimming. The last one in to the final, on 1:46.80, was Thomas Fraser-Holmes.
Matt Grevers (USA) remained the only man to crack 53sec so far, his 52.86 in the second semi faster than the winning time four years ago and granting him lane 4 in the final by 0.17sec.
Closest to him was a 53.03 from Camille Lacourt (FRA), the world champion shadowed the whole way by Britain's Liam Tancock (GBR), who eased off in the closing three strokes, the lumpiness of that causing him to take two stunted strokes at the end. result: 53.25 and a middle lane in the big showdown tomorrow. The closest medal challenge will come from Ryosuke Irie (JPN), on 53.29, Nick Thoman the second American threat in with a shout to shine.