Lochte On His Way To Day Six Epic
Aug 1, 2012
Olympic Games, London, Day 5 heats:
Women's 100m freestyle
Watch for Tang Yi (CHN) in semis tonight: either the 19-year-old is going to swim well beyond what she's previously done or she likes racing heats. In 53.28 this morning she led the way in heat 5 ahead of joint world champion Jeanette Ottesen (DEN), on 53.51.
Tang clocked a lifetime best of 53.58 leading the China sprint relay off on day 1. Before this year, she had never swum inside 54sec, 54.08 in shiny suit in Rome 2009 her best. In heats of the relay, she clocked 53.88, just shy of her China nationals time of 53.71. Among those chasing the title here she was No1 this morning on the clock and in terms of wiping a stroke off her best time, but not alone in setting best times inside 54.
Jessica Hardy (USA) on 54.09 was the first outside the 53s in heat 5 before Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace (BAH) clocked 53.73 at the helm of heat 6, her previous lifetime best a 54.28. Next home was Francesca Halsall, of Britain, on 54.02, Julia Wilkinson (CAN) and Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) close by on 54.16 and 54.26 respectively. Britain got a second bite at the action in semis, Amy Smith on 54.37 ahead of defending champion Britta Steffen (GER), on 54.42.
The last of the seven heats saw Melanie Schlanger, the homecoming queen of the triumphant 4x100m free quartet on day 1, looking good on 53.50, 0.13sec ahead of joint world champion Aliaksandra Herasimenia (BLR), Missy Franklin (USA) starting out in her fourth event in 54.26. The door to the semis was locked at a joint 54.43 for Femke Heemskerk (NED) and Daniel Schreiber (GER).
Men's 200m backstroke
Gabor Balog, of Hungary, set the pace at 1:56.98 in heat 2. In heat 3, Tyler Clary (USA) laid down a strong marker in 1:56.24 ahead of Nick Driebergen (NED), on 1:57.29, and Peter Bernek (HUN), 1:57.52. Next up, Ryosuke Irie (JPN) looked smooth on 1:56.81 just ahead of Jan-Philip Glania (GER), through on a solid 1:57.01, with Australian Mitch Larkin on 1:57.53. The defending champion, Ryan Lochte (USA), was up next on 1:56.36 ahead of China's Zhang Fenglin, 1:56.71, Yakov Toumarkin (ISR) on 1:57.33. The semis were locked down in 1:58.22, among those locked out Arkady Vyatchanin (RUS) and Ben Stasiulis (FRA).
Women's 200m breaststroke
Defending champion Rebecca Soni (USA), on a storm-warning 2:21.40 ahead of Rikke Moller Pedersen (DEN), 2:22.69 settled the argument in the last of five heats, with Anastasia Chaun (RUS) in 2:25.39. They had watched Satomi Suzuki (JPN) clock 2:23.22 in the third heat ahead of China's Ji Liping, on 2:25.76, Korea's Back Suyeon, and Suzaan Van Biljon (RSA), on 2:25.94.
In heat 4, Micah Lawrence (USA) led the way in 2:24.50, with Joline Hostman (SWE) on 2:25.44. Tessa Wallace (AUS) closed the door to semis in 2:26.94. Just the right side of the cut were Martha McCabe (CAN), 2:26.39, and on a joint 2:26.83 Yuliya Efimova (RUS) and Jeong Darae (KOR). Among those locked out were Tera Van Beilen (CAN), on 2:27.70, and Sara Nordenstam (NOR), on 2:27.90.
Men's 200m medley
Pressed by James Goddard (GBR), Laszlo Cseh (HUN), silver medallist three times over but locked out of the 400m medley final on the first morning of action last Saturday, left nothing to chance this time round, stamping his foot down with a 1:57.20 effort, Goddard on 1:58.56 and safely through too at that rate, and Chad Le Clos (RSA), the 20-year-old who denied Michael Phelps the triple by 0.05sec in the 200m 'fly last night, third in 1:59.45.
In the 4th heat, Kosuke Hagino (JPN) out-touched defending champion Phelps by 0.02sec, 1:58.22 to 1:58.24, Markus Rogan (AUT) on 1:58.66. In the last heat, Ryan Lochte, world champion heading for a mega day 6 of 200m backstroke final and 200m medley final, clocked 1:58.03, catching up with Thiago Pereira with a turn of speed down the last lap to place himself in certain waters before gliding into the wall ahead of the Brazilian's 1:58.31, Markus Deibler not far away on 1:58.61. All through in 2:00.28, the time of Canadian Andrew Ford (CAN).
Women's 4x200m freestyle
Defending champions Australia, 7:49.44, the United States, 7:50.75, and Canada, 7:50.84, led the way, Italy, France, China, Great Britain and Japan completing the top eight, Hungary, Spain, New Zealand, Russia and Germany locked out.