ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT







Olympics, Swimming: United States Shatters Olympic Record to Qualify First in 800 Freestyle Relay -- August 12, 2008

By John Lohn

BEIJING, China, August 12. AS was the case in the 400 freestyle relay, the United States unleashed a B-squad in preliminaries that must have the rest of the world jealous. The American quartet of David Walters, Ricky Berens, Erik Vendt and Klete Keller registered an Olympic record of 7:04.66 to demolish the 7:07.05 by Australia in 2000.

Walters gave the United States a strong start with a split of 1:46.57 and Berens followed by churning through the water in 1:45.47. Vendt handled the third leg in 1:47.11 and Klete Keller closed the evening session in 1:45.51. It will be interesting to see whether it's Berens, the newcomer with the slightly faster time, or Keller, the veteran anchor, who will join Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte and Peter Vanderkaay in the championship final.


Qualifying in the second slot was Italy, which relied on the foursome of Nicola Cassio, Marco Belotti, Emiliano Brembilla and Massi Rossolino for a time of 7:07.84 and a European record. The Italians were followed by Russia in 7:07.86 and Great Britain was fourth in 7:07.89. The Canadians, without Brent Hayden, were fifth in 7:08.04.

The Australians filled the sixth spot with a mark of 7:08.41 while the championship-final field was rounded out by Japan (7:09.12) and South Africa (7:10.91). Japan's time was an Asian record and South Africa set an African continental standard. There will surely be a number of lineup changes for the morning session, though it's nearly a guarantee that the U.S. will take the top spot and challenge breaking the seven-minute barrier.



Results: 2008 Olympic Games - Swimming

Premium Members - Search More About: Erik Vendt


Reaction Time Comments

August 12, 2008 Wow. The 7:00.00 barrier only has a few more hours of life.
Submitted by: Sphere
August 12, 2008 Looks like the Austrians gambled by resting Meichtry in the heats - they're easily in the finals and probably around 7:06 with him replacing Janistyn's 1:50 .

Does Ryk Neethling go for South Africa tonight? He had a poor 100 free heat, but likely is faster than Rousseau's 1:50 .
Submitted by: FatDrew
August 12, 2008 meichry is not ausrian...
Submitted by: onehandtoucher
August 12, 2008 What is really awesome is that when you look at the relays across the board, but particularly this 800 FR and the 400 MR, the US could rather easily field 2 teams and finish 1-2; (and perhaps even 3 teams and finish 1-2-3 if the coaches divided the swimmers up so that the talent were spread somewhat equally among 3). While the time drops in this olympics are awesome, what is equally awesome is the extent of the depth in virtually every event on a world-wide basis. Aside from Phelps, there seems to be incredible depth across the board in every event. 48.5 to make top 16 in 100 free? That is incredible. someone will likely go 47+ and not make the final.
Submitted by: Vaswimfan
August 12, 2008 I sure hope/think they will use Keller (or maybe even Vendt) in the finals because this would be his last Olympic race of his career probably. Berens and Walters have more to come probably.
Submitted by: SwimDER94
August 12, 2008 SwimDER, I understand your wish - but there is no chance for Vendt, his time prohibits his inclusion. I think the only decision is Berens vs Keller. I would pick Keller due to his long experience, but its a tough call for sure.
Submitted by: MrFixitOnline
August 12, 2008 Yeah I think Meichtry is Swiss.

I would pick Keller as well, also based on enormous amounts of experience in races, when it counts.
Submitted by: Park528
August 12, 2008 Well Vendt only went a 47 so he's out for sure; no way to justify using him. It's a tossup between the other two; I'm sure the coaches know best. But now that I think of it, this is going to be a blow out I think, so I don't think Keller's experience is necessarily needed. I think Berens earned the spot because he was simply faster. Keller has swum on final relays on two previous Olympics already, he's had his chance. Berens may or may not get another chance. If it was going to be very close, I'd go with Keller, but I don't think anybody is going to be close to the USA.
Submitted by: liquidassets
August 12, 2008 I agree totally that it is never a given that someone will have their chances at more Olympics, let alone moments as this.
Submitted by: Park528
August 12, 2008 Yeah keller would be a better bet, but seriously I dont think .04 is going to matter in this relay hahaha cause we are gonna demolish the competition. I think the coaches are gonna go with the veteran keller because he was apart of the relay when they won the gold in athens and stayed ahead of the thorpedo, he was apart of it when the 1st WR was broken and they would probably want him to be apart of it when they break the 7:00 barrier which is TONIGHT!
Submitted by: WUswimmer
August 12, 2008 Why is everyone assuming that Lochte is a "lock" on the relay. You've got two guys, Keller and Behrens, who just did mid 1:45. Why not keep BOTH of them. Lochte's 400 IM was 2 seconds slower than Omaha.
Submitted by: SilverMedalMel
August 12, 2008 I guess we are assuming based on his swim at Trials in the semi. Wasn't he 1:45 off a flat start? I guess thats why there are assumptions. And again, I guess b/c of the obvious advantage in international experience. Lets wait and see. Should be a great swim.
Submitted by: Park528
August 12, 2008 Mel, your reasoning makes a LOT of sense. Now we wait to find out what happens and who swims finals. Eddie Reese is a smart and fair man. I trust his decision.
Submitted by: paddles
August 12, 2008 I talked with Eddie Reese when the Olympians were at Stanford after Trials. I asked him who was going to be on the 800 relay. He said he was going to have a very open mind, and that whoever ended up on it would have earned his way there. It will be interesting to see who he finally comes up with.
Submitted by: SilverMedalMel
August 12, 2008 I thought of that too, about Keller but only because he was sick earlier in the week; so not sure if he's recovered yet. PVDK seems to have recovered so it looks like it was a short-acting virus or food related.
Submitted by: liquidassets
August 12, 2008 Just saw the start sheet. Looks like he went with Behrens.
Submitted by: SilverMedalMel
August 12, 2008 Yeah Lochte went a 1:45.6 in the semis at the trials so there shouldnt be a question of if he is on the relay. I know he supposedly has a stomach virus, but i believe lochte was fine in that 400 IM, he just went out way too hard the first 200 since that was the only way to try and beat phelps, and he did die at the end, and in my opinion kinda gave up a bit once Cseh went by him if you watch the tape again because his finish was very like a lame practice finish when someone has missed the interval and didnt care about the set anymore.
Submitted by: WUswimmer
August 12, 2008 I just checked the heat sheets since finals starts in 10 minutes; it says Phelps, Lochte, Berens, PVDK. Sounds good to me....
Submitted by: liquidassets
August 12, 2008 Makes me wonder if there may have been a time trial because Ryan hasn't swum a 200 since Omaha.....
What makes me think that Ryan is on the team is the fact that Eddie had Keller and Behrens swim in the heats so that they would be assured of a medal no matter the outcome in finals. This is why I wonder if Ryan really does have a lock in the finals because he has proven himself on the big stage.
Ok, I admit it...I don't have a clue! LOL
Submitted by: paddles
August 12, 2008 Well, Berens is on and Keller is off, but he did use the expected order: Phelps, Lochte, Berens, PVK.
Submitted by: SwimDER94
August 12, 2008 Behrens? Really? Wow. I wonder how much Eddie sweated over this one or went with the cold numbers giving the nod to Behrens. Again, wow. Who would have ever thought Lochte would NOT be on the relay?????? Wow.
Submitted by: paddles
August 12, 2008 thanks
Submitted by: Park528
August 12, 2008 Lochte is in for tonight on the relay in the same reason Coughlin is in the women's 800 free relay. The swam a necessary time at trials for consideration. Its actually in the rulebook, that a swimmer has that option. I am guessing thats also why Hoff swam in the 100 free at trials but dropped before finals. But she wasn't able to produce a time fast enough for consideration for a relay spot
Submitted by: Park528
August 12, 2008 Park: What is your first name? I am sure we know each other.
Submitted by: crafto
August 12, 2008 Chris: I swam all over though: For Chester Y in early, early 80's(under Jim Ryan), then to Suburban, then to UMLY (under Jim again), then to Community Y (under my high school coach). We swam in the same practice group in 83-84 at Suburban, back when that darn pool was disgusting from the roof. Remember that metallic taste from the pool water? I hung out with Brian and Sean Willis and Kim Kelly too.
Submitted by: Park528
August 12, 2008 Did Coughlin do a time trial at Trials? I don't remember her swimming any 200 heats there. I figured she'd be in like last time, based on her time from Melbourne and 1:58 low unrested at JEI
Submitted by: liquidassets
August 12, 2008 BTW Hoff didn't drop the 100 at trials, she went like a 55.2 in semifinals for about 10th or 11th place. She's just got too many events and she doesn't have Phelps stamina yet....
Submitted by: liquidassets
August 13, 2008 I wrote that incorrectly. I knew she didn't make the final, but still I would believe she was swimming it to see if she would make a relay leg. Why else would she? Its not like she has swum the 100 often at big events.

I taped trials. I will go back and look. I might be misunderstanding the rules for relay selection, but I believe that that was going to be the only way she could make a relay spot; by showing a good time at Trials. Thus she put in a great time and dropped finals to concentrate on the rest of her events in close proximity to those.

It was announced on Trials coverage by either Dan or Rowdy that she dropped after posting a fast time.


Submitted by: Park528
August 13, 2008 I think he's a little more tired than Athens because a little older, but tradeoff is he's stronger and more experienced/mentally prepared. He said he'd go through '12; so I hope he will tackle 400 free and 200 back recorrd within next year and maybe try 100 free/back for London. But alot could happen between now and then,so who knows?
Submitted by: liquidassets
Reaction Time responses do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Swimming World Magazine or SwimmingWorldMagazine.com.
Reaction Time is provided as a service to our readers.



Free Download:
Download Free Olympic Issue Now!