PHOENIX, Arizona, June 19. SWIMMING World caught up with "The Voice of Swimming" Rowdy Gaines today to help preview the upcoming US National Championships and World Championship Trials. USA Swimming released the psych sheets earlier today.
Check out all of Swimming World's 2013 National Championship coverage on the event landing page. Coverage includes video interviews, race-day recaps, and live social media coverage. The meet will run June 25 -- 29, 2013
Rowdy Gaines on the most exciting part of National Championships:
"I always get excited about the newcomers the year after the Olympics. You always know that the usual suspects are going to swim well -- Missy Franklin, Ryan Lochte and everyone -- but I love to see these new kids come along and try to make a statement now. Really half of the [US] team [at World Championships] is going to be made up people that we've never heard of. They are going to be the 'Breeja Larsons.' I mean, I didn't know who [Larson] was four years ago. It's people like that that have a great chance to really do something special this summer. I would love to give you names, but that's the beauty of it: they are names that I don't know of right now. But I'll be talking a lot about them in these next years. It's cool to see those people make the statement of, 'Hey, I'm going to be around for the next couple of years!'"
Gaines weighs in on Ryan Lochte's chance at winning the 400 IM at World Championships:
Swimming World: "Think he can do it?"
Gaines: "Yeah, because he trains so hard. Even though I know he hasn't trained as hard as he did in years past, he's got so much in the bank. He's got so much built up that he can borrow from for a 400 IM this summer and get through it with flying colors. I mean, there's [Japan's Kosuke Hagino]. He's really good, but besides him, [Lochte] can breeze in at a 4:07, 4:08 and still win it."
Gaines talks about Missy Franklin developing her 200 IM:
"[Franklin's] Achilles heel has always been her breaststroke. It's so tough because, like so many other great swimmers before her know, the breaststroke is a stroke that takes time to develop. I think that the perfect example of that is Elizabeth Beisel: her breaststroke a couple years ago was terrible -- well, I shouldn't say terrible -- but it was definitely her worst stroke. Now it has become a strength for her. But [Beisel] needed to develop and have a mature environment like Florida to develop that stroke. Missy is the same way. I'm definitely not taking anything away from Todd, but you can only do so much at [an age-group] level. I think once [Franklin] moves on to the [collegiate] level, that breaststroke is going to come around. That will be her event at NCAAs."