SINGAPORE, November 10. THERE was one question on everyone's minds when the men dove in to race the 100 meter freestyle on the first night of the Singapore World Cup: where is Anthony Ervin? As the top seed, and reigning champion going into the day, his absence was anything but inconspicuous.
Anthony Ervin hasn't been on Twitter in a few days. He DNS'd the 100 Free on Day 1 of Singapore. I expect he wants the WR today in the 50…
— SwimNerds (@SwimNerds) November 10, 2012
Pointing out his absence caused an immediate conversation. One source claimed that Ervin hurt his arm, and opted to sit out the hundred freestyle. However, US teammate Jessica Hardy voiced a different reason for Ervin not swimming the 100: he overslept! Blast that time difference….
So, with Ervin's extra rest on the first day in Singapore, can he make a run at the 50 freestyle World Record? The record, posted by South Africa's Roland Schoeman in August of 2009 (during the technical suit era) is a 20.30. Sounds like a David and Goliath match-up, considering the fastest time Ervin has swam in the 2012 World Cup Circuit was a 20.85 in Berlin. However, he has consistently improved (and broken an American Record in the process), and will more than likely swim a lifetime best in the 50 freestyle tonight.
Whether Ervin out-touches Trinidad and Tobago's George Bovell in the 50 freestyle is another matter, considering Bovell is still in the running for the championship title among the men (and the $100,000 paycheck that comes with it). This extra motivation will undoubtedly be on his mind when he dives into the pool. If either Bovell or Ervin post a new World Record in the 50 tonight, it is an extra 20 points added to their score and an immediate $10,000 bonus.
After all of the races are completed, the male and female overall World Cup Circuit champions (as calculated through the FINA points scoring system) will be crowned. Katinka Hosszu has already won the title for the women, so any additional medals she wins tonight are purely for bragging rights. Australia's Kenneth To is in the lead for men, followed by George Bovell and Japan's Daiya Seto. Nevertheless, every time elite world-ranked swimmers dive into a pool, something exciting happens.
The 2012 FINA World Cup Circuit has had a great run, and it's a bittersweet feeling knowing that today is the last of the meets. Fans have followed the progression from the Middle East, to Europe, to Asia, cheering on their favorite swimmers in the process. Until next year, World Cup! We'll be watching the pool tonight.
Check out the heat sheets for day two prelims below, and follow @SwimmingWorld on Twitter under #FINAWorldCup for live coverage of the second night of finals in Singapore.