ATHENS, Greece, August 15. EACH morning Swiminfo will be posting the heat sheets for the day’s events at the Olympic Games in Athens. Be sure to check them out so you have the best information provided to make your medal predictions! Enjoy Swiminfo’s coverage of the 2004 Olympic Games and be sure to check back frequently to get all the action from Athens!!
Here's what to look for in this morning's action:
Women's 100 meter backstroke
Sure, Natalie Coughlin is the favorite, but she's only going to swim fast enough to win her heat and qualify comfortably today. France's Laure Manaudou and Japan's Reiko Nakamura are untested and could post some fast times.
Men's 200 meter freestyle
The mass media have been playing this up as a two-man contest, Thorpe vs. Phelps.
It's not. Five guys are in the mix. Aside from the two already mentioned, there's defending Olympic champion Pieter van den Hoogenband, Grant Hackett and Klete Keller.
After last night's 400, Thorpe, whom we considered a strong favorite, suddenly looks vulnerable.
Women's 100 meter breast
It's only the prelims, but look for the two Aussies, Jones and Hanson, to come out smokin! Americans Kirk and Beard should breeze through as should the fifth contender, china's Luo Xuejuan.
Men's 100 meter backstroke
Peirsol and Krayzelburg hope to go one-two, but this is only the prelims. Aussie Matt Welsh, second in Sydney, is back for another go at the gold. The sleeper could be Japan's Morita.
Women's 400 meter freestyle
This race is absolutely wide open and we may witness Upset City here. The USA's Kaitlin Sandeno, who is hot-hot-hot, should final easily, with Kalyn Keller on the cusp. The Japanese pair of Yamada and Shibata are intriguing, especially since the Japanese team is off to a good start.
Hungary's Eva Risztov, who finished out of the medals in the 400 IM, may be a factor, but we're guessing that Hannah Stockbauer, the 2003 world champion, will not make it to the final. France's Manaudou, should she choose to swim her second event of the day, could be a significant factor.
Men's 4×1100 meter freestyle relay
We've been over this ground before. The USA B team is favored to lead through prelims, with one (or two) of the prelim swimmers making the finals team. Most likely the contenders will be Neil Walker and Gary Hall, Jr.
But there are some other fast teams: Russia, France, Italy… and don't forget the Little Country that Might, South Africa.
– Phil Whitten