ATHENS, Greece, August 19. 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!!
Men's 50 Freestyle Prelims
Wow! What an open event. Other than Schoeman and van den Hoogenband most of the top seeds are swimming poorly enough to open the door to a multitude of others. Popov misses the final of the 100. Hall swims poorly enough to miss the US sprint relay. Lezak can't even make the semi-final in the 100. Other possible contenders haven't swum yet. What will the leading Spaniards and Pole Bart Kizierowski do?
We'll go with the hot swimmer on top and champions for the minor medals: Schoeman Gold; Hall Silver; Hoogie Bronze, with Popov and Lezak as the best alternative picks for the outside edges of the podium.
Women's 800 freestyle
Manaudou's performance in the 400 puts her in the best position to control the 800 if she swims it. Diana Munz is money for a medal. Yamada is the lead seed but her countrywoman, Ai Shibata was better at the 400 distance. The 800 is more to Kalyn Keller's liking. Potec is swimming well with 200 gold but can she stretch all the way to 800 in this competition? Stockbauer was a dominant champion a year ago but has shown nothing yet in this meet.
Let's go with Manaudou gold; Munz silver; Stockbauer to redeem a bit with bronze. Keller and the Japanese are the best choices to break-in.
(Caveat: the Olympic website is missing heat two so we can't be sure who is in fact entered, meaning primarily Manaudou)
Men's 100 Butterfly
Crocker (if healthy) and Phelps, followed by the crowd. Serdinov, Rupprath and maybe Huegill and Marchenko in the crowd.
Phelps gold; Crocker silver; Serdinov bronze.
Women's 200 Backstroke
This may sound strange, but can you say Auburn? What about picking a 21st seed for gold. Several of the lead seeds at this distance were not at their top form in the 100.
This spring Kirsty Coventry, Zimbabwe, and Margaret Hoelzer, USA, both ran down Cal's Natalie Coughlin over the last 50 of her final collegiate race on behalf of Auburn. Coventry has had huge drops and already has collected two medals. This is her best event, and there is no Coughlin or Klochcova in her way here. Though seeded 21st Coventry is the gold pick.
Hoelzer was off her best at the Trials but look for her to rebound and chase her teammate.
Katy Sexton would normally be the pick for one of the medals but Great Britain has been extremely inconsistent, mostly on the poor side. Other possibilities are Nakamura, Terekawa, Komarova and Ukraine's Amshennikova. But we'll go with Sexton to follow Stephen Parry's 200 butterfly in breaking the Brits out of their funk.
Coventry gold; Hoelzer silver; Sexton bronze.