INDIANAPOLIS, October 10. The men’s 50 breaststroke semifinals were close – only 1.08 seconds separated all 16 semifinalists – yet, an air of inevitability hung over the pool. It signaled that however close the race might be, Brendan Hansen was going to win.
And so it was. Sweden’s Stefan Nystrand took the first heat in 27.44 seconds, with Bulgaria’s (and Northwestern’s) Mikhail Alexandrov .01 behind and Aussie Brenton Rickard another .01 behind Alexandrov.
Hansen recorded the fastest time, 27.24, in heat 2, with Aussie Mark Riley second in 27.47.
So Hansen goes into tomorrow’s final favored to complete his sweep of all three breaststroke events. But a mere 43-hundredths of a second separate the first and eighth qualifiers, so any one of the eight finalists could take it all.
Place our bet on Hansen.