PHOENIX, Arizona, July 31. DAY four of preliminary swimming at the London Olympics is complete, and things started off with the heats of the men's 100 freestyle. Nathan Adrian will go to the semifinals as the top seed with his 48.19. It took a 48.99 to make the top 16, and all the big medal favorites are going through, including Cesar Cielo in his first race of the 2012 Olympics, pre-meet favorite James Magnussen, who still appeared to not have shaved his face and Cullen Jones, the second American.
The United States kept rolling through the heats as Kathleen Hersey qualified first in the women's 200 butterfly with a personal best time of 2:06.41. The three medalists from 2008 — gold medalist Liu Zige, silver medalist Jiao Liuyang and bronze medalist Jessicah Schipper — all made it to semifinals, as did 2004 Olympic champion Otylia Jedrezejak.
Daniel Gyurta, the reigning world champion, is the first seed in the men's 200 breast for tonight's semifinal with a 2:08.47. The Brits did well, too, as Andrew Willis and Michael Jamieson qualified second and third. Clark Burckle swam a lifetime best of 2:09.55 to advance, as did Trials winner Scott Weltz, who wasn't far off his personal best.
Charlie Houchin, Matt McLean, Davis Tarwater and Conor Dwyer qualified the United States first in the 800 free relay with a 7:06.75. Based on the splits, Dwyer will likely be in the finals relay with Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte and Ricky Berens. Phelps, Lochte and Berens were on the 2008 gold-medal winning relay as well as the winning relays from the last two world championships. Dwyer is taking over for Peter Vanderkaay, who despite having a great 400 freestyle on Saturday, turned down the opportunity to swim the prelims of the relay. Two of the other medal favorites, France and China, are also going to be in tonight's final. Russia will not be in the final, having left off Danila Izotov in the prelims. Izotov scratched the 100 free prelims today, presumably to be ready for tonight's relay final.
We'll bring you race by race results of finals tonight on swimmingworld.com.
The Chinese continued their quest to sweep all the gold medals in diving yesterday, as Cao Yuan and Zhang Yanquan won the men's 10-meter synchro event with an Olympic record score of 486.78. North America won silver and bronze, as Mexico's German Sanchez and Ivan Garcia took second and Americans David Boudia and Nick McCrory placed third. Great Britain led through three rounds, but a faulty dive on the fourth round jumped them out of the medals, finishing fourth.
Water polo action continues today, as Hungary, the two-time men's team champions, were upset earlier today in preliminary action by Montenegro 11-10. This doesn't mean that Hungary is out of the tournament, but means they'll have to win the remainder of their prelim matches to assure advancement. The United States plays Romania later today and Serbia, the defending bronze medalists, play host country Great Britain.
Yesterday in women's water polo action, the United States squeaked out their first win of the tournament, 14-13 over Hungary. American Maggie Steffens tied the Olympic record for the most goals scored in a single match with seven.