LONDON, England, August 2. AN inspirational story comes from the top seed of the men's 50 freestyle prelims, as George Bovell posts the fastest time of 21.77. Bovell was involved in a major car accident near his home in Trinidad and Tobago in August 2011 that caused a little bruising on his brain. After a few months out of the pool for recovery, Bovell was able to get back into top form, and today he's going to be the top qualifier for semifinals.
Defending champion Cesar Cielo was second in the prelims with a 21.80. His teammate Bruno Fratus qualified third in 21.82. The Americans did well, with Anthony Ervin and Cullen Jones into the semis and Roland Schoeman, the 2004 Olympic bronze medalist, also qualifying.
Rebecca Adlington began her defense of her 800 freestyle Olympic crown today with a comfortable 8:21.78 in today's 800 freestyle heats. Reigning world silver medalist Lotte Friis of Denmark also posted an 8:21 to qualify second for tomorrow's final. Katie Ledecky, the American who many believe will be a big challenger for gold, qualified with an 8:23.84, is also into finals as is Spain's Mireia Belmonte Garcia, last night's silver medalist in the 200 fly, and UC-Berkeley alum Lauren Boyle is in finals as well.
Almost four years after their epic race in the 100 fly final in Beijing, Michael Phelps and Milorad Cavic were in the lane next to each other in today's 100 fly prelim. It was Phelps who got to the wall first with a 51.72 over Cavic's 51.90. But it's South Africa's Chad Le Clos who will be the top seed going into semis with a 51.54. Tyler McGill of the United States got into semifinals as well with a 51.95.
Missy Franklin and Elizabeth Beisel rolled through their prelim heats of the 200 back, easily qualifying for semifinals. Qualifying third was Kirsty Coventry of Zimbabwe, who is looking to defend her Olympic title and be the third woman to win the same event three times.
Tonight's finals will include what is likely to be the final Phelpte matchup. Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte will battle for gold — and possibly the world record — in the men's 200 IM, with a great battle for third expected with Laszlo Cseh, James Goddard and Thiago Pereira. Also up will be Rebecca Soni in the women's 200 breast, where she'll try to break the 2:20 barrier after going 2:20.00 last night in semifinals.
We'll have complete race by race recaps on swimmingworld.com.
China added one more gold medal in diving yesterday afternoon, with Qin Kai and Luo Yutong winning the men's three-meter synchro event. Russia's Ilya Zakharov and Evgeny Kuznetsov placed second with 459.63 points, while USA's Kristian Ipsen and Troy Dumais produced a bronze-medal performance with 446.70 points. In his fourth Olympics, Dumais now has his first-ever Olympic medal at 32 years old. The divers have a day off today, and the women will be back on the springboard tomorrow for qualifying rounds.
Spain continues to be impressive in the women's water polo tournament. They tied the United States yesterday 9-9 in preliminary action, putting the rest of the teams on notice that a new force in water polo is on the rise. With the Netherlands, the 2008 Olympic champions, unable to qualify for the Olympics, all eight countries are looking to take the top podium spot.