PHOENIX, Sept. 18. The USA Swimming Olympic Trials schedule will simulate the schedule in Athens.
The schedule, posted on the USAS website, begins July 7 in Long Beach and runs for eight days.
For America's two most prominent swimmers, Natalie Coughlin and Michael Phelps, the schedule is almost tailor-made for swimming multiple events and — if it parallels what they'll face in Athens — gives each a good shot at winning multiple golds.
In Coughlin's case, for example, she'll have the heats and semis of the 100 fly opening day.
On Day 2 she'll have heats and semis of the 100 back plus the 100 fly finals, presuming she opts for that double, a double she has won the last three years at NCAAs and where she holds both the American and NCAA records.
Day 3 (July 9) could see her swimming the heats and semis of the 200 free plus finals of the 100 back (she owns the U.S./NCAA record in the 200 yard free too.)
The following day she could swim only the 200 free finals or that race plus heats and semis of the 200 fly, where she holds (need we say it?) the American and NCAA record too.
Day 5 she'd "only" have heats and semis of the 100 free (where again she's American/NCAA record-holder in the yards version) plus having the AR in meters) plus the 200 fly final. However, it is likely she'll skip this race entirely.
The following day she'd hve heats and semis of the 200 back plus the 100 free finals; and on Day 7 she'd just have the 200 back finals if she opts to swim it.
Phelps opens with the 400 IM (where he holds the world record) on Day 1.
The following day presents an interesting challenge. He could "rest" and swim nothing. Or, more likely, he could opt to swim the 200 free heats and semis.
Presuming he does go the 200 free, on Day 3 he'd have heats and semis of the 200 fly and the 200 free finals.
Day 4 just has the 200 fly finals.
Day 5, July 11, he'd have the 200 IM heats and semis. Next day would be that race's finals plus heats and semis of the 100 fly. He'd finish the next day with the finals of this race.
At Barcelona this summer he had heats and semis of the 100 fly on the same day as the 200 IM finals, and all he did was set world records in both!