Olympic Day 4 Prelims – Complete with Photos

By Phillip Whitten and Michael Collins

Sydney – Day 4 Preliminary results:

Men's 100 Free Prelims

Top 16 advance to semi-finals:

1. Hoogenband NED 48.64
2. Klim AUS 49.09
3. Frolander SWE 49.16
4. Popov RUS 49.29
5. Hall Jr. USA 49.32
6. Pimankov RUS 49.45
6. Fydler AUS 49.45
8. Iles ALG 49.70

9. Walker USA 49.73
10. Schoeman RSA 49.74
10. Vismara ITA 49.74
12. Meolans ARG 49.75
13. Troeger GER 49.76
13. Borges BRA 49.76
15. Zubor HUN 49.79
16. Draganja CRO 49.83

Holland's Pieter van den Hoogenband qualified first in the prelims of the men's 100 freestyle with a strong, but smooth, 48.64. Alex Popov took it very easy, turning last at the 50 in his heat and mowing down just about everyone with his flawless technique. Look for him to improve on his 49.29 (fourth) through semis and finals.

Australia's Michael Klim, Popov's training partner and the new world record-holder in this event, was his usual "messy" self, but still had the second fastest time, 49.29. Swede Lars Frolander–the man everyone is forgetting in handicapping the 100 free–also swam easily to qualify third (49.16).

America's Gary Hall Jr. also took it out very easy and moved up in the second lap of his heat to qualify fifth (49.32). Neil Walker, who won this event at the US Trials, will need to hold together better the second lap if he wants to advance to the finals. He clocked 49.73 for ninth place.

Side note: In heat 1, with three swimmers all entered at 1:10, both Lanes 3 & 4, wearing Speedo body suits, were DQ'd for falling in before the start. The only remaining competitor in the heat, Eric Moussambani of Equatorial Guinea, stood alone wearing a regular suit, with his swim suit strings untied and hanging out. He dove in and sprinted the first 20 meters without a breath, then swam head-up the rest of the way to finish in 1:52.72, to the defeaning roar of the crowd. His splits were :40.97 – 1:11.75. His time would not have won the 80-84 age group at the World Masters Championships.

Afterwards, he commented: "I want to send hugs and kisses to the crowd because it was their cheering that kept me going." Maybe that's why he swam the event with his head out of the water, Tarzan-style.

Women's 200 Fly Prelims

Top 16 advance to semi-finals:

1. Hyman USA 2:07.87
2. O'Neill AUS 2:07.97
3. Thomas AUS 2:08.70
3. Jedrzejczak POL 2:08.70
5. Jacobsen DEN 2:09.30
6. Mita JPN 2:09.85
7. Sandeno USA 2:09.92
8. Nakanishi JPN 2:10.22

9. Jeanson FRA 2:10.78
10. Garcia ESP 2:10.96
11. Lee GBR 2:11.09
12. Risztov HUN 2:11.32
13. Skou DEN 2:11.35
14. Loots RSA 2:11.38
15. Pedder GBR 2:11.59
16. van Welie NZL 2:11.62

Misty Hyman of the USA swam a personal best and qualified first for the semi-finals with a 2:07.87, her lifetime best by over a second and her first sub-2:09 swim ever. She is now the seventh fastest performer all-time. Hyman looked relaxed and in control, as she split 1:01.06 – 1:06.81. After warming down, she said: "It gives me a lot of confidence and makes me feel good for (the final) tomorrow night."

Kaitlin Sandeno, the other American, qualified seventh, using her customary strong finish. Like Hyman, she was pleased: "It was really easy to get a great time. Sandeno's 2:09.92 is her second fastest swim ever.

Australia's Susie O'Neill, the overwhelming favorite to win the event, look relaxed as she qualified second in 2:07.97. "They (the prelim heats) were pretty fast, faster than I expected," she said. O'Neill has a tough evening ahead of her, as she will swim the semis of the 200 fly and the finals of the 200 free, an event in which she is seeded first. But she is undaunted: "The more I swim, the better I feel. If I have a break all I do is tart to think about stuff."

The second Australian swimmer, Petria Thomas, qualified in a tie for third with Polish teen phenom, Otylia Jedrzejczak, at 2:08.70.

Men's 200 Breast Prelims

Top 16 advance to semi-finals:

1. Rummolo ITA 2:12.75 Italian National Record
2. Malek CZE 2:14.10
3. Knabe CAN 2:14.18
4. Podoprogora AUT 2:14.37
5. Mitchell AUS 2:14.69
6. Perrot FRA 2:14.79
7. Harrison AUS 2:14.85
8. Gustavsson SWE 2:15.02

9. Fioravanti ITA 2:15.04
10. Parkin RSA 2:15.06
11. Rozsa HUN 2:15.27
12. Bernard FRA 2:15.35
13. Hayashi JPN 2:15.54
14. Salyards USA 2:15.57
15. Tkachev KGZ 2:15.63
16. Komornikov RUS 2:15.70

Davide Rummolo dropped three seconds off his own Italian national record to qualify first in the 200 breast (2:12.75), surprising everyone at the aquatic centre, including the Italian coaches. However, the Italian men have been swimming extremely well in the meet so far and appear to be on a roll.

The Czech Republic's Daniel Malek continued his outstanding swimming, qualifying second in a lifetime best 2:14.10, just ahead of Canada's Morgan Knabe (2:14.18). Russia's Dimitri Komornikov, considered a definite medal threat, barely squeaked into the final in 16th place.

The American men had a disappointing showing, as only Kyle Salyards qualified for the semi-finals, finishing 14th. Tom Wilkins was 21st in 2:16.30

Men's 4 x 200 Free Relay – Prelims

Top 8 advance to finals:

1. Australia 7:14.27
2. United States 7:17.22
3. Italy 7:17.69
4. Germany 7:19.95
5. Netherlands 7:20.67
6. Great Britain 7:20.69
7. Canada 7:21.45
8. Russia 7:23.58

The Aussies easily qualified first without using their "big dogs," Thorpe and Klim. Look for them to demolish the world record tonight. The only question is who the third and fourth swimmers will be.

Grant Hackett, the former world record-holder in the 200 free (1:46.67), continued to struggle, leading off in only a 1:50.31. Todd Pearson (1:47.68) and William Kirby (1:47.76), however, swam very well. Daniel Kowalski, given a big lead, appeared to be swimming with a lot in reserve and still clocked 1:48.52.

The battle likely will be for the silver and bronze, and it promises to be a dogfight among the USA, high-flying Italy, Germany, and the Netherlands, all of which held their top guns back but still qualified easily.

Look for Australia to lead off with Ian Thorpe, as the teen sensation attempts to regain his 200 freestyle world record.


For more stories and photos visit the CBS OLYMPIC SWIMMING SITE.



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Alex Popov (top & behind), Michael Klim (middle), and Chris Fydler of Australia going into the turn of the 100 Free during prelims.

Tom Wilkens of the USA failed to advance in the 200 Breast, but should do better in the 200 IM.

Australia is WAY out front in the qualifying of the 800 Free Relay.