June 16th, 2015

MEN’S 200M FREESTYLE: 2015 FINA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS PREVIEW

  • Day 3, Tuesday, August 4th
  • 2013 World Champion: Yannick Agnel, FRA – 1:44.20
  • 2013 Silver Medalist: Conor Dwyer, USA – 1:45.32
  • 2013 Bronze Medalist: Danila Izotov, RUS – 1:45.59

The 200 freestyle saw incredible drops in time during the suit era, perhaps even more drastically than most events. However, since 2009 the event has reverted back to 1:44 and 1:45 performances being good enough for winning gold and winning a medal. After Michael Phelps’ breakthrough 1:43.86 in 2007, and then Paul Biedermann’s earth shattering 1:42.00 in 2009, the event has not come close to those standards the last two championship meets. Yannick Agnel broke through at the 2012 Olympics with a 1:43.14, but has failed to show that type of form since.

James Sutherland - 2015 200m free world championship preview

It is time for this event to move forward, and continue to get faster rather than stagnate. The silver and bronze medal performances actually got significantly slower from 2011 to 2013. I expect the event to be quicker than it has been in the past, by not by much. The times just don’t indicate we should expect it.

Take a look at the top times from around the world this season:

 

2014-2015 LCM Men 200 Free

PaulGER
BIEDERMANN
04/12
1.45.60
 
2 Sun
YANG
CHN 1:45.75 04/11
3 Kousuke
HAGINO
JPN 1.45.82 04/09
4 Cameron
McEVOY
AUS 1.45.94 04/05
5 Yannick
AGNEL
FRA 1.45.97 04/01
6 Sebastiaan
VERSCHUREN
NED 1.46.07 04/04
7 James
GUY
GBR 1.46.32 04/14
8 David
McKEON
AUS 1.46.33 04/05
9 Robbie
RENWICK
GBR 1.46.64 04/14
10 Calum
JARVIS
GBR 1.46.65 04/14
View Top 28»

I feel that Yannick Agnel is too talented in this event to relinquish the title he earned in 2013. After moving back to France for training, I think we will see him back under the 1:44 mark this summer. Paul Biedermann has the top time in the world this year, and with this event being his primary focus, unlike a lot of the competition who have multiple events to swim, I think he will be right there in the medal race.

The 2011 champion Ryan Lochte has a much lighter schedule than he usually would, and has been doing a lot more freestyle work this year in Charlotte so I think he will put together a great race. The 200 freestyle may not be Kosuke Hagino or Sun Yang’s best event, but both are incredibly talented and probably are the two fastest swimmers come the last 50 meters, so they will be in the hunt.

Conor Dwyer proved he can have a big international swim after netting silver in this event in 2013, however he had a setback last summer and wasn’t happy with his results. I believe he will be back on his game in Kazan.

Cameron McEvoy and Sebastiaan Verschuren are primarily 100m swimmers but have shown their versatility in moving up to the 200 and have both been fast this season.

In terms of a dark horse selection, Chad Le Clos is someone to consider. He has never really swum the event at a major international long course meet, but he has shown his versatility and ability in the freestyle events on the world cup circuit over the last few years, and then won gold against a loaded field in the event at the 2014 Short Course Worlds. Le Clos is slated to swim five individual events at the championships, which is a much heavier load than he had two years ago in Barcelona. Despite his reputation, he would still be considered a dark horse in the event simply because he has never proved himself over a long course 200 freestyle, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he was in the fight of things coming down the last 50m in the final.

Others to watch for in this event include David McKeon of Australia, James Guy and Robbie Renwick of Great Britain, and Joao De Lucca of Brazil.

Predictions

1. Yannick Agnel,FRA                             1:43.79
2. Paul Biedermann,GER                       1:44.38
3. Ryan Lochte,USA                                 1:44.57
4. Kosuke Hagino,JPN                            1:44.92
5. Sun Yang,CHN                                      1:44.96
6. Conor Dwyer,USA                                1:45.25
7. Sebastiaan Verschuren, NED             1:45.28
8. Cameron McEvoy, AUS                      1:45.39

Darkhorse: Chad Le Clos,RSA            1:45.62


SCHEDULE (POOL SWIMMING STARTS ON DAY 9)
SWIMMING FINALS SCHEDULE:

Day 1, Sun August 2nd (Day 9)

  • M 400 Free
  • M 400 Free
  • W 4×100 Free Relay
  • M 4×100 Free Relay

Day 2, Mon August 3rd (Day 10)

  • M 100 Breast
  • W 100 Fly
  • M 50 Fly
  • W 200 IM

Day 3, Tue August 4th (Day 11)

  • M 200 Free
  • W 100 Back
  • W 1500 Free
  • M 100 Back
  • W 100 Breast

Day 4, Wed August 5th (Day 12)

  • M 200 Fly
  • W 200 Free
  • M 50 Breast
  • Men’s 800 Free
  • MIXED 4×100 medley relay

Day 5, Thur August 6th (Day 13)

  • M 200 IM
  • M 100 Free
  • W 200 Fly
  • W 50 Back
  • W 4×200 Free Relay

Day 6, Fri August 7th (Day 14)

  • W 100 Freestyle
  • M 200 back
  • W 200 breast
  • M 200 breast
  • M 4×200 Free Relay

Day 7, Sat August 8th (Day 15)

  • W 50 Fly
  • M 50 Free
  • W 200 Back
  • M 100 Fly
  • W 800 Free
  • MIXED 4×100 Free Relay

Day 8, Sat August 9th (Day 16)

  • M 50 Back
  • W 50 Breast
  • M 400 IM
  • W 50 Free
  • M 1500 Free
  • W 400 IM
  • M 4×100 Medley Relay
  • W 4×100 Medley Relay

Source : Swim Swam