2020 TOKYO SUMMER OLYMPIC GAMES
When: Pool swimming: Saturday, July 24- Sunday, August 1, 2021
Open Water swimming: Wednesday, August 4- Thursday, August 5, 2021
Where: Olympic Aquatics Centre/ Tokyo, Japan Heats: 7 PM/ Semifinals& Finals: 10:30 AM( Local day) Full aquatics planned SwimSwam Event Previews Entry Lists Live Results Day 8 Finals Heat Sheet Men’s Medley Relay Lineups Women’s Medley Relay Lineups
The last-place period the US males won a 1500 free at the Olympics was 1984, when Mike O’Brien and George DiCarlo took amber and silver-tongued. Three short years later, a character from a classic cinema uttered these famous terms that could arguably apply to US men’s distance swimming in the 37 times since the Los Angeles Games.
It merely so happens your friend here is only mainly dead. There’s a big difference between all dead and mainly dead. Primarily dead is slightly alive.
Coming into this week, the US men hadn’t won a single gold award in the 400, 800, or 1500 free at either the Olympics or long course World Championships since 1984. There’d been a smattering of silver and bronze, but followers and pundits alike wondered what was going on with the US humen, specially when Katie Ledecky was predominating women’s swimming the last 8+ years and racking up the golds.
When analyzing the US men’s lack of interval of interval success, some have blamed the NCAA system, which prioritizes the sprint occurrences. We’ve seen some incredible speeding in the 500 and 1650 free, but recent U.S. Open Record holders like Clark Smith and Zane Grothe hadn’t carried that velocity into awards at major international fulfills. Some have blamed US club coaches for pivoting from mega-yards trained to more race-paced training. Some pointed to Ledecky’s success and said it indicated that the men’s downturn was merely a cyclical dip.
Whatever the reasons, tonight Bobby Finke threw the discussion to rest for at least a time, as he stormed residence on the final segment of the 1500 free to brought before the first amber in the event in 37 times, and touch in times of 14:39.65. It wasn’t an unbelievably fast race, as the last two Olympic gold medal hours were 14:31.02( 2012) and 14:34.57( 2016 ). Instead, it was a tactical race, as Finke held pace with Mykhailo Romanchuk and Florian Wellbrock most of the way, then changed into a high gear over the last lap. To put Finke’s closing speed into perspective, his final split of 25.78 was faster than any non-leadoff split in the final of the men’s 200 free the coming week. Sun Yang, where reference is defined the world record in 2012, closed just slightly faster in 25.68.
As it stands, Finke is now the 2nd-fastest American of all time, just behind Connor Jaeger, who moved 14:39.48 at the 2016 Olympics en route to silver. Finke’s time likewise moves him merely inside the top ten worldwide all-time.
Top U.S. Men Performers All Time, 1500 Free
Connor Jaeger- 14:39.38, 2016 Bobby Finke– 14:39.65, 2021 Jordan Wilimovsky- 14:45.03, 2016 Larsen Jensen- 14:45.29, 2004 Peter Vanderkaay- 14:45.54, 2008
Finke has long been a promising distance swimmer, with a solid long track pedigree as a adolescent. He won this event at the 2016 Junior Pan Pacific Championships and stirred the senior 2017 World Championship team before “hes having” graduated high school in 2018. As a newcomer at the University of Florida, he was initially identified to the 2019 World University Games team before having to withdraw due to a wrist hurt. The next year, he were starting to build his marker on the yards record books as he demolished the U.S. Open Record in the 1650 at SECs.
While Finke hasn’t quite violated that record yet, he notched 14:12 on two more occasions — at this year’s SEC and NCAA Championships. Although, even his SEC performance this year wasn’t without drama, as he was spotted walking around on deck with a treading boot just before the championships began. Whatever the trauma may well be, it doesn’t seem to have caused much of an issue for Finke.
We’ve made this far into the article without mentioning that Finke likewise won the inaugural Olympic men’s 800 free earlier this week, building him one of a handful of US males over the last few decades to win two individual gold freestyle awards in the same Olympics.
Finke’s Florida teammate, Kieran Smith, are caught up a bronze medal in the 400 free the coming week. Coupled with Caeleb Dressel’s 50/100 free wipe, University of Florida, current or alumni, been taken into consideration all five members of the US men’s individual freestyle awards in Tokyo, helping provide some much-needed stability to what’s been a week of ups and downs for the US men’s team.
It’s too soon to tell whether the US men’s interval success this week turns out to be simply an outlier, or whether Finke and Smith will help lead a whole new wave of US men to distance excellence at the international level. Whichever way the future lies, for now, the USA men’s distance swimming is not all dead, or even primarily dead. Tonight, it’s fully alive.
Read the full story on SwimSwam: The Death of American Men’s Distance Swimming Has Been Greatly Exaggerated
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