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US Guns Turn To Face Missile & Rocket

Jun 28, 2012  - Craig Lord

Day four at US Olympic trials in Omaha and the morning session wakes up the men who face the Australian Jameses, "The Missile" Magnussen and "the Rocket" Roberts, in the 100m freestyle and the Dolphins in the 4x100m relay with the sound of smashing guitars never more than a heart string away.

Prelims of the 200m butterfly for women and 200m breaststroke for men will follow, while the evening will deliver Michael Phelps - scratched from the 100m free solo but eligible for the relay nonetheless under US selection policy - to his destiny in his signature 200m butterfly, one of four events in which he could join the triple champions' club in London when racing gets underway at the Games on July 28.

For women, two shots at the US team tonight, in a 200m freestyle that will place Allison Schmitt and Missy Franklin on a collision course, and a 200m medley final in which 2:09.38 is the season standard so far, set by Olympic champion Stephanie Rice at Aussie trials back in March.

After three days of trials, the US has placed nine swimmers ranked in the top 2 events in the world in their respective events heading into London 2012. Plenty of room for the rest of the world to muscle in on the action but the aquatic superpower is in fine shape.

If the Phelps Vs Lochte show delivered a blink-of-an-eye decision - in which 0.02sec split champions Olympic and world - and a warning from Bob Bowman, then Missy Franklin and Matt Grevers (file updated with how he got leaner and sharper, how his top 10 all-time bests stack up why he broke off his meet-the-media moment to watch the women's 100m breaststroke) punched out a pioneering performance each and bolter Breeja Larson produced the upset of the meet so far with victory over world champion Rebecca Soni. So far, four Americans have set world textile bests, Franklin and Grevers joining first-day breakers Elizabeth Beisel and Dana Vollmer.

The spectacle in Omaha is tremendous, a fabulous showcase for the sport, crowds of more than 12,000 each evening giving US swimmers and coaches a taste like no other domestic event ever does of what its like out there when the wider world is tuning in for the biggest of sporting festivals.

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The US London 2012 qualifiers after three days (USA Swimming's stance on silver medallist - "Second-place finishers did not officially qualify for the team Tuesday, but will likely be added to the roster pending swimmers qualifying in multiple events").


  • 400m freestyle: Peter Vanderkaay, 3:47.67, Conor Dwyer, 3:47.83
  • 100m backstroke: Matt Grevers, 52.08 WTB; Nick Thoman, 52.86
  • 100m breaststroke: Brendan Hansen, 59.68; Eric Shanteau, 1:00.15
  • 400 medley: Ryan Lochte, 4:07.06; Michael Phelps 4:07.89 (Phelps becomes the first American male swimmer to make it to four Olympic Games)
  • 4x200m freestyle: Lochte, Phelps, Ricky Berens and Conor Dwyer


  • 400m freestyle: Allison Schmitt 4:02.84; Chloe Sutton, 4:04.18
  • 100m backstroke: Melissa Franklin, 58.85; Rachel Bootsma 59.49
  • 100m breaststroke: Breeja Larson, ­1:05.92; Rebecca Soni, 1:05.99
  • 100m butterfly: Dana Vollmer, 56.50 (56.42 semi); Claire Donohue, 57.57,
  • 400m medley: Elizabeth Beisel, 4:31.74; Caitlin Leverenz, 4:34.48