By John Lohn
GILLETTE, New Jersey, May 25. AS we creep closer to the Olympic Games in London this summer, Swimming World will produce event-by-event previews of the action set to unfold. As part of this series, we’ll not only look at the leading contenders in each event, we’ll also provide a historical perspective on each discipline. This approach was successful in the leadup to the Beijing Games and we hope our readership enjoys the coverage for this Olympiad.
While Michael Phelps is arguably the most well-rounded swimmer of all time, one thing he is not, is a breaststroker. You can classify Phelps as butterflier, an IM’er, or a freestyler, but he’s not a breaststroker. It’s nothing personal against Phelps – in fact, neither are Ryan Lochte, Natalie Coughlin or Missy Franklin, for that matter.
Thus far in 2012, Phelps’s world rankings are fourth in the 100m butterfly, fifth in the 100m freestyle, 10th in the 100m backstroke, and tied for 77th in the 100m breaststroke.* True there are millions of swimmers out there that swim their entire career without being ranked 77th in the world in any event, but comparatively for Phelps it does not stack up. The trend is similar for most of the other elite “well-rounded” swimmers because of one simple fact - you’re either a breaststroker or you aren’t.
Just ask Brendan Hansen, Rebecca Soni, Eric Shanteau, Amanda Beard, or Kosuke Kitajima.
- Kaio Marcio Almeida - 100 and 200m butterfly
- Henrique Barbosa - 200m breast
- Fratus Bruno– 50m free
- Marcelo Chierighini- 800m relay
- Cesar Cielo– 50 and 100m free
- Leonardo De Deus - 200m butterfly, 200m back
- Felipe Lima- 100m breast
- Nicolas Oliveira – 100m free
- Daniel Orzechowski– 100m back
- Thiago Periera - 200 and 400 IM
- Henrique Rodrigues – 200m IM
- Felipe Silva– 100m breast
- Glauber Silva – 100m butterfly
- Cerdeira Tales – 200m breast
- Daynara De Paula – 100m butterfly
- Graciele Herrmann– 50m free
- Joanna Maranhao - 400m IM
- Fabiola Molina- 100m back