swimming at london olympics 2012


Swimming is one of the most watched sports at Olympics and the pool is where many medals are won by individual athletes, records are broken and stars born and this year has been no exception. We got to see some interesting rivalries between Lochte, Phelps, Yang and Tae-Hwan in men’s swimming and Shiwen, Coutts, Soni, Kromowidjojo and Gerasimenia in women’s swimming.

The largest contingent of swimmers this time were from China (51), America (49), Australia (47), Great Britain (44), Italy (35), Russia (35), Hungary (32), Canada (33), France (31), Germany (30), Japan (29) and South Africa (20). All the above countries won at least one medal with the exception of Italy and Germany. America, China and France meanwhile ruled the pools in terms of Gold medal and also Australia and Japan in terms of total medals won.

An analysis of medal trends vis-a-vis the 2000 Sydney Olympics indicate just one thing, the rise and rise of China.

total medal count in swimming

2000: America was right at the top with 33 medals (14G,8S,11B) followed by Australia with 18 medals (5G,9S,4B) and Netherlands with 8 medals (5G,1S,2B). China was no where in the scene.

2004: America was right at the top with 28 medals (12G,9S,7B) followed by Australia with 15 medals (7G,5S,3B) and Japan with 8 medals (3G,1S,4B). China won a gold and a silver to finish 10th.

2008: America was right at the top with 31 medals (12G,9S,10B) followed by Australia with 20 medals (6G,6S,8B) and Great Britain with 6 medals (2G,2S,2B). China scaled up further with 1 gold, 3 silver and 2 bronze and finished 7th.

2012: While America still sits comfortable at the top China has dislodged Australia and is placed 2nd while the later has been pushed to 6th place.

Michael Phelps won the most number of medals all over again with 4G, 2S followed by Missy Franklin with 4G, 1B and Allison Schmitt with 3G, 1S, 1B

Here is a brief description of all multiple gold medal winners.

MEN:

1)      Michael Phelps (USA, 4G,2S)

clos (south africa, silver), phelps (america, gold), korotyshkin (russia, silver) at 100m butterfly

He had come to his third and perhaps last Olympics with 14 gold medals (6 in Athens and 8 in Beijing) already in his kitty and an appetite to get gold all over again in his pet events of butterfly, medley and relay but he was cut short by American Ryan Lochte in the 400m individual medley to an outside podium finish. Phelps buckled up and went on to win gold in the 200m individual medley outclassing Lochte to contend with silver. He further won the 100m butterfly but lost the 200m butterfly to South African swimmer Chad le Clos. He ended the event on a high winning the 4x200m freestyle and 4x100m medley relays and getting silver in 4x100m freestyle relay which was won by France. He finished the games with an all time medal haul of 22 medals (18G,2S,2B) surpassing Larisa Latynina of former Soviet Union who had won 18 overall medals in gymnastics (9G,5S,4B)

2)      Ryan Lochte (USA, 2G, 2S, 1B)

pereira (brazil, silver), lochte (america, gold), hagino (japan, bronze) at 400m individual medley

Prior to London Olympics Lochte had never won gold in any previous Olympics but he was the major challenger to Phelps in the medley; the longer of which (400m) he comfortably won (Phelps was 4th) though he lost to Phelps in the shorter course (200m). Lochte was part of the gold winning American 4x200m freestyle relay team and the silver winning 4x100m freestyle relay team. He also won a bronze in 200m backstroke which was won by American Tyler Clary.

3)      Sun Yang (China, 2G,1S,1B)

tae-hwan (south korea, silver), yang (china, gold), vanderkaay (america, bronze) at 400m individual medley

Competing in his first Olympics the freestyle Chinese swimmer heralded the arrival of China in international swimming winning the 400m and 1500m freestyle in great style. His rivalry with South Korean Park Tae-Hwan is well-known and he ensured the Korean goes home without a single gold. Park was second in 400m freestyle and 4th in 1500m freestyle. Sun and Park were tied for the silver in the 200m freestyle which was won by Frenchman Yannick Agnel. Sun Yang was also part of the bronze winning 4x200m freestyle relay team.

4)      Nathan Adrian (USA, 2G,1S)

adrian after winning the 100m freestyle gold

Adrian is a short course freestyle swimmer and proved his worth winning the 100m freestyle by 1/100th of a second against Australian James Magnussen. He was part of the gold winning 4x100m medley relay and silver winning 4x100m freestyle relay.

5)      Matt Grevers (USA, 2G,1S)

a joyous grevers on winning the 100m backstroke gold

Grevers is a short course backstroke swimmer and won the gold in 100m backstroke. He was part of the gold winning 4x100m medley relay and silver winning 4x100m freestyle relay.

WOMEN:

1)      Missy Franklin (USA, 4G,1B)

franklin with her 200m backstroke gold

The 17 year old teenager debuted at Olympics with a bang. Backstroke is her forte and she won both the versions (100m and 200m) in great style breaking national and world records. She was part of the gold winning 4x200m freestyle relay and 4x100m medley relay teams as also the bronze winning 4x100m freestyle relay team.

2)      Allison Schmitt (USA,3G,1S,1B)

schmitt (left, america) being congratulated by barratt (australia, bronze) at 200m freestyle

Schmitt is a freestyle swimmer and won gold in 200m and silver in 400m and broke the national records in both the swims. She was part of the gold winning 4x200m freestyle relay and 4x100m medley relay teams as also the bronze winning 4x100m freestyle relay team.

3)      Dana Vollmer (USA,3G)

an ecstatic vollmer after her world record breaking performance in 100m butterfly

Vollmer won the 100m butterfly gold breaking the world record and was part of the gold winning 4x200m freestyle relay and 4x100m medley relay teams.

4)      Rebecca Soni  (USA,2G,1S)

suzuki (japan, silver), soni (america, gold), yefimova (russia, bronze) at 200m breaststroke

Soni is a breaststroke swimmer and won gold in 200m and silver in 100m breaking the world record in the former. She was part of the gold winning 4x100m medley relay team.

5)      Ranomi Kromowidjojo (Netherlands,2G,1S)

gerasimenia (belarus, silver), kromowidjojo (holland, gold), veldhuis (holland, bronze) at 50m freestyle

She is a freestyle swimmer and won gold in both the 50m and 100m events outclassing Belarusian Aleksandra Gerasimenya to contend with silvers. She was also part of the silver winning 4x100m freestyle relay team.

6)      Ye Shiwen (China,2G)

xuanxu (china, bronze), shiwen (china, gold), beisel (america, silver) at 400m individual medley

With country mate Sun Yang setting the men’s pool on fire the 16 year old teenager won gold in both the individual medleys (200m, 400m) creating an Olympic record in the former and a world record in the later. Her remarkable wins met with apprehensions by critics but hers has been a remarkable feat and I congratulate her for that.

Notice Board:

Ullalmath Gagan (India)

ullalmath gagan

He was the lone Indian in the pool finishing last among the thirty one 1500m freestyle swimmers with a timing of 16m 31.14s. The event was won by Chinese sensation Sun Yang with a world record timing of 14m 31.02s, a difference of almost 2m with respect to the Indian. Can you even imagine what can a person do in 2 minutes? No wonder China is so ahead of us in almost every sport.

Ruta Meilutyte (Lithuania, 100m breaststroke gold)

an emotional ruta after winning the 100m breaststroke

Ruta is only 15 years old and one of the youngest gold medalist from the pools and from a country not known for producing international class swimmers. Ruta won the gold against all odds and in a time of 1m 5.47s narrowly leaving American Rebecca Soni settle for a silver by a margin of just 0.08s. She participated in the 50m and 100m freestyle events too but failed to qualify. I wish her all the very best for all her future endeavors. Lithuania had a small swimming contingent of 4 swimmers.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: