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early swimming notes - Saturday

Bet recommendations for swimming will come after the heats and/or semis, I prefer to bet when the final fields are set. But here's some background information for the main events tomorrow. Come back mid-afternoon for the bets...

Men's 400m Individual Medley

This one is without doubt a race in two - Michael Phelps v Ryan Lochte. The fourteen-time gold medallist wasn't keen to race this event (didn't bother with it at 09 or 11 Worlds) but wanted to start his campaign on day one. He is retiring after the Olympics, is there enough left in the tank for the toughest pool event of them all? The guy's a superstar, the greatest we've ever seen in the pool so it's dangerous to over-analyse anything he did it at the US Trials or in the morning heats.

At the same time though, Lochte is the heir apparent with more then enough form on the board to challenge the great one. In the toughest event of them all, I lean to the younger Lochte. But for the betting, is it worth getting involved? Sometimes when you are watching greatness, you just need to sit back and absorb the moment. The market looks spot on to me, so the best angle to me is backing someone for third, or more specifically in the w/o Phelps and Lochte market, if any bookmakers are adventurous enough. They might be several seconds behind but it's quite tight back there.....



Men's 400m Freestyle

Park vs Sun vs Biedermann. The 400 tends to be a funny event for the men, it's a bit long for the sprinters yet it barely gets the distance swimmers warmed up. Australia have had a great record in this race over recent years - Perkins, Hackett, Thorpe - but the cupboard is now bare although we can claim a coach. Aussie Michael Bohl trains Tae Hwan Park, the reigning Olympic champion who defeated all of his main rivals here by over a second at the Worlds last year in Shanghai. Sun Yang has the faster times on the board but usually at the low pressure meets. Park is the one with 'Group 1' form, don't be the slightest bit concerned about heat times.



Women's 400m Individual Medley

It's the battle of the big swimming nations, USA v Australia, as Elizabeth Beisel and Stephanie Rice go head-to-head but don't forget the home country chances of Hannah Miley. Rice was fantastic four years ago but since then she has taken time off, had shoulder surgery, and been all over the gossip magazines. Don't read too much into Rice's result at the Worlds (third, almost 2.5secs behind Beisel), her preparation has always been about getting it right for London. Without deep competition in this event in Australia, it stands to reason that Rice could still have a couple of seconds up her sleeve. Beisel has the fastest time of the year from US trials with European and Commonwealth champion Miley less than a second behind. Is the American too short in the betting?

One important note for betting on swimming - make sure you have accounts in Australia and the UK/Europe. The variation in prices can be massive - it's very much about opinions and national pride/serving their customer base.

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