Concerns about yesterday's card proved right, dropped one unit, so back to +4.17 units, from a turnover of five units (corrected). Now that the 400m races are out of the way, it makes the tipping schedule much easier to manage....
Men's 200m Freestyle
What a race this looks to be. Sun Yang won the 400m with a world record, Ryan Lochte started the week with a 400IM gold and is the current world champion,, Yannick Agnel swam a phenomenal final lap to claim gold for France in the 4x100 relay, and the winner of the first semi, Paul Biedermann, holds the world record (from the textile suit era).
A couple of interesting facts from the Olympic history books - nobody has ever won back-to-back golds in this event (no danger of that here with Phelps not entered) and at 23, Phelps is the oldest to have ever won the gold. Ryan Lochte is 27, so that's one down if you believe in form trends. Biedermann is 25, so he's pensioned off as well.
Agnel came from behind Lochte in the relay and beat him - a 0.75s faster split. He had also swum nearly half a second quicker in the semi for this event an hour earlier. I can't see Lochte winning this. Whilst I am wary of the Chinese swimmer, I can't make him favourite off that race plus his semi result. Sun didn't swim a relay last night, while Agnel and Lochte had to - so it's only logical they left something in the tank. It's between the two 20 year-olds for me, prefer the Frenchman off the back of the relay plus he has the three fastest times of 2012. He should be favourite.
2pts Agnel 3.0 Sportingbet/Coral, (bet down to 2.5)
Men's 100 Back
Matt Grevers has a gap on this field, and is likely to go very close to Peirsol's world record. At the US Trials, he was close pressed in the heats by a couple of rivals swimming just over 53 secs. He then took over a second off his time in the final. There's plenty left in the tank, and I don't think he is as short as he should be. Lacourt can go quick but he hasn't swam the sort of time he will need to win here since 2010.
If 1.20 is your game, then you should be backing Grevers. It's not for me though.
Women's 100 Breast
This race should have been a procession for Rebecca Soni, WC winner of 2009 and 2011, but only took silver in Beijing behind Leisel Jones. Such is her dominance at the distance, she had the fastest eight times in the world last year, and the top few in 2012. But that was before the emergence of 15yo Lithuanian Ruta Meilutyte yesterday. The UK-based teenager ripped out the two fastest times of the year in the preliminaries, so what can she do in a final? As such an inexperienced swimmer, does she go faster with youthful innocence, or does she think about it trying to sleep, and then notice she has the world no.1 in the next lane when they reach the blocks?
Soni can break 1.05 while Meilutyte needs to go forward again to do that. Will reality hit home? I can't have the new kid at odds-on. She might just do a Shiwen Ye and take the world mark with her, but leave me out of her price.
There's a bit of 2.5 around for Soni, I'd prefer to be on the mature head with big race experience in a clash like this.
1pt Soni 2.62 Bet 365 (bet down to 2.45)
Women's 100 Back
Emily Seebohm is back in town. After a lengthy break due to a nasty bout of swine flu, she set the textile suits record in the heats and then went close to it again in the semi. The hype around Missy Franklin is huge, but she is quite a chunk behind Seebohm still.
Aussie bookies will go mighty short on the daughter of a former Glenelg footballer, somewhere around 1.2 seems right. I'd be willing to lay if she was closer to 1.1.