Another successful night in the pool yesterday with Agnel, so the swimming ledger now stands at:
TURNOVER: 8 units
PROFIT: +6.66 units
I like tonight's programme....
Mens 200 Fly
This is the event owned by Michael Phelps. Swimming doesn't have the statistical database of other sports but I can't find any record of him being beaten in this for a decade. He is going for three consecutive golds in this event, an achievement very few ever get into contention for, let alone complete. Phelps doesn't have the fastest heat/semi time going into the race, but that is irrelevant, he won his semi in a breeze, and has time up his sleeve. Matsuda swimming a faster time in prelims happens nearly every time, and then the greatest swimmer of all time comes out and blows him away in the final. It's a well-worn script and will happen again here.
4pts Phelps 1.73 Boyles, BlueSq, Sportingbet UK - (bet down to 1.5)
Womens 200 IM
Shiwen Ye biggest moral ever seen. She was already the best in the world at this distance. Here comes a rant...
All this drug taking conspiracy shits me to death. This girl has been the world's best for almost two years at this distance and her powerful freestyle leg has been her signature move. She is 16 and still maturing, hence the focus on the 200 for most of her career, and now she extends as she gets older - like any racehorse. She had hardly raced over the 400m distance before - of course her PB will be slashed much faster than people who specialise in the event. So she swam a faster freestyle leg than Lochte. Think in horse racing terms: Lochte had a tough field to beat, his tactics were to go out hard early and break his rivals - get them 'off the bit' as they say. His last leg time wasn't overly quick but by that stage he'd done enough and coasted to a convincing victory. Ye's best leg was always going to be her freestyle. She is the archetypal 'hold-up' horse, stalking her opponent, the American Beisel, until the time to strike - the final leg which happened to be her best stroke. The overall time was still 23 SECONDS slower, almost a pool length behind, it's not like she would have been competing with Lochte for a medal...
Just because she is Chinese, certain coaches and members of the media insinuate that she has to be taking drugs….. Might I remind you that teenage sensations in swimming are not a new thing - Phelps, Thorpe, Franklin are just some of the recent ones. How about Meilutyte yesterday? Very few had even heard of her, came from well down the rankings, a country with virtually no history in swimming…. but she's white and trains in the UK, so therefore she must be clean. Pure hypocrisy. And for the Americans to accuse the Chinese of cheating - pot, kettle, black. You'd need more fingers and toes than a family of Chernobyl victims to count the number of American track athletes who have tested positive or been implicated in doping many years later…..
There's a good piece from ESPN about her background here too, plus a blogpost from Dermot Hunt.
No bet - what else can you do when she's 1.02 in most places!
Womens 200 Free
Tough race, four really good chances. Schmitt is clearly fastest this year with a 1.54.4 at US Trials. Muffat is next fastest this year and already has the 40m gold under her belt, Pellegrini is reigning Olympic + two time WC gold medallist, plus we have the young freak Franklin who won the 100 backstroke last night. On Franklin, ignore her time to get into the race, she did enough to get through - she had the backstroke final just 15 minutes later, obviously held a bit back if she was able to win gold. She was fastest in the world at this distance last year, although that time was set in a relay rather than a proper race.
I was disappointed with the Italian in the 400m, perhaps she has been overtaken by the new ranks coming through, or perhaps she prefers the shorter trip these days. She did it comfortably in her semi and is second favourite with most firms.
Muffat, Schmitt and Barratt were in the same semi but several lanes apart, so they weren't really 'racing'. It will be different in the final with Muffat 3, Barratt 4, Schmitt 5, Pellegrini 6… and then Franklin out in lane 8. Muffat has three of the top five times of 2012, and visibly eased off in the semi. I'd rather be on her at 5 than Schmitt at 3 - she has done it and done it again, whereas the American's US trials time is a decent chunk better than her next best.
The French team are flying at the moment and that has to be a boost for Muffat. She was able to fend off most of these girls in the eight-lap race, it can be done again.
1.5pts Muffat 5 general (bet down to 4.2)
Mens 4x200 Free UPDATED
The trick with assessing relay races is working out how much teams will be improved with substitutions. USA were nearly 2.5 seconds clear in the heats, yet they have two higher-ranked guys on fastest 2012 times who could come in - Lochte and Berens. France only have Agnel to come in but could no doubt go faster their winning time in the semi, and the rest are well off the pace.
So the Americans look mighty hard to beat... on the contrary, both favourites in the relays have been beaten so far, and France are in unbelievable form. As a very non-scientific comparison, on the best performer rankings of 2012, USA's best four adds up to 38, while France total 43. The gap between the two 'worsts' is only 0.64 in favour of the Yanks, while Agnel has 1.9s on Lochte based on the 200m final. Does that add up to average prices of 1.2 vs 4.0 to you? It's not the most stringent of data modelling, but it does suggest the prices are too far apart. Got to be on the French here.
1pt France 4.5 BetVictor (bet down to 3.5)