Few quick points: If Crocker wins tonight (tomorrow morning, whatever) and doesn't give up his spot in the finals, that's the biggest dick move in the Olympics swimming events. Crocker's getting whatever medal the U.S. team gets no matter what he does. He'd be denying Phelps the chance to tie Spitz, which is especially shitty after Phelps gave up his spot four years ago so Crocker could have the chance to get the gold. I put the chances of this happening at about 500-1 unless Phelps looks so awful in the 100 that the team thinks he will significantly hurt the relay time.
Secondly, the "that's not Dara Torres" comment referred to her huge staff of people/trainers, which includes two stretchers, two massuses and an electric muscle stimulation guy. So, a picture of a swimmer with a swarm of people massaging and stretching them looks a bit like Torres' routine.
I think the "advantage" of lane 1 or 8 is really only for sprints, when all the racers are all bunched up and creating a powerful wake. In longer races, the chances of eight racers all making a turn in the same second is fairly slim. In a sprint, the difference between first and last is so slim that losing that half-second from being knocked around in the wake could cost a medal. So, in the outside lanes you have to deal with that on one side of the lane. However, you can't really see the field and you can't drag off two swimmers (I'd imagine a person in the middle of two of the fastest racers would be faster than if they were out in the outside lanes just because of the benefits of the drag).
I can't believe how easily Phelps won the 200IM. I thought for sure that was going to come down to fractions of a second. The 100 fly is going to be tough. He's got the pressure of winning the seventh gold, but he also has the excitement of it, too. Judging from the times set in the last year, Phelps will beat Crocker. There's other swimmers in the race, though, that will be very tough. Someone set the Olympic record (and second-fastest time in history) in the prelims (Phelps has the third-fastest). Then again, I thought he would have trouble in some of his other races, too.
One thing is certain: Crocker seems like a great person. In any other circumstances I would be stoked if he won. And I will be very happy for him if he does, just a little less stoked than he deserves as a gold medalist.
Edited by gaelgirl, 15 August 2008 - 01:12 PM.