During the 2-fly, Phelps’ goggles began to leak. From personal experience, this is the most anxiety-inducing experience that can happen to a swimmer during a race save losing your suit. It’s like trying to run with beer goggles on. And sight is everything in swimming. Swimmers, especially butterfliers and breaststrokers, need to use their depth perception to time their strokes for a proper turn so they don’t glide into the wall or get jammed on the wall. In other words, it’s nearly impossible to do an Olympic-quality turn with water in your goggles.
Phelps usually explodes out of his last wall in the 200 fly, and that didn’t happen yesterday. He began his turn a little early, resulting in a much less powerful final turn than normal. I thought it was kinda funny when he finished the race. He looked up at the scoreboard, saw that he had another gold medal and another world record, and he was unhappy. Only in Phelps’ world is that result a failure…
Another point to think about: the program Phelps is swimming. He has to swim 17 races against world-class athletes in nine days.
That’s SO much to ask from your body. Mind you that during every one of their swims, swimmers push their bodies to the point of almost passing out. Swimming is the only sport where you have to hold your breath when your body needs more oxygen; and when you’re desperate for air coming into the last wall of a 200 breaststroke, holding your breath for 15 more yards is some of the worst pain in the world. It’s like sprinting all the way around a baseball diamond without breathing. Especially when you take the anaerobic nature of swimming into account, it will take incredible stamina and athleticism for Phelps continue to swim at this clip.
The only question will be his stamina level, as he must swim the 200 IM final and the 100 fly semifinal on Friday. Phelps will have to expend all of his energy in both races and may be more fatigued than Crocker on Saturday.
But I think Phelps will win the 100m fly because Phelps has had Crocker’s number lately. He has posted three swims in that event that are faster than anything Crocker has done over the past year.
One of the Russian swimmers said that Phelps was “from another planet.” I think we can all agree on that…it just so happens that his spaceship landed in Rogers Forge.