Sunday, December 10, 2006
I was so distracted by the European Short Course Meters Championships that I forgot to pay attention to the Australians and the Asian Games as well.
The Australian press loves conflict. The Gold Coast Weekend Bulletin stated that, "Grant Hackett makes a challenge" but when you read the article it is nothing short of Grant "talkin' story" about how the Australian team will magically coalesce into a dominating force come Worlds next March. Here are the TELSTRA Australia Swimming Championship Results. Grant swam a 14:56 in the 1500 with retiree Ian Thorpe looking on. Though he swam 22 seconds "slower" than his world record, no one has swam faster than that this year.
My take: I suspect both the Australian women's team, and their men's team are going to have problems with both the Europeans, and a real strong American team. Stick a fork in the so called Australian dominance of swimming, it just won't happen.
The Asian Games Swim results produced nothing for the Americans to lose sleep over whatsoever. Period!
The rivalry between Japan and China is worse than the Giants-Dodgers rivalry. No, that's not accurate enough. It's more like the Soviet Union and the United States. A scary fact as of late is that the Chinese have not been sending their best swimmers to international meets. In fact nobody knows who their best swimmers are. Now, why is this? I suspect the real team will not emerge from hiding till 9 months before the Olympics coinciding with the FINA drug testing deadline for potential or eligible athletes for Beijing.