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Sport Ledecky, Dressel poised to dominate at US Olympic swimming trials

04:45  12 june  2021
04:45  12 june  2021 Source:   afp.com

Michael Phelps' presence lingers at Olympic swimming trials 5 years after his last race

  Michael Phelps' presence lingers at Olympic swimming trials 5 years after his last race For the first time since 1996, the U.S. Olympic swimming trials are being held without the best swimmer to ever dive into the pool.But here, on the eve of the trials, it sinks in: For the first time since a previous century, for the first time since 1996, the U.S. Olympic trials are being held without the best swimmer to ever dive into a pool.

Caeleb Dressel is set to star at the US Olympic swimming trials in Omaha, Nebraska Maddie Meyer GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/File. Superstars Katie Ledecky and Caeleb Dressel aim to cement their Tokyo Games berths as the pressure-packed US Olympic swimming trials get underway on Sunday. Both freestyle phenomenon Ledecky and multi-event star Dressel bring formidable credentials to the eight-day meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, where only a top-two finish can secure an individual race berth in Tokyo and one poor race can consequently spell heartbreak.

(AP) Katie Ledecky set herself up to swim a third individual event in Rio, qualifying fastest for the 800-meter freestyle at the U . S . trials Friday. The Maryland teenager's time of 8 minutes, 10.91 seconds in the preliminaries was third fastest in the world this year. She owns the 10 leading times in the event's history. Ledecky is in line to match Debbie Meyers' sweep of the 200, 400 and 800 freestyles at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics . Shane Gould of Australia won the 200 and 400 free in world-record time at the 1972 Munich Games, and finished second in the 800 free. Ledecky has the 100 free final Friday

Superstars Katie Ledecky and Caeleb Dressel aim to cement their Tokyo Games berths as the pressure-packed US Olympic swimming trials get underway on Sunday.

a close up of a person talking on a cell phone: Caeleb Dressel is set to star at the US Olympic swimming trials in Omaha, Nebraska © Maddie Meyer Caeleb Dressel is set to star at the US Olympic swimming trials in Omaha, Nebraska

Both freestyle phenomenon Ledecky and multi-event star Dressel bring formidable credentials to the eight-day meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, where only a top-two finish can secure an individual race berth in Tokyo and one poor race can consequently spell heartbreak.

a person in a swimming pool: Katie Ledecky smiles after winning the Women's 400m freestyle at a meeting in California in April © Maddie Meyer Katie Ledecky smiles after winning the Women's 400m freestyle at a meeting in California in April

The tension has only been ramped up by the one-year delay to the Games because of the coronavirus pandemic.

An 11th-place finisher at Trials could be on the U.S. Olympic swimming team

  An 11th-place finisher at Trials could be on the U.S. Olympic swimming team The first U.S. swimmers qualified for the Tokyo Games at Olympic Trials on Sunday.The biggest head-turner of the first night of competition in Omaha was in the U.S.’ weakest event.

On the second night of the U . S . Olympic Swimming Trials , the world’s most dominant swimmer danced with the world record line, several more first-timers booked their tickets to Rio and a decorated veteran left us all wondering. A few thoughts from Monday's action in Omaha: 1. Phenom Katie Ledecky continues to display her dominance . This is Ledecky ’s world, and we ’re all just living in it. In Tuesday’s 400-meter free final, Ledecky blasted out of the blocks, bringing the crowd in the CenturyLink Center to its feet as she powered through the first half of the race in 1:56.28, two seconds

Ledecky opened the U . S . Swimming Championships with a convincing — but not especially satisfying — victory in her trademark Olympic event to qualify for August’s Pan Pacific Championships. The five-time Olympic gold medalist bagged an uncharacteristic victory on a night that included two upsets among Ledecky was under world-record pace at 350 meters at the outdoor Irvine High School pool. She finished 7.19 seconds slower than her world record in 8:11.98. It’s still faster than any other woman has ever covered 800 meters, giving Ledecky the 19 fastest times in history. “I’m fine with it, didn’t

"I think the kids are dying to race," said Ray Looze, who coaches breaststroker Lilly King.

He thought times overall might be a little slower than a typical trials.

"If anybody sets a world record, that's a phenomenal accomplishment," Looze said. "But I think there's going to be some world records that go down because there's been some people that have had to go through a great deal and they really, really want it bad."

While meets and even training were shut down for a time, Dressel has demonstrated flashes of brilliance with two short-course world records in International Swimming League action in November.

In May, he clocked an impressive 51.15sec in the 100m butterfly at a meeting in Atlanta. It was nowhere near his world record of 49.50 set in 2019, but Dressel said his long course times were trending in the right direction heading into trials.

Katie Ledecky qualifies for another Olympics, but an Australian challenger has emerged

  Katie Ledecky qualifies for another Olympics, but an Australian challenger has emerged Five years ago in Rio de Janeiro, Katie Ledecky did something no woman had ever done before, and something that no woman has done since: She swam the 400-meter freestyle in 3 minutes and 56.46 seconds. It was an Olympic record, a world record, and good enough for gold in a race that wasn't particularly close. Ledecky won it by almost five full seconds. Halfway across the globe, one day before Ledecky swam the 400 in 4:01.27 at U.S. Olympic trials in Omaha, Ariarne Titmus, a 20-year-old from Tasmania, swam it in 3:56.90 down under. Her time at Australian Olympic trials was just 0.44 seconds off Ledecky's best-ever mark, and more than four seconds faster than Ledecky's Monday time.

After USA Swimming helped put pressure on the IOC to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Olympics , both veterans like Katie Ledecky and Olympic hopefuls are now faced with a complete reset following a long-awaited, intensively planned year. But it's better than the other possibility. That is where Katie Ledecky and Simone Manuel, Olympic gold medalists and global swimming icons, have found themselves in recent days. It was the starkest example of the training chaos enveloping U . S . swimmers . In response to the coronavirus pandemic, schools closed and took their pools with them.

Katie Ledecky set herself up to swim a third individual event in Rio, qualifying fastest for the 800-meter freestyle at the U . S . trials Friday. The Maryland teenager's time of 8 minutes, 10.91 seconds in the preliminaries was third fastest in the world this year. She owns the 10 leading times in the event's history. Olympic newcomer Caeleb Dressel led a veteran field in the 50 free heats with a time of 21.76. Anthony Ervin, the 200 Olympic champion, was second in 21.80. Cullen Jones, silver medalist in London, was third at 21.84 to make the semis. "It means a lot to be able to hold your own against

The 24-year-old is a contender in the 50m and 100m freestyles as well as the 100m fly and will be a key contributor to the US relays.

Since Rio in 2016 -- where he teamed with Michael Phelps and Nathan Adrian as part of a gold medal-winning 4x200m free relay -- Dressel has emerged as a star adding 13 world titles to his resume.

He's entered in six events in Omaha and will likely spearhead the US challenge in the Tokyo pool now that Phelps -- whose 28 Olympic medals include 23 gold -- has departed the scene.

This year's trials mark the first time since 1996 that Phelps hasn't competed at a US Olympic swimming trials.

Dressel says he doesn't see himself as picking up the Phelps mantle.

"I don't think that falls on my shoulders alone," he said.

For a start, there's Ledecky.

A prohibitive favorite in the 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m freestyles, she is the world record holder in the 400m, 800m and 1500m free.

Katie Ledecky qualifies for Olympic 200m, 1500m freestyle in span of two hours

  Katie Ledecky qualifies for Olympic 200m, 1500m freestyle in span of two hours It has been five years since Katie Ledecky was in an Olympic pool, but that doesn't mean she has stopped dominating every swimmer in sight. © ASSOCIATED PRESS Katie Ledecky reacts after winning the women's 1500 freestyle during wave 2 of the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials on Wednesday, June 16, 2021, in Omaha, Neb. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) The five-time Olympic gold medalist blew away the field in the 200m race at the U.S. Olympic Trials on Wednesday, then did the same thing less than 90 minutes later in the 1500m. She already won the 400m race on Monday and is expected to win in the 800m Saturday.

The U . S . Olympic Swim Trials begin this Sunday in Omaha. With two places up for grabs in each individual event and up to six places in the six relays, these trials are among the fiercest domestic meets of the four-year Olympic cycle in any sport. Here are some of themes and questions to watch in Omaha starting Sunday. Le dominant . Katie Ledecky was the youngest swimmer at the trials in 2012 and though she’s accomplished so much since then, it seems odd to call the 19-year old from D.C. a veteran. But after setting 11 world records and winning ten world and Olympic medals, all golds

The US Olympic trials will be staged in Omaha, Nebraska, at the same venue where they were intended to be contested this June before the Tokyo Olympics were postponed due to the global outbreak of the deadly virus. Dates for the trials are about one week earlier than the original plan for this The Tokyo Olympics are now scheduled for July 23-August 8, 2021, almost exactly one year after the original dates. Five-time Olympic gold medalist Katie Ledecky and Caeleb Dressel , coming off an eight-medal performance at the 2019 world championships, are among those qualified for the

The addition of the 1500m free for women to the Olympic programme gives her one more chance to add to her cache of five Olympic gold medals.

Rio medallists back for another shot at Olympic glory also include 100m free gold medallist Simone Manuel, King and backstroker Ryan Murphy.

Regan Smith, meanwhile, will be vying to make a first Olympic team after emerging as a backstroke star with world records at 100m and 200m in 2019.

Still just 19, Smith has plenty of big meet experience under her belt to help her cope with the pressure-cooker atmosphere of trials after a year in which her upward trajectory was interrupted by the pandemic.

- Lochte vies for history

It remains to be seen if other speedy but less seasoned teens will be able to do the same.

At the other end of the spectrum, Ryan Lochte, at 36, will try to become the oldest male swimmer to qualify for a US Olympic team.

Lochte still owns the world record in the 200m individual medley, but he set it back in 2011 and must be a longshot to make a fifth Olympic team.

He owns 12 Olympic medals, but his Rio Games ended amid scandal when he was found to have fabricated a story about a robbery during a drunken late-night episode in the Olympic host city.

He can expect a strong challenge from Chase Kalisz and Michael Andrew, the 22-year-old who stamped himself as a threat in multiple events with a string of blistering times at the Indianapolis Pro Swim in May.

Anthony Ervin, who was 35 when he won 50m freestyle gold in Rio, is also back, trying to qualify for the Games at the age of 40.

And 32-year-old Nathan Adrian, the 2012 100m freestyle gold medallist, takes aim at a fourth Olympics after treatment for testicular cancer diagnosed in 2019.

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A 15-year-old swimmer qualified for the Olympics. Katie Ledecky says she's 'the future' and 'the now' .
When 15-year-old Katie Grimes finished third in the 1,500-meter freestyle at U.S. Olympic swimming trials on Wednesday, less than a second away from a teenage trip to Tokyo, a slightly more famous Katie approached her. "You're the future," Katie Ledecky, the greatest female swimmer ever, told Grimes, an up-and-comer without a Wikipedia page. Two days later, Ledecky looked up at a scoreboard in Omaha, Nebraska. She'd just won the 800 at trials going away. She squinted into the lights for the name of the teammate who'd be joining her at the Olympics. And when she saw it, she beamed. She looked over toward Lane 8, and beamed even brighter.

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