While you were sleeping, the first day of Olympic swimming began in London, and there were more twists and turns than an episdoe of The Mentalist. So grab a cup of tea and check out these highlights.
- Michael Phelps almost hit the snooze button one too many times in his first event
- Dana Vollmer set an Olympic record in the prelims of the 100 butterfly
- Elizabeth Beisel leads the field in the women’s 400 IM
- A gold medal favorite is out of the men’s 400 free
- Natalie Coughlin dazzles one more time
Phelps, who said after the race he wasn’t feeling well, was the eighth and final qualifier for the men’s 400 individual medley final that starts at 1:30 p.m. Omaha time (7:30 p.m. in London). He swam in the fourth heat in 4:13.33 and had to hang on at the finish after starting the race way too fast.
He out-touched Laslo Cseh of Hungary, who finished second in both IMs to Phelps in Beijing. That means Cseh will be watching the race from his room in the Athletes Village — unless Phelps decides to pass on this final. Possible, but doubtful.
Ryan Lochte had no trouble getting in, qualifying third at 4:12.35 behind Japan’s Kosuke Hagino and Chad le Clos of South Africa.
Elizabeth Beisel of the University of Florida is the leading qualifier in the women’s 400 IM and is set for a stirring duel with Ye Shiwen of China. The two were only 0.05 seconds apart. Caitlin Leverenz of the U.S. also made the final, qualifying eighth.
Park Tae-Hwan was disqualifed from the men’s 400 for a false start. Some are saying it may have been the swimmer in the lane next to him, but protests on these types of things aren’t allowed per FINA rules.
Also, Germany’s Paul Biedermann didn’t qualify for the finals, so the 2011 world championships gold and bronze medalists aren’t in the Olympic finals. But Peter Vanderkaay and Conor Dwyer of the U.S. are, and their medal chances just got a whole lot better.
Vollmer led the won in the women’s 100 fly in 56.25 — 57.17 by China’s Lu Ying was the next best time.
Coughlin appears to have earned herself a spot on the U.S. team for the finals of the 400 freestyle relay after posting the fastest split in the prelims. The U.S. team qualified second in 3:36.53, behind only Australia at 3:36.34.
Evening summary this afternoon. If there’s anything else you’d like me to track, send me a note at email@example.com or on Twitter @stevebeideck.