There are many men swimming for the top spot at the 2008 Olympic Games. These swimmers are among those that will probably swim to the gold medal.
Phelps is great; he will be hard to beat, unless he is doing too many events! He will go for the gold in the 200 Free; the 100 and 200 Fly; the 200 and 400 IM; and all three relays. That is eight medals. Wow.
Ryan Lochte is a big meet swimmer. He trains very hard (like the rest of the world's best swimmers do) but seldom rests for a meet until it is an important one. Then he explodes! Ryan will race in relays, backstroke, and will go up against Michael Phelps for IM medals; he has the ability to come up gold.
Eamon Sullivan - Australia - Sprint Freestyle
The 50 and 100 freestyles will be a shootout, and Australia's Eamon Sullivan may well be the best shot! He has speed, speed, and more speed. Frances sprinters and maybe one from the USA might be close, but the sprints are all about speed and no mistakes. In the months leading to Beijing, Sullivan has been the one to succeed at both.
Amaury Leveaux - France - Sprint Freestyle
Amaury Leveaux had an incredible 50 freestyle at the French Olympic Trials, and if he does that again he could take the gold in Beijing. No one knows how the Beijing pool will be with the final heat of the men's 50 freestyle, other than a blaze of swimmers. Leveaux may get that gold.
Alain Bernard - France - Sprint Freestyle
The sprint freestyle events - the 50 and 100 - are not always about being just the fastest, but are about being the fastest on the right day. Alain Bernard has the speed to be the best in both the 50 and 100. Along with fellow Frenchman Amaury Leveaux, the sprints could be dominated by one country.
Grant Hackett - Australia - Distance Freestyle
Australia's Grant Hackett is the Distance Freestyle King, but he has been on top for a long time. He may have a little more time on top of the distance freestyle list. Will this be Hackett's last bit of Olympic Glory? He knows how to get it done.
Tae Hwan Park - Korea - Distance Freestyle
Korea's distance freestyle star Tae Hwan Park will be there when the 400 and 1500 freestyle medalists are announced. He has had some great 400 free swims in the past several years, and being close to home by be enough to push him to the top of the medal stand.
Peter Vanderkaay could be on top when the 400 freestyle race is over. Or the 1500! Sometimes, coaches say that distance swimmers only have so many fast 1500's in their system each year. He is the US's distance ace for the Beijing games, and if his last month of training has been good, he could have one or two more great performances left for this season.
World record holder and defending Olympic medalists Aaron Peirsol will be in the hunt for a gold in 2008. The backstroke races come down to Aaron, Ryan Lochte, and Matt Grevers. Int he 100, I'd bet on Aaron because of his experience. In the 200 - Lochte and Peirsol are tied with the world record. It will be one of the many great races at the games.
Kosuke Kitajima - Japan - Breaststroke
The men's breaststroke events may come down to a one-on-one competition between the USA's Brendan Hansen and Japan's Kosuke Kitajima, at least in the 100 breast. Kitajima looks to be swimming the fastest he has ever been, setting a new world record in the 200 prior to the games. He may be untouchable in Beijing.
Vladimir Dyatchin - Russia - 10km Open Water
The defending world champion will want the Olympic medal, too! He has the experience, the strength, and the desire - he wants the first ever marathon swimming Olympic medal. Of course, so does everyone else in the race.
David Davies - Great Britain - 10km Open Water, Distance Freestyle
Davies is one of the few that will do both the 10km Open Water event and the 1500 meter pool event and is capable of medaling in both - with a great shot at the gold in the 10km. He may be the one that surprises the marathon swimming field and jumps out to an early - and uncatchable - lead.