Olympics Betting: Flying Frenchman Missile challenge
The Missile has to improve by almost half a second if he's to get close to France's Yannick Agnel.
Looking ahead to the 100m freestyle, Michael Klim is not going to pretend that James Magnussen doesn't face an uphill battle to win gold...
Based on figures from the ill-fated 100m relay, The Missile has to improve by almost half a second if he's to get close to France's Yannick Agnel.
Agnel's win in the 200m freestyle was truly dominant and his time of 1.43.14 is simply extraordinary. He blew away a quality field and his confidence would be through the roof thanks to two gold medals in the first three days of competition.
There is talk that James Magnussen is undergoing last-minute remedial work, but it is too late for that.
The one thing James needs to get right is what's going on between his ears.
In a bizarre kind of way, the performances of Agnel may relieve Magnussen of some pressure. He's remains the favourite @ Betfair odds of (2.22) to win the gold medal but on form, Agnel @ Betfair odds of (2.66) is the man to beat.
One thing Magnussen does possess is a barnstorming finish. It's at the back-end that these 100m freestyle events are won, and if Agnel's heavy workload takes its toll during the final, The Missile will be flying home.
James Roberts needs to return to the same form he was in during the national trials to be any chance of medaling. He's out of sorts at the moment and unless he significantly improves, he may battle to make the final in one of the strongest events of the London 2012 competition.
COUTTS AND RICE IN A BATTLE FOR SECOND BEHIND FREAKISH YE
While my allegiances sit firmly with Australia, I have to pay tribute to the brilliance of 16-year-old Chinese swimmer Shiwen Ye.
Ye is (1.06) on Betfair to win the 200m individual medley, which would give her the 400m/200m medley double.
Alicia Coutts and Stephanie Rice will be giving it everything but it's hard to see Ye being beaten, especially when you consider that her last 100 metres in the 400m I-M was faster than that of the men's winner, Ryan Lochte.
Coutts comfortably qualified second-fastest in the heats and looks a great chance of winning another silver medal for Australia.
As it stands, she will leave London as our most successful swimmer of the meet.
Steph Rice looked in great spirits today and I am pleased she's shaken the disappointment of the 400m I-M on day one. She's a determined fighter with big race experience, so I can't discount the prospect of her winning a medal, despite her time being down on some others.
GREAT WORK BY BRONTE BUT A BIG TEST STILL AWAITS
Bronte Barratt has been a popular member of the Australian swim team for many years and teammates past and present would be delighted to see her qualify fastest for the semi-finals of the 200m freestyle.
I fancy her highly credentialed opponents kept plenty up their sleeves for the semi-finals, so we will get a better gauge whether Bronte is a legitimate medal hope this evening.