I must confess that Alexander Dale Oen’s 100 breast victory in Shanghai was one of the most beautiful moments in my time in swimming, only days after the UtÃ¸ya killings, and with the Norwegian swimming team trying to cope at the very hotel where we the Faroese were also staying. A terrible tragedy unleashing a furious first 50 meters, and a strong second half determined to win for his country.
Now it turns out that this swim hit both favorite Kosuke Kitajima and Hugues Duboscq really hard, almost into doubting that they could swim at all. “I don’t know how to get ahead. I’m afraid to go on”, Kitajima said according to asahi.com, but then turned to his old coach Norimasa Hirai, to get his technique back in order, enough to win silver in the 200. Duboscq didn’t even make it past the semi, his technique “completely broken down“, making him turn away from his long-time Greek coach Christos Paparrodopoulos.
Others must fall for one to conquer, but this was something else. Alex simply had to win for anything to make sense at that moment, and thankfully he did.
Watched my personal ‘home movie’ just now, from when PÃ¡l Joensen, JÃ³n Bjarnason and I watched the final on TV. PÃ¡l predicts the medal order from 15 meters out (impressive), I sound like a sobbing little girl and JÃ³n looks like Hugh Hefner in his white kimono. Never to be publicized !! *shudder* :’-)
It is amazing to me how losing a breaststroke race can completely destroy a swimmer’s technique. I totally believe what they are saying because I see it all the time. Remember when Brendan Hansen was in top form at Olympic Trials in 2008? He cruised through the 100 breaststroke rounds but then later found himself beaten in the 200 breast. His stroke didn’t recover by the time the Olympics rolled around.