Backstroke Beauty Pageant: Irie, Peirsol, Lochte
Jul 30, 2009 - Craig Lord
Ryosuke Irie (JPN) led Americans Aaron Peirsol and Ryanh Lochte through to the semis of the 200m backstroke, all three men below 1:56. The 1:57.79 in which Peirsol went through fastest in Melbourne 2007 would have made him the only qualifier in Rome. The top three through in Rome were all fast enough to have won a medal in Melbourne - and two of them, Lochte and Peirsol, did indeed win a medal in 2007, and as they try to do so again, one thing is certain: they'll be faster, along with any others who make it into the final via semis tonight.
The race at the helm is like a beauty contest of aesthetic, technically teutonic backstroke, with Peirsol and Irie having the edge over Lochte on smoothness, perhaps.