Tom Dolan has become a media darling at these Olympics, and now he has a lot of pressure on him. I thought he was going to go faster in the 400-meter individual medley, even though he won.
He could have some troubles this week. I don't think it's going to be easy for him to win a gold medal in tonight's 400 freestyle.
Danyon Loader of New Zealand is swimming very fast and looked good in winning the 200 free Saturday night. Jorg Hoffmann of Germany has a lot of experience, and Daniel Kowalski of Australia and Paul Palmer of Britain probably will swim well.
The other American in the event, John Piersma, is not looking strong. He didn't qualify for the final of the 200 free, and I don't know if he can bounce back. When he has made it to big meets he has not accomplished much.
The women's 200 breaststroke could be American Amanda Beard's race. She won a silver in the 100 breast on Sunday, and the 200 is her better event. Beard, 14, is going to challenge whoever is in front _ she has that great kick and is really feeling confident.
Penny Heyns of South Africa, who broke the world record in the 100 breast Sunday, does not have a 200 as fast as Beard's. American Jilen Siroky, also 14, has the third-fastest time in the world this year but she'll have to go faster than she did at the trials to medal. Still, she's one of the youngsters like Beard who seem to drop their times every time they race.
Alexander Popov of Russia, who won the 100 free Monday night, has entered today's 100 backstroke. That could make things interesting.
The world leader in that event, American Jeff Rouse, is feeling so much pressure. He has been ranked No. 1 in the world for seven straight years but won silver in 1992. Tripp Schwenk of Sarasota is ranked second in the world in the 100 back. I haven't heard promising things about him since the trials, but he's always one of those people who swims fast when you come right down to it. Vladimir Selkov of Russia probably will be in there, as will former Florida swimmer Martin Lopez-Zubero of Spain.
In the 100 butterfly, the Japanese are going to be exciting to watch. Ayari Aoyama, 14, leads the world in that event. For the United States, Angel Martino and Amy Van Dyken should swim well. Especially Amy _ she swam her best time in the 100 free and didn't medal. She's probably mad about that and ready to get even in the 100 fly.
The men's 400-free relay should be fun. The Americans' main competition probably will be Russia, Germany and Sweden. I think we should be able to win just because of our depth in sprinting.