Olympic Swimming Schedule 2012: When to Watch the Most Important Races

Eric Ball@@BigLeagueEballFeatured ColumnistAugust 1, 2012

There have already been multiple medals doled out in men’s swimming, but there are plenty of other events to still sink your teeth into.

The Ryan Lochte/Michael Phelps rivalry has gotten off to a sluggish start, with both swimmers already failing to meet their lofty goals.

While Lochte won the gold medal in the men’s 400-meter individual medley, he finished an incredibly disappointing fourth in the 200-meter freestyle.  

Phelps has been even worse, placing fourth in the 400-meter IM. He did redeem himself in the 4x100-meter free relay, but there is no question his performance in the 2008 Olympics has become a distant memory.

The big story in the early part of the Olympics has been Yannick Agnel of France. He passed Lochte in the 4x100-meter freestyle en route to winning gold for his country, and also won gold in the 200-meter freestyle.

He is the big two’s main competition from here on out.

With that in mind, here are the three most exciting events still on the 2012 Olympic swimming slate.

200-Meter Individual Medley

I personally love this race because it puts all four strokes on display, while also taking endurance into account. It’s one of the true ways to gauge the proficiency of a swimmer’s versatility.

Oh, and it will pit Phleps vs. Lochte in a rivalry that needs a boost after the first few days of the Olympics.

100-Meter Butterfly

This is going to be one of the best chances for Phelps to register another gold medal.

He clearly isn’t in the same shape of the Beijing Olympics, and is only going to be a threat for gold in the short distance events.

Phelps has had plenty of success here in the past and should notch a first-place time here. If not, then the 2012 Olympics will officially be a disaster for one of the greatest swimmers of all time.

50-Meter Freestyle

This is arguably the most exhilarating event in the Olympics.

It’s an all-out sprint to the finish using any stroke you please, and the splashes are going to be large as the swimmers furiously stroke their arms through the water.

If you like track and field events, this is certainly the equivalent to the 100-meter dash.

4x100-Meter Medley Relay

Americans may not be thrilled to watch, but Agnel could be sitting on four gold medals entering this race.

He has already proven to be capable of strapping his teammates onto his back, and doing so again here is going to make Agnel one of the top performers in the entire Olympic Games.

Move over Phelps and Lochte.

Here's the complete swimming schedule for the remainder of the Olympics (via ESPN):

Event Date Time (ET)

Men's 200-meter Breastroke Wednesday, August 1 2:30 p.m.
Women's 200-meter Butterfly   3:12 p.m.
Men's 100-meter Freestyle   3:20 p.m.
Women's 4x200-meter Freestyle Relay   4:04 p.m.
Women's 200-meter Backstroke Thursday, August 2 2:40 p.m.
Men's 200-meter Backstroke   2:48 p.m.
Men's 200-meter Individual Medley   3:19 p.m.
Women's 100-meter Freestyle   3:37 p.m.
Women's 200-meter Backstroke Friday, August 3 2:30 p.m.
Men's 100-meter Butterfly   2:38 p.m.
Women's 800-meter Freestyle   2:45 p.m.
Men's 50-meter Freestyle   3:09 p.m.
Women's 50-meter Freestyle Saturday, August 4 2:30 p.m.
Men's 1500-meter Freestyle   2:36 p.m.
Women's 4 x 100-meter Medley Relay   3:07 p.m.
Men's 4 x 100-meter Medley Relay   3:27 p.m.
Women's 10-kilometer Freestyle Thursday, August 9 7:00 a.m.
Men's 10-kilometer Freestyle Friday, August 10 7:00 a.m.


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