Hoelzer, Gangloff And Targett Propel Their Teams To The 400m Medley Relay Finals
Aug. 15, 2008
BEIJING, China - Three Auburn swimmers advanced their relays to the finals Friday morning during the preliminaries at the 2008 Olympics.
Hoelzer was first in as she swam the backstroke leg of the United States' relay. Her 59.29 leadoff split was the fastest among all 16 teams competing in the preliminary and was only one of two that came in under a minute. The time was eight-hundredths of a second off her personal-best time of 59.21.
The United States clocked a time of 3:59.15 to win its heat and finish third overall in the preliminary behind Australia (3:57.94) and Great Britain (3:59.14).
Next up was Gangloff (USA) and Targett (Australia) in the men's 400m medley relay. Gangloff and the Americans posted the top overall time, touching in with a 3:32.75. Targett led the Aussies to a win in their heat, placing second overall, with a Oceania record time of 3:32.76 - just one-hundredth of a second behind the Americans.
Gangloff swam the breaststroke leg for the United States, clocking a 1:00.35 split. Targett touched in with a 47.41 freestyle split for Australia, the second-fastest split in the preliminary.
Australia was in second place in its heat, trailing Japan, when Targett jumped in for the final leg. He out-swam Japan's Hisayoshi Sato by more than a full second to take over the lead and give Australia the win in the heat.
Auburn swimmers were part of the relay pools for three other countries, but were not chosen to compete. Fred Bousquet was available for France, Cesar Cielo for Brazil and Alexei Puninski for Croatia. All three teams failed to qualify for finals with France coming the closest with a time of 3:34.76, just 0.06 seconds out of eighth. Croatia followed in 12th with a time of 3:37.69 while Brazil came in at 14th with a time of 3:38.66.
Hoelzer, Gangloff and Targett will likely not compete in Saturday night's 400m medley relay final. Natalie Coughlin, gold medalist in the 100m back, will likely replace Hoelzer as the backstroke leg on the women's American relay while Brendan Hansen will replace Gangloff on the breaststroke leg on the men's relay.
World record holder Eamon Sullivan is the likely choice to replace Targett on the freestyle leg of the Australian relay.
Also in action Friday morning was incoming freshman Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace of the Bahamas. Competing in the 50m freestyle preliminary, Vanderpool-Wallace clocked a time of 25.40 to finish 24th overall in the event. Her time is more than a half-second better than her personal best and sets a new Bahamanian record.
Action in the 2008 Olympics continues tonight with three former Tigers going for medals. Hoelzer and Kirsty Coventry (Zimbabwe) get things started at 9:03 p.m. CT in the 200m backstroke final. Coventry is the top overall seed and defending gold medalist in the event and will swim in lane four while Hoelzer, the current world record holder in the event, will challenge from lane two.
Cielo will then go for his second medal of the 2008 Olympics as he swims in the 50m freestyle final. He enters the final as the top overall seed, swimming in lane four, after clocking an Olympic record time of 21.34 in the semifinal. He time is a personal-best and ranks second all-time in the event, just 0.06 seconds off the world record.
NBC will carry all the action live beginning at 7 p.m. CT. Check your local listings for more details.
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