Golden Goggles at a Glance: Male Race of the Year
Each Wednesday until the 2013 Golden Goggle Awards in Los Angeles, USA Swimming will take a closer look at one of the eight awards that will be presented Sunday, Nov. 24. Online fan voting is open through Nov. 15, so be sure to cast your vote.
Today we look at the nominees for Male Race of the Year, an award given to the male swimmer with the greatest single individual race of the year, with special emphasis on the 2013 FINA World Championships. The nominees are:
Matt Grevers – 100m Back – 2013 FINA World Championships
After winning gold in the 100m back a year ago in London, Matt Grevers was the favorite to repeat that performance in Barcelona. Despite finishing second in the event at the 2013 Phillips 66 National Championships, Grevers delivered at the World Championships and topped the podium in 52.93. He was second at the 50m mark to France’s Jeremy Stravius, but made his move over the final 50 meters and held off fast-charging teammate David Plummer down the stretch to win his first individual World Championships gold medal.
Ryan Lochte – 200m Back – 2013 FINA World Championships
Ryan Lochte took command of the 200m back final at the 2013 FINA World Championships from the start and never looked back en route to his second straight world title in the event. He held a slight lead at the 50m mark and pulled away from the field over the second 50 meters to hold a half-second cushion on the field at the midway point of the race. Poland’s Radoslaw Kawecki pushed Lochte over the final 100 meters, but could not pull closer than four-tenths of a second at the finish. Lochte won his second individual gold of World Championships in 1:53.79.
Ryan Lochte – 200m IM – 2013 FINA World Championships
Following a fourth-place finish in the 200m free to open his individual program at the 2013 FINA World Championships, Ryan Lochte re-established his dominance with a third straight World Championships gold medal in the 200m IM. He started quickly and was just 0.03 seconds off the lead following the butterfly leg. At the midway point of the race, he was 0.14 seconds behind Thiago Pereira of Brazil. Lochte turned it on during the breaststroke length and grabbed a lead he would not relinquish. He had a half-second lead at the 150m mark and pulled away over the freestyle leg for a 1.3 second victory over Kosuke Hagino of Japan (1:54.98 to 1:56.29). With his win Lochte became just the fifth man in history to win three straight world titles in a single event.