Men's 100-metre Butterfly
|Credentials||2004 Olympic gold medallist. 2007 world champion.|
|Credentials||World-record holder. Two-time world champion. 2004 Olympic silver medallist. 2007 world silver medallist.|
|Credentials||2004 Olympic bronze medallist.|
On a roll
Michael Phelps. The American phenom has dominated this event since winning gold in Athens. Even Crocker, the world-record holder, hasn't been in the same class as Phelps in recent years.
On a slide
Ian Crocker. Crocker hasn't come within nearly a full second of his world record this year and must deal with his swimming albatross — Michael Phelps.
"If he's going to beat Phelps in Beijing, Crocker has to get close to his world-record time of 50.40. He just hasn't shown it can do it this year," said CBC analyst Byron MacDonald.
Albert Subirats, Venezuela. Subirats was a bronze medallist at the world championships in Melbourne and might surprise the field if he matches that performance in Beijing.
Under the radar
Milorad Cavic, Serbia. Cavic will head into Beijing as the fourth-ranked competitor in this event, the highest spot of his career.
Joe Bartoch, London, Ont. Bartoch significantly improved his time at the Canadian Trials, but isn't expected to advance to the final in Beijing.
Crocker admitted to falling into a depression when he failed to beat Phelps in Athens. The world-record holder simply folds under the heavy pressure of facing possibly the greatest swimmer of all time. The challenge won't get any easier in Beijing, as Crocker has to figure out a way to get close to his best time if he hopes to topple the king.
"If Phelps is even close to Crocker at the three-quarter point, it's over," said MacDonald. "Crocker always fades at the end and Phelps always accelerates. If Crocker can find his form, then he would probably have the best individual shot at preventing Phelps from winning eight gold medals. I just haven't seen it this year."
Gold: Michael Phelps
Silver: Ian Crocker
Bronze: Andriy Serdinov