Matt Grevers swam into the finals of the 100-meter backstroke during Sunday's semifinals at the London Olympics coming within .22 of a second of the Olympic record clocking the fastest qualifying time.
The Lake Forest High School and Northwestern University graduate’s time advances him, and the next seven qualifiers that competed in both semifinals, to Monday’s final at 1:58 p.m. Chicago time or 7:56 p.m. London time.
The British announcers asked aloud of Grevers in their broadcast, “I wonder if he would really go hard here?”
Grevers answered that question in the final 50 meters and took the next step to individual Olympic Gold as he pulled away from his semifinal field. Grevers’ time in the semifinals was just shy of the Olympic record of 52.44 as he cruised past the field, pulling away in the final 50 meters.
“Grevers was not challenged at any stage,” said the British announcers on the live stream on Comcast. “It was a great performance and nicely done. He was really dominant after the 50-meter turn.”
At the turn, Grevers, who covered that distance in 25.77, found himself in second place behind Gareth Kean of New Zealand. But Grevers turned up the energy to win the semifinal over Japan’s Irie Ryosuke, who was second with a time of 53.29.