Swimming a personal best in the 100 meter men's breaststroke semifinals, IU alum Cody Miller showed the world he's primed for more than just a medal tonight in tonight's final.
Miller's 59.05 time made him the second fastest qualifier for tonight's final that is slated to begin at 9:53 p.m. ET on NBC. It places him in lane 5 next to world record holder Adam Peaty of Great Britain.
Peaty is the overwhelming favorite tonight after smashing his world record in the Saturday preliminary heats with a 57.55 swim.
The semifinal time by Miller was only 0.11 behind the American record of 58.94 set by his teammate Kevin Cordes earlier this summer at the U.S. Olympic Trials. Cordes qualified fifth overall for tonight's final and will be in lane 2.
Besides Peaty and the two Americans, watch out for lane 3 where 2012 Olympic gold medal winner and former world record holder Cameron van der Burgh of South Africa will be competing. He qualified third overall with a 59.21. He won the London Olympics with a record setting 58.46 swim in this event.
Other medal contenders include Japan's Yasuhiro Koseki and Brazil's Felipe Silva. Koseki was the only other swimmer in this event besides Peaty to go under 59 seconds, clocking a 58.91 in the Saturday preliminary heats. Silva was right behind at 59.01 in the heats.
One thing to watch for tonight is whether Miller finishes ahead of teammate Cordes. If he does place ahead of Cordes, Miller is likely to swim for the USA in the 4 X 100 medley relay. The finals for the medley relay will be held on Saturday night, August 13. There he would join Michael Phelps and two other teammates and the USA is currently the odds on favorite to take home the gold medal.
Miller is from Las Vegas and finished his eligibility at Indiana in 2014.
Speaking of odds-on favorites, Indiana sophomore-to-be Lilly King will begin her quest for a gold medal this afternoon about 1:11 p.m. ET in the women's 100 meter breaststroke preliminary heats. The top 16 finishers will advance to tonight's semifinals to be swum live on NBC about 9:29 p.m. ET.
King is the clear favorite to take home the gold as her 1:05.20 mark in the event at the U.S. Olympic Trials is the fastest in the world this year.
Medal tonight for Pieroni?
Indiana's Blake Pieroni is an alternate member of the 4 X 100 meter freestyle relay after finishing sixth in the U.S. Olympic Trials in the event. Whether he swims in tonight's final or not the junior-to-be from Valparaiso will earn the same medal that his five teammates get if Team USA finishes in the top three this evening. That relay has preliminary heats at 2:05 p.m. with finals set tonight for 10:52 p.m. on NBC.
Big Swim for El Kamash
Incoming IU transfer Marwan El Kamash set an Egyptian and Indiana University record yesterday with a 3:47.43 in the men's 400 meter freestyle. He finished 16th overall. His time took nearly three seconds off the previous school record set by Sergiy Fesenko way back in 2005. El Kamash will be a graduate transfer senior this coming season at Indiana after three years at South Carolina.
Indiana men's and women's swimming head coach Ray Looze is in Rio serving as a Team USA assistant coach.
"Great first day for the Indiana Hoosiers here in Rio," Looze remarked to the IU official athletics site. "Marwan set a new Egyptian record and personal best in the 400 freestyle and Cody set a new personal-best and earned the No. 2 seed going into the final of the 100 breast. Very proud of both these young men to step up on such a lofty stage and perform at a high level. We have much more work to do here in Rio, but are pointed in the right direction."
Indiana alum Cody Miller last month at IU Olympian Media Day: