In the women's 200-meter butterfly in London, a few 2008 Olympians will return, while many new faces will show up on the Olympic scene, as well.
Jaio Liuyang will be one of those returning Olympians, and she's got a real shot at taking home gold this time. At the 2008 Games, Jaio earned silver in the event for China, and the 20-year-old will be looking to improve upon her performance from four years ago. Jaio is the defending world champion, and she'll head into the Olympic Games with a 2012 time of 2:05.18 -- good for second best in the world this year.
Australian Jessicah Schipper, who claimed bronze at the 2008 Games, also will return for 2012. Schipper tied for seventh at the 2011 World Championships, and she is currently ranked seventh in the world in 2012. Schipper hasn't exactly been dominant since winning gold at the 2009 World Championships, but the 25-year-old is a veteran of two Olympic Games. She'll likely rely on her experience to help her succeed in 2012.
Ellen Gandy of Great Britain will head into the Olympic Games with the fourth-fastest time of 2012 (2:05.95), and she'll be carrying the hopes of the host country on her shoulders. The 20-year-old won the silver medal at the 2011 World Championships, and this time she'll have the local crowd behind her. Will the hometown love be enough to help the youngster to the medal podium? Only time will tell.
Jemma Lowe, also of Great Britain, could be in the mix, as well. Lowe tied with Schipper for seventh at the 2011 World Championships, and the 22-year-old will head into the Olympic Games with a 2012 time of 2:06.37 -- good for the fifth-fastest time of this year. In the past, Lowe has trained in the United States with coach Gregg Troy at the University of Florida.
Natsumi Hoshi of Japan leads the pack heading into the Olympic Games. She'll arrive in London with the fastest time of 2012 at 2:04.69. The 21-year-old finished fourth at the 2011 World Championships in the event, and she finished tenth at the 2008 Olympic Games. She's spent the past four years building her experience, and the 2012 Olympic Games could be a big event for her.
The final of the women's 200 butterfly is scheduled to be held on Aug. 1, 2012 in the Aquatics Centre.
Read more from this author: The Last Five Women to Win the 200-Meter Butterfly at the Olympic Games
Sandra Johnson was a competitive swimmer for more than 15 years before she began coaching. She is a longtime Olympic fan, and while working for the United States Olympic Committee in Colorado Springs, Colo., she had the opportunity to immerse herself in the Olympic Movement. Follow her on Twitter: @SandraJohnson46