2017 Worlds Previews: USA Seeks Worlds Redemption in M. 400 FR Relay

You can find links to all of our event-by-event previews and a compilation of our predicted medal-winners here.

2017 FINA World Championships

After missing the final in the men’s 400 free relay in 2015, the USA is one of the major medal threats for gold at the 2017 FINA World Championships. The Americans have a strong lineup heading into Budapest, with Nathan Adrian (47.96), Caeleb Dressel (47.97), Zach Apple (48.14), and Townley Haas (48.20) all ranked in the top 10. Apple and Haas were surprisingly fast at U.S. Nationals, making the USA the heavy favorite for gold. While that group makes up the current top 4 for the Americans, Michael Chadwick (48.48) and Blake Pieroni (48.49) will also have a chance to earn a spot on the finals relay, as they’ll be competing in prelims. Dressel and Adrian will likely be saved for the final, but that means Haas and Apple will have to compete with Chadwick and Pieroni for those last 2 spots on the finals relay.

Like the Americans, the Australians are also looking for redemption after missing the 2015 Worlds final. They’ll be without Olympic champ Kyle Chalmers at this meet, but Cameron McEvoy (47.91), who swam the fastest textile 100 free ever with his 47.04 in 2016, and Jack Cartwright (48.43) should be able to give the Aussies the momentum they need to return to the final. Similarly, Canada is without top sprinter Santo Condorelli this time around, but should be vying for a top 8 spot if Yuri Kisil and Markus Thormeyer are at their best. Both Australia and Canada would need their 3rd and 4th swimmers to step up big time to be in the running for a podium finish. The Aussies have Zac Incerti (49.03) and Louis Townsend (49.15) on the roster, while the Canadians have Carson Olafson (50.28) and Javier Acevedo (50.53).

Cesar Cielo (Photo: Satiro Sodre)

Brazil and Italy are both top threats in this relay, as both have 4 men on their roster who have produced season bests in the 48-range. The Brazilians will field young sprinter Gabriel Santos (48.11), Olympic sprint finalists Marcelo Chierighini (48.46) and Bruno Fratus (48.50), and World Record holder Cesar Cielo, who put up a 48.92 after just 3 months of training. The Italian contingent includes National Record holder Luca Dotto (48.66), Ivano Vendrame (48.68), Alessandro Miressi (48.71), and Filippo Magnini (48.85).

Japan’s sprint duo of Katsumi Nakamura (48.26) and Shinri Shioura (48.66) are capable of a pair of 47 splits, which should put Japan in the final. Junya Koga (49.51) returns from their Olympic relay quartet, but someone else will have to fill the void for Kenji Kobase, so Kosuke Hagino (49.57) may step up to take on that role.

With the home advantage, we could see Hungary step up here. Young sprinter Nandor Nemeth broke the Hungarian National Record earlier this season with a quick 48.64. Not far behind is Dominik Kozma, with a season best 48.68. Their 3rd man, Peter Holoda, has also been sub-49 with a 48.98. Richard Bohus has a season best of 49.47, but he’s also a sub-49 guy after putting up a 48.86 in Rio.

Russian rocket Vlad Morozov (48.28) and veteran sprinter Danila Izotov (48.53) will headline the Russian squad. They’ll likely team up with Nikita Korolev (49.13) and Nikita Lobintsev (49.28), but Alexander Popkov (49.35) might also make an appearance here.


Place Team Predicted Time
1 USA 3:09.8
2 BRA 3:11.5
3 RUS 3:12.5
4 ITA 3:12.9
5 AUS 3:13.8
6 JPN 3:14.0
7 HUN 3:14.4
8 CAN 3:15.0

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Mr bagguette
5 years ago

Obviously the French will take gold this year. Their swimmers are more talented than USA . They have the ability and agility to turn things up

5 years ago

Prelims: (I think it’s only fair to lead off with Chadwick as he had the fastest 50 split at trials)

Chadwick 48.48
Haas 47.94
Pieroni 48.12
Apple 47.88

Dressel 47.84
Apple 47.92
Haas 47.80
Adrian 47.12

USA will win by over 1.25 seconds

Reply to  MrBriefStroke
5 years ago

That splits won’t give such a lead. Santos may open 48 flat chiereghini 47,5 fratus around 47 high Cielo might go 47 mid high. If us splits like that it might be risky if Rus bra and aus do a pretty good job.

5 years ago

I think they already redeemed themselves at Rio.

5 years ago

I bet Dressel will be lead-off and the last anchor-leg will be Nathan Adrian.
USA team-relay is clearly much stronger than the rest.

5 years ago

If only there was a serious opposition , i would call it redemption from Kazan . But its not the case ….Usa can literally nearly walk in the park with this 400 free ….unless they want a BIG Bang ( serious time close to the WR ) .

5 years ago

That world record is completely safe. I think even the textile record is safe.

5 years ago

Hungary are my outside pick: Kozma, Nemeth, Bohus & Holoda have all been 48.6-48.8 is the last 12 months. Milak can chuck in a 48s leg, too. Young, improving team at home. I have them possibly sneaking into the top 5.

1. USA
2. Brazil
3. Russia

5 years ago

When is 4 x 100 medley relay preview? that should be a tight race between team USA and team GB, Peaty could throw down some monster time on breaststroke leg , Scott and Guy are in good form as well 😀
it goes down to Ryan Murphy can swim another sub 52 swim again (51:85s PB) or it could be Grevers (depends on the individual result in 100 back) vs Walker Hebborn (assuming 53 high in the relay this time, 54.24 in British championship)
also how much Kevin Cordes (58 high) can do vs Peaty (56 mid again), the fly and free advantage for team usa are minimized…

Lauren Neidigh
Reply to  Ron
5 years ago

It’ll be up later today 🙂

5 years ago

Anyone know if U.S. swimmers are doing pre-meet press conferences like they did for Rio?

Reply to  Jake
5 years ago

Yes, there was a press conference already done with Beisel, Manuel, Meili, Ledecky for the women and Adrian, Grevers and Murphy for the men.

Reply to  Zanna
5 years ago

Swimswam, can we get the videos for this?

About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

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