The start lists for finals have been posted, and the United States will call up Karlee Bispo to join Missy Franklin, Katie Ledecky, and Shannon Vreeland in the finals of the women’s 800 free relay.
Bispo was the fastest ‘in the water’ of the American prelims swimmers, splitting 1:57.74 on a conservative start, and that lead her to being pulled up to the finals relay. Recall that she was only 7th in the 200 free at the U.S. World Championship Trials, but when Ledecky scratched the individual 200 free for Worlds, Bispo got called up onto the team.
The Americans will lead off with Katie Ledecky this time, followed by Vreeland, Bispo, and Franklin. That’s not a typical relay position for Franklin, but with how well she’s been swimming, they’ll have every confidence in her coming home.
The Aussies, the 3rd seed, have pulled in Kylie Palmer and Bronte Barratt to replace Emma McKeon and Ami Matsuo from the prelims. They will end with Brittany Elmslie and again Alicia Coutts: maintaining their confidence in her even after giving up the lead in the 400 free relay.
The Chinese, who were the fastest in the morning, have made only one swap: exchanging their 1:59.1 anchor Wenqing Zheng out for Yuhan Qiu, which should net them at least two seconds.
Full finals relay lineups, in lane order, are below:
Kapan – Igarashi, Ueda, Miyamoto, Takano
France – Muffat, Bonnet, Lazare, Balmy
USA – Ledecky, Vreeland, Bispo, Franklin
China – Ye, Shao, Guo, Qiu
Australia – Barratt, Palmer, Elmslie, Coutts
Spain – Costa-Schmid, Castro-Ortega Belmonte-Garcia, Gomez-Cortes
Canada – Cheverton, Jardin, MacLean, King
Italy – Mizzau, de Memme, Carli, Pellegrini