Day 2 Relay Speculation: Top 4 Teams To Make Changes In Men’s 4×100 Fr


  • Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Swimming: August 6-13
  • Olympic Aquatics Stadium, Barra Olympic Park, Rio de Janeiro
  • Prelims – 9:00 a.m/12:00 p.m PST/EST (1:00 p.m local), Finals – 6:00 p.m/9:00 p.m PST/EST (10:00 p.m local)
  • SwimSwam previews 
  • Day 2 Schedule & Results
  • Live Stream (NBC)

The men’s 4×100 free relay prelims took place this morning, with Russia, USA, Australia and France qualifying 1st through 4th, easily through to the final. Within each lineup was the race within the race, as members of each prelim relay hoped to put up a split fast enough to be considered for the final with all four leaving at least one swimmer in reserve.

The team that will see the biggest change over are the 2nd seeded Americans, who are expected to use Nathan AdrianCaeleb Dressel and Michael Phelps in the relay tonight, along with the top split of the morning relay. That went to Anthony Ervin, who put up a 47.65 anchor to give the US the win in heat 2. Ryan Held also put up a strong split of 47.79, but look for Ervin to swim the final with the aforementioned three.

For the top seeded Russians it’s fairly simple, they’ll bring in Vladimir Morozov who will replace the slowest leg of the morning relay. Danila Izotov and Alexander Sukhorukov both split 47.6 this morning so they’re safe. It comes down to Andrey Grechin and Aleksandr Popkov. Grechin will likely get the nod as he qualified in the individual 100 free, though his lead-off this morning was off his best this year in 48.58. Popkov split a solid 48.18, but will likely be out. With Izotov and Sukhorukov looking so strong this morning, the Russians are a definite threat for gold.

It’s the same situation with the 3rd seeded Australians, who will bring in world #1 Cameron McEvoy, likely in exchange for Matthew Abood who split 48.43 this morning. James Magnussen‘s 48.85 lead-off was nothing to write home about, but it was faster than Abood if reaction times are taken into consideration. Kyle Chalmers had the fastest split of the morning in 47.04, so if him and McEvoy are on their game they’ll be hard to beat.

The French will make two lineup changes, moving in Florent Manaudou and Jérémy Straviuswho scratched the 200 free semis tonight to focus on this relay. With those two coming in out goes Clemént Mignon who led-off in 48.59 this morning, and William Meynard, former World bronze medallist in the 100 free who split 49.05. With the additions of Manaudou and Stravius, both of whom have proven their ability to perform in big moments, coupled with two sub-48 second splits this morning from Fabien Gilot and Mehdy Metella, the French will be tough to crack.

The other team heading to the final that will almost definitely make a change is Brazil, who qualified in a tie for 5th with Canada. Anchor Matheus Santana had a disappointing 49.00 split, so they’ll likely look elsewhere for their fourth member tonight. Joao De Lucca, who missed the 200 free semis this morning finishing 25th, will likely be added based off his time of 48.59 from the Maria Lenk Trophy. Gabriel Santos split 48.63 this morning, so he could potentially be exchanged for 50 free specialist Bruno Fratus, though his season best time is only 49.70. He has split 48.0 on relays at Championship meets in both 2014 and 2015, so he is a proven performer and might be worth the gamble for the Brazilians.

The Belgians, who qualified 7th overall, could make a change as well, as lead-off Dieter Dekoninck swam an underwhelming 49.91 this morning. A possible replacement is Emmanuel Vanluchene, slated to swim the 200 IM later, but owns a personal best of 49.09 done this year.

Both the Canadians (t-5th) and Japanese (8th) won’t make any changes, using their best four swimmers this morning.

One team that gambled this morning were the Italians, who sat out relay ace Filippo Magnini and ultimately paid the price finishing 9th, five one-hundredths behind Japan.

Check back on SwimSwam about an hour before finals for the official relay lineups once they are released.


In This Story


  1. SLab says:

    Go France!

  2. Hail Stats says:

    In terms of Ervin and Held. While Ervin barely out split held , Ervin had clean water to swim through during his anchor leg compared to Ryan due to their lead at that moment in the race. Just something that think about

    • dan says:

      You can always count on the NC State crew to show up with irrational comments.

      Ervin has a lot more international experience, and he went faster this morning. You have to go with him here.

  3. TBSwimmer says:

    Michael Phelps is Michael Phelps, so maybe him on the relay goes without saying. However, he hasn’t been under 49 in competition in the last two years. Ervin and Held just went under 47.8. I guess the expectation is that Phelps will just perform?

    • Q-tip says:

      He also hasnt swam a tapered 100 free in 2 years. Did a 48.3 in a time trial a week ago. Phelps will be fast. Dont get it with all these doubters how many time does he need to come through??

  4. Swimdad3747 says:

    Michael Phelps best 100 Free relay split ever is 47.51 back in 2008. As much as the man as Phelps is including how he rises up to the fervor and “bigness” of the moment, not sure inserting him into a a sprint relay with Adrian, Dressell, and Ervin is a smart idea, especially when Ryan Held just swam a 47.79 this morning. This relay is going to be close. I’m pretty sure Phelps will swim. Who knows, maybe he reads this, gets fired up, and goes out and swims a 47 low in the relay tonight. Go USA!

    • Markster says:

      I hope you are trolling. Please look at his split in 2012.

    • Swim2win says:

      In 2008 phelps led off the relay and went a 47.high flat start to break the American record, in 2012 he went a 47.5 on a relay. The time differential with his personal best flat start vs. relay is a third of a second, I think he should lead off the relay!

      Some swimmers have larger time differentials in relay vs. flat than others.

  5. Iain says:

    Possible the French may keep in Mignon over Gilot given their form this season, rather than just going with the morning splits. We shall see!

  6. StraightArm says:

    This relay business is insane, in the best possible way. The French and US have guns coming in, obviously so do Aus and Rus with McEvoy and Morozov. I’d be leaning Australia but Magnussen’s 48.8 kind of nullifies the 47.0 split leg of Chalmers, which would be a huge difference maker overall if Magnussen could do his job of a 48 low. The US and France are the top picks in my eyes. Aus and Rus are more likely to falter somewhere but are genuine chances too. My prediction is
    Gold – US
    Silver – France
    Bronze – Aus

  7. M Palota says:

    I think the Yanks are going take this one. It’s Maggie vs. the GOAT and you don’t bet against the best.

    If Maggie can get out of his head and swim a 48-low (I know, I said 47-mid earlier. I was wrong.), they’ve got a chance because Chalmers can, I think, chase down anyone. That kid is a horse!

    As an aside, watch Chalmers’ kick. It is insane. Everybody can kick now but this kid is crushing the water with his feet.

    Phelps leads off in 47-high, Chalmers catches Dressel, Ervin catches Roberts and McEvoy runs out of water trying to gun down Adrian.

    The Russians and the French will have something to say about the results, too. I’m thinking they’ll front end load with Stravius and if he’s under 48, they’ll be very tough to beat.

    And how fast are the Russians? Can Morozov hold off McEvoy, Adrian or Gilot?

    1.) USA
    2.) Australia
    3.) France

    I love this event!

    • Dave says:

      I agree with your end result, but I think the US will lead the whole way. If Phelps leads off he will absolutely bury Magnussen probably by a full second. That would give Dressel clean water, and Chalmers wouldn’t be able to make up very much on him anyways. Then Ervin gains at least another .5 on Roberts. So Adrian goes in with at least a second lead, and The he just buries little Mcevoy in his massive wake.

    • ARSWIM says:

      Respect your comment but you seriously believe Chalmers will chase down Caeleb Dressel..? whatever you’re smoking or prescribed please let me know because i want whatever you’re on haha

  8. ArtVanDeLegh10 says:

    When will get the relay entries. I want to know who’s on, and their positions for the big 4–USA, Australia, France, and Russia.

  9. dan says:

    I think this will be one of the best 4-way competitions in an Olympic relay that I can remember. I’m biased towards the US, but there are 4 countries that have a really legitimate shot at winning tonight.

  10. Melesia says:

    Quick question. Will the guys who were in the 4×100 freestyle preliminary, but not the final, also receive a gold medal?

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About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James is currently a university swimmer for the Laurentian Voyageurs in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. He is studying economics. Along with swimming, he also loves hockey. He's in his 14th season as a competitive swimmer. Best Times - SCM (LCM) 50 FR - 24.56 (25.12) 100 FR - 53.58 (56.70) 200 FR - 1:56.07 (2:04.29) 1500 …

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