Day 4 Relay Lineups: Phelps In, Conger Out On U.S. 800 Free Relay


The relay lineups for tonight’s 800 free relay for men have been released, and what has been speculated all day has happened, Michael Phelps has been named to the American lineup for the final of the 800 free relay. Phelps takes the spot of Jack Conger, who actually had the fastest split on the prelim relay of 1:45.73. Ryan Lochte, who split 1:45.80 in the heats, will also swim the final.

Phelps and Lochte will swim together in the 800 free relay final for the fourth consecutive Olympics, winning gold on all three previous occasions in 2004, 2008 and 2012. The two of them will join Conor Dwyer and Townley Haas on the relay.

  1. Belgium (L.Croenen, D.Dekoninck, G.Surgeloose, P.Timmers)
  2. Japan (K.Hagino, N.Ehara, Y.Kobori, T.Matsuda)
  3. Russia (D.Izotov, A.Krasnykh, N.Lobintsev, M.Dovgalyuk)
  4. Great Britain (S.Milne, D.Scott, D.Wallace, J.Guy)
  5. United States (C.Dwyer, T.Haas, R.Lochte, M.Phelps)
  6. Germany (F.Vogel, C.Fildenbrandt, C.Rapp, P.Biedermann)
  7. Australia (T.Fraser-Holmes, D.McKeon, D.Smith, M.Horton)
  8. Netherlands (D.Dreesens, M.Brzoskowski, K.Stolk, S.Verschuren)

Other than the Americans addition of Phelps, the biggest surprise here is the absence of Cameron McEvoy on the Australian team. After tying for the win at Aussie Trials in the 200 free, McEvoy dropped the individual event, but still said he was focusing on the 800 free relay.

With the men’s 100 free semi-finals taking place during the same session, McEvoy won’t swim. David McKeon joins the lineup replacing Jacob Hansford.

The Belgians have moved out Emmanuel Vanluchene for Pieter Timmers, the Russians have replaced Viacheslav Andrusenko for Danila Izotov, and the top seeded Brits have removed Robbie Renwick in favor of James Guy.

All three additions were expected, but it is a bit of a surprise that Vanluchene came out of the Belgian lineup and not Louis Croenen, who has the 200 fly final tonight. Both swam very similar legs this morning.

The Germans and Dutch have also made one move each, as Christoph Fildebrandt and Sebastiaan Verschuren come in and Jacob Heidtmann and Ben Schwietert move out.

Japan is the only team that stands pat with their lineup from the morning, led by Kosuke Hagino.


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Before y’all jump to favoritism, I’m sure Conger had a say in this. They wouldn’t do it without his approval.


That’s laughable


LOL, there is absolutely zero chance Jack would willingly sit out. That kid wants to race


He gets his medal either way. That might have persuaded him a bit.


Not at all. He doesn’t get the experience of being on the medal stand while the National Anthem plays, that is a huge part of the Olympic medaling experience.


Yep, he’s not Agnel.


The problem is, he always comes up short. Great talent, but how he missed making the team in the 200 fly, how he’s never won an NCAAs in any close race has got to be at the back of coaches’ minds. He’s usually money on relays, but he didn’t do himself any favors by going the same time with a flying start that he flat started at Trials.


Oh, Harambe… you were too wise for this world.

You clearly don\'t know Jack

See me name?


You really think the coaches asked his “approval”? Even if they did say “hey Jack, what do you think about us putting Ryan on the relay instead of you?” what is he suppose to say? No one says “yeah sure leave me off and put on the guy I beat who already has had this experience multiple times I’ve waited my whole life to have” and means it!


*putting Phelps on instead of you.

Lochte earned his spot. So did Jack.


Yeah, thinking about it I don’t really agree with myself here, it’s just a decision he’ll have to deal with I guess.


He had 0 input and was given 0 explanation. I guess having the fastest morning split and actually qualifying for the race and for being .1 from being in the race individually means….nothing? Way to go USA Swimming.


How do you know these things? Were you there?


I’m sure he had zero say in the matter except “ok” when told he wasn’t swimming. Not sure why everyone is upset with Phelps, he was ALWAYS on the relay, it was btwn Conger and Lochte, who I felt shut it down the last 15 meters in his prelim swim this morning and still went 1:45 mid. You can rest assured the coaching staff knows what they are doing.


I really doubt it. Knowing that young man – he did not agree to this, and he probably feels like he earned his swim tonight – both this morning and in Omaha. He was told this is how it will be and had no choice. C’est la vie. I don’t agree with it, but I’m not the coach. Good luck fellas.

Anne Kelley

What??? Why would he do that when he performed better on the qualifying race and would get a chance to win that medal based on his swimming and showcase his ability alongside Phelps and Lochte? No, pretty sure that did not happen.

Definitely Not Sun Yang

Really sucks for Conger but I think in the big picture, this is better for the sport.


Why is everybody having a cow about MP swimming on the relay? Shouldn’t they be more upset Lochte got the nod over Conger if Conger outsplit him this morning?


By like .08


Factor in the reaction times, and Lochte was faster.

samuel huntington

you can’t say that, getting a quality reaction time is part of the race


Uh, actually I just did.

samuel huntington

glad you did, it got me excited

Although, devil’s advocate, in prelims, the focus is more on safe exchanges. Factoring out prelims relays exchanges (something coaches do fairly often, in my experience) serves to not punish a swimmer who plays it safe with an exchange in prelims and doesn’t incentive pushing relay starts to dangerous speeds in the morning in order to win a finals spot.

Steve Nolan

Or pushing a relay start in a seven minute long race that would still final if each swimmer stood on the block for an extra two seconds.

Caeleb Dressel\'s Occupied Stall

Yes, but everyone wants to see the phelps-lochte duo back at it again its for money and publicity


And the silver medal

phelps swims 200 breast rio



Hard to argue against your point

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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