James Guy Onto GB’s 4×200 FR Relay, Reuniting Olympic Champions for 1st Time Since Tokyo

2023 WORLD AQUATICS CHAMPIONSHIPS

Men’s 4×200 Free Final Relay Lineups

As expected, veteran James Guy has drawn onto Great Britain’s 4×200 freestyle relay. The Brits loaded up on their prelims relay, using Matt Richards, Tom Dean, and Duncan ScottHowever, they held Guy off, likely because he also swam prelims of the 100 butterfly and they wanted to avoid him doing the double for two sessions in a row.

But now, he’s been added to the relay in third position joining Richards, Dean, and Scott. With his inclusion on the relay, this is officially the first time since Tokyo that all four men who were a part of that squad will be on this relay at the senior international stage. In 2022, Scott withdrew from Worlds because of COVID-19, and Richards swam only in prelims, splitting 1:48.21.

In the lead up to the Games, there were whispers about whether this was going to be the squad that took down the long-standing super-suited world record. These four earned the gold medal in Tokyo, but they missed the record by three-hundredths.

So, is tonight the night? It’s hard to say for sure, but it is clear that with Matt Richards‘ improvement trajectory, this is a stronger team than they were two years ago. Scott’s had a so-so year which might have been cause for concern pre-meet, but he earned a silver medal in the 200 IM last night, then split an controlled looking 1:46.21 on the prelims relay.

Tonight, Scott leads off for the Brits, then turns things over to Richards and Guy, with Dean anchoring.

The Aussies come into the final as the top seed, and they’ve made two changes as well. Kyle Chalmers comes onto the relay tonight, as does Alexander Graham. They swap in for Elijah Winnington and Flynn SouthamChalmers is going second, the same spot he was in during the Australians bronze-medal outing at the Tokyo Games. There, Chalmers split 1:45.35.

With Chalmers and Graham drawing on, the Australians are fielding a lineup of Kai TaylorChalmers–Graham–Thomas Neill as they aim to get back on the podium,

The United States won this relay at Worlds last year, swimming 7:00.24. Two of those relay finalists are back on the finals relay again this year: Kieran Smith and Carson Foster. As expected, the U.S. is bringing Luke Hobson in to lead-off here in Fukuoka; as the U.S.’s highest placed individual 200 freestyle, he bypassed prelims along with Smith.

Foster, meanwhile, posted the fastest time in the prelims of the 200 freestyle at U.S. Trials (1:45.67), before scratching out of the final. He’s had a busy individual event schedule at Worlds, but it’s wrapped up now and the U.S. are clearly hoping that by keeping him off the prelims relay as well, he’ll be at that time or better on the relay.

The only swimmer they’ve maintained from prelims is Jake Mitchell, who had their fastest relay split with a 1:46.11. They’ve moved him from the anchor spot though, and will run with a lineup of Hobson–Foster–Mitchell–Smith.

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rob
8 months ago

Excited to see scott leading of. Ususally a 1:43 candidate on the anchor but with no individual 200 the lead off is gonna be exciting

Felix
8 months ago

Dumb from Aussie. Taylor should be anchor

anty75
8 months ago

Why did Mitchell get the nod ahead of Kibler? Kibler has more experience, was faster in the trials and even today in the morning if we deduct Mitchell’s advantage from the relay start Kibler was faster. I don’t understand it.

Last edited 8 months ago by anty75
Horninco
Reply to  anty75
8 months ago

Must be something we don’t know

felix
Reply to  anty75
8 months ago

1:45.0, what’s the problem?

Miss M
8 months ago

Surprising that they are letting Guy swim the fly. So many others have been forced to drop individual swims, even when they haven’t wanted to.

Alison England
Reply to  Miss M
8 months ago

He gave up his 100 ‘fiy final in Tokyo, when he might have got a medal. It is perhaps thought he deserves his go today. We should win, but perhaps the WR I anticipate might not happen?

Smithy
Reply to  Miss M
8 months ago

The Gap was also way over 1 hour 20. So no need to drop!

About Sophie Kaufman

Sophie Kaufman

Sophie grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, which means yes, she does root for the Bruins, but try not to hold that against her. At 9, she joined her local club team because her best friend convinced her it would be fun. Shoulder surgery ended her competitive swimming days long ago, …

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