Grinev had the top male split this morning in 48.10, which is probably why they chose to keep him on instead of inserting Vlad Morozov. Kolesnikov had the second fastest split in the field in the men’s 400 free relay, anchoring in 47.39, and Kameneva swam the fastest time in Russian history last night in the semis in 53.60.
While the Russians look strong, it won’t be clear sailing to gold. The Netherlands qualified just .04 behind them, and have made a few moves in bringing in Nyls Korstanje and Femke Heemskerk while keeping on Stan Pijnenburg and Ranomi Kromowidjojo. While Kromowidjojo hasn’t been on her best form here, she did split 52.9 on the mixed 400 free relay, and Heemskerk was 52.3 on the women’s relay. If the men can keep it within striking distance they have a good shot, and they are the European Record holders.
France is also poised for a big run at gold having won the women’s 400 free relay and boasting a strong 1-2 punch for men in Mehdy Metella and Jeremy Stravius. They were just a few tenths off the Russians this morning, and bring in three new swimmers with Stravius the only one on double duty (48.94 lead-off in prelims). They add Marie Wattel, and then Charlotte Bonnet on the anchor who could be the difference maker (having split 52.2 on the 400 free relay).
James formerly competed for the Laurentian Voyageurs in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in February of 2018, placing 11th at the OUA Championships in the 200 IM, and graduated with a bachelor's degree in economics in May. He …