The Americans have made what became an increasingly obvious choice after what we’ve seen so far in this meet in deciding their finals lineup for the women’s 400 medley relay tonight.
With Missy Franklin coming in as a top-two qualifier in both the 100 backstroke and 100 freestyle, that meant that unlike in most scenarios, the American coaches had some flexibility to pick the ‘hot hand’ instead of going strictly by the book and getting the top two in each individual stroke event a pre-ordained medal in this relay, and as such they have taken to Megan Romano and her 52-mid split from the 400 free relay earlier in the meet to lead them home here.
That pushes Franklin, the World Champion (by a mile) to the backstroke leg, and puts the Americans in firm control of this medley relay. The Australian backstrokers and breaststrokers aren’t swimming well enough to catch the USA it would seem, even with a Campbell anchor, and the Russians without Anastasia Zueva seem to be one leg short of contenders.
That means the Americans, with Franklin swimming very well, Hardy swimming very well, and Vollmer not what she was last year but still swimming very well, the U.S. will rely on Romano’s incredible relay instincts to be in the same time zone as Campbell, and it should mean victory for the stars-and-stripes.
Full relay lineups are below:
Women – Missy Franklin, Jessica Hardy, Dana Vollmer, and Megan Romano
Men – Matt Grevers, Kevin Cordes, Ryan Lochte, and Nathan Adrian