Men’s Medley Relay Line-Up Predications: Straightforward Swaps for USA, but Will It Win?


Men’s 4×100 Medley RELAY — PRELIMS

  • World Record: United States – 3:26.78 (2021)
  • Championship Record: United States – 3:27.28 (2009)
  • World Junior Record: Russian Federation – 3:33.19 (2019)
  • 2022 Winning Time: Italy – 3:27.51
  • 2022 Top 8 Time: 3:34.06

Top 8 from prelims:

  1. United States – 3:30.51
  2. France – 3:31.61
  3. Australia – 3:31.75
  4. China – 3:31.89
  5. Germany – 3:32.11 (TIE)
  6. Canada – 3:32.11 (TIE)
  7. Japan – 3:32.36
  8. Great Britain – 3:33.27

SwimSwam went seven for eight on the predictions for this event. Italy, the defending World Champion, missed the final, finishing in 9th with 100 back world record holder Thomas Ceccon splitting 53.67, and their butterflier Piero Codia swimming 51.81. Canada jumped into that spot, tying for 5th with Germany, who, by the way, have quietly put together a strong meet.

In the prelims, the United States went with the 2nd best swimmer in the individual 100 for each stroke, with the exception of the 100 free. Hunter Armstrong is expected to be replaced by the gold medal-winning Ryan Murphy. Josh Matheny will be replaced by the silver medalist in the 100 breast, Nic Fink. Dare Rose, the bronze medalist in the 100 fly, will come in for Thomas Heilman.

The abnormality in following this pattern is the freestyle, where Matt King got the nod over individual 100 swimmer Chris Guiliano. Jack Alexy, the 2nd fastest American ever in the 100, will anchor the USA team.

The USA will put up a strong quartet with one gold, two silvers, and one bronze between the four in their respective 100s of stroke. A feat that no other team comes close to. The Italians would have two silvers but failed to make the final. The French also have two medals, but since the same swimmer holds both of them, it doesn’t really count.

Projected Finals Roster for the USA: Murphy, Fink, Rose, Alexy

Second into the final tonight and occupying lane five will be the team from France. The French are unlikely to swap out any of the middle two legs: Leon Marchand and 100 fly gold medalist Maxime Grousset are the best they can muster. For the free, the French used Hadrien Salvan, who split 48.17. Florent Manaudou anchored their men’s 4×100 free relay in 48.28 and did not have a great 50 free individually, finishing just 12th in the semis (21.96). Salvan seems to be the safer bet, Manaudou is “the risk it for the biscuit.”

Using Mewen Tomac in the prelims may indicate that the team will use Yohann Ndoye-Brouard in the back; he finished 5th in the 100-back final in 52.84. Tomac finished 8th in 53.16.

Projected Finals Roster for France: Ndoye-Brouard, Marchand, Grousset, Salvan

The Australians will bring in “King Kyle” for the freestyle and most likely Zac Stubblety-Cook in the breaststroke (in the mixed medley, they used Sam Williamson in the prelims, then ZSC in the finals). Matt Temple seems to be a lock in the fly leg, with the only question remaining: who will be the backstroker?

One would believe that using Bradley Woodward would suggest that the Aussie kept Isaac Cooper in reserve for tonight, but Cooper missed making the semifinals of the 100 back and finished outside of the top eight in the 50. Woodward, on the other hand, made the semifinals of the 100 back and just posted his 2nd fastest 100 of the meet, 53.64 (he was 53.63 in the prelims of the mixed medley). Based on current times, go with Woodward over Cooper.

Projected Finals Roster for Aussies: Woodward, Stubblety-Cook, Temple, Chalmers

China will swap out all of the legs, save Xu Jiayu in the backstroke. Yan Zibei split a respectable 59.04 in the breaststroke but will be replaced by Qin Haiyang, who, with a good relay start, could swim close to two seconds faster. China failed to qualify a swimmer into the semifinals of the 100 fly, but will bring in Wang Changhao, who finished 18th. To anchor, expect to see Pan Zhanle, who, despite finishing 4th in the 100 free, set a new Asian record of 47.43, (his time of 47.22 has yet to be ratified).

Projected Finals Roster for China: Xu, Qin, Wang, Pan

The remaining four squads of Germany, Canada, Japan, and Great Britain seem unlikely to have changes that will shake up the top four.

Canada could flip Josh Liendo to free and bring in Ilya Kharun, but with the way Ruslan Gaziev has been swimming in the relays, it seems unlikely.

Team GB will most likely swap in Matt Richards, their new national record holder, for Tom Dean in the free, but will unlikely be able to make up much difference. Without the game-changer that is Adam Peaty, the Brits will have to rely on James Wilby, who had the 2nd slowest breast split among the teams that made the final.

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4 months ago

2 days later, I finally found the answer to my question: FINA only takes into account individual victories (which is understandable since relay victories are achieved with the help of other swimmers). And indeed, compare the value of everyone’s records according to the scoring table: Léon Marchand’s 4’02.50 is worth more points than Qin’s 2’05.47. Hence Léon Marchand’s trophy for best swimmer at the 2023 World Championships.

Reply to  TerrificLéon
4 months ago

Sorry, I didn’t make it clear: I’m talking about the trophy for the best swimmer, of course.

Jalen T
4 months ago

Imagine if USA doesn’t win a gold relay medal…..

Fukuoka Gold
Reply to  Jalen T
4 months ago

Just stop it

Bobo Gigi
4 months ago

Back to 2023.
It’s USA vs China for gold and France vs Australia for bronze.
Murphy must make the biggest possible difference with Xu on backstroke. Qin will give the lead for China on breast. Then Rose should give a slight lead to USA after fly. And Alexy must held off Pan.
France must have the biggest possible advantage over Australia before the freestyle leg. At least 1.5 s.

Bobo Gigi
4 months ago

The best US performance in my opinion at worlds came in 2007 with 20 golds and 36 medals overall.
The meet was held in Melbourne so it was even more impressive from the Americans.
And it should have been 21 golds if Crocker had not been stupid with a senseless false start in the 4X100 medley relay heats. It prevented MP from winning a 8th gold medal at these worlds.

Bobo Gigi
4 months ago

The last time USA didn’t win the medal table was in 2001 in . . . Fukuoka!
And the last time Australia won the medal table was in 2001 in . . . Fukuoka!
13 golds for Thorpe, Hackett and cie that year for Australia against 8 golds for USA.

Bobo Gigi
4 months ago

Interesting to note that the worst meet in terms of golds for USA in the last 20 years was in 2015 with 8 golds despite that year the addition of both useless medley relays.
18 golds in 2017 with 38 medals overall.
14 golds in 2019 with 27 medals overall.
17 golds in 2022 with 45 medals overall with no Russia participating
The last time USA won only 4 golds was in 1994 but it’s not significant at all with the Chinese women’s team winning 12 golds that year thanks to a very efficient state sponsored program.

Last edited 4 months ago by Bobo Gigi
Bobo Gigi
4 months ago

The last times France has won 4 golds at worlds in the pool were in 2013 and 2015.
Each time thanks to our men’s team.
Lacourt, Agnel and the 4X100 free and medley relays in 2013.
Lacourt, Manaudou and the 4X100 free relay in 2015.
And this year it will be once again thanks to a few men. Marchand 3 golds and Grousset 1 gold.

4 months ago

Wow, Haoyung almost disqualified his team this morning, -0,03 in the exchange, unnecesary in my opinion