Both Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky will be racing on their respective 4x100m freestyle relay teams, according to an anonymous source with direct knowledge of Team USA’s relay line-up strategy.
USA Today Sports has reported that 22-time Olympic medalist Phelps will swim in the final of the men’s 4x100m freestyle relay, an event which is scheduled for Sunday night (August 7th). As such, that race would represent the 5-time Olympian’s first official dive into the Olympic Aquatics Stadium pool in the hopes of gaining gold for the stars n’ stripes.
Phelps did not swim the 100m freestyle individual event at the U.S. Trials in Omaha, but such was the case also back in 2004 and 2012 when he landed on the 400m freestyle relay line-up. Although the 31-year-old elected not to race with the likes of Ryan Lochte and Jimmy Feigen in a 100m freestyle time trial on July 3rd in Omaha, he did partake in a training camp relay time trial over the weekend in Atlanta. In that dress rehearsal of sorts, Phelps scored an opening split of 48.3 (unofficial), the fastest among all relay lead-offs at the trial.
As for Ledecky, the 19-year-old freestyle powerhouse finished just 7th in the women’s 100m freestyle individual event, yet is reportedly slotted to swim in the prelims of Team USA’s women’s 4x100m freestyle relay squad. That event takes place on Saturday, which would make it Ledecky’s first race of the 2016 Olympic Games. The world record holder will also be contesting the 200m, 400m and 800m freestyle events, where she is a heavily favored medal contender in each.
Even with Ledecky reportedly not among the 4 female swimmers slated for the 4x100m freestyle relay final, prelim swimmers of relays also earn medals, so she could certainly kick-off her Rio hardware kitty in a big way even with just a morning swim in the relay.