Picks: American Men Look to Continue Streak in Medley Relay

  76 Braden Keith | July 17th, 2012 | Featured, London 2012 Olympics, News, Previews & Recaps

For our relay picks, we’ll lay out the previews a bit differently. We’ll present each relay with a best time, an aggregate time based on entry times, and the likely relay members, and then lay out a bit of analysis on each grouping. On medleys, this can sometime be a bit of a guessing game, but we’ll take a stab at assembling the best relay.

For athletes marked with an asterisk (*), they will not swim this event individually in London.

1. USA – Actual: 3:32.06 Aggregate: 3:30.52

Matt Grevers – 52.08
Brendan Hansen -59.68
Michael Phelps – 50.71
Nathan Adrian – 48.05

Breakdown: The Americans are huge favorites to win this relay, if for no other reason than their balance. The Americans probably could no longer beat a “world’s best” relay, made up of everybody not from the U.S., but the key to their dominance year-after-year is the fact that they can afford to have one, or even two, of their swimmers put up poor races, and still expect to win gold. That’s why they’ve never lost this event at an Olympics (aside from the 1980 boycott). The weakest swim last year was probably on the backstroke – though few across the field swam well – and with Grevers’ 52.0, that shouldn’t be a problem this year. We’ll give it about a 10% chance at the World Record – but only if Adrian finds his inner Dave-Walters and goes sub-47.

2. Australia – Actual: 3:32.26 Aggregate: 3:32.38

Hayden Stoeckel – 53.70
Christian Sprenger – 59.91
Chris Wright – 51.67
James Magnussen – 47.10

Breakdown: The Australians could sit about 4th for the better part of this race, but James Magnussen has already shown last year that he is a more-than-capable relay swimmer to go with his impressive individual feats. He’ll make up close to a second on the Americans, Germans, and Japanese. That should be enough to pick-off two of the three, especially with the middle two legs looking better than they have. Stoeckel on the backstroke leg will be the biggest question mark, but he’s been pretty good this year.

3. Japan – Actual: 3:32.89 Aggregate: 3:33.05

Ryosuke Irie – 52.91
Kosuke Kitajima – 58.90
Takeshi Matsuda – 52.36
Takuro Fujii – 48.88

Breakdown: The Japanese have a few big advantages in this race over the Germans and the French with whom they’ll be battling for the bronze. One is obviously Kosuke Kitajima – the best breaststrokers in the world are very far ahead of the second tier, and Kitajima is at the top of that group of “best”. The other is the consistent Ryosuke Irie – he was the only swimmer at last year’s World Championships to break 53 in this relay leadoff. Expect them to be in the lead, or neck-and-neck with the Americans, at the halfway mark. What they do with their back-half will be huge in their final result, but they never found their sprint freestyler (they don’t have a single one on the roster, even as relay only). That means we’ll probably see Matsuda on fly (his sprinting is improved this year) and Fujii anchor (he’s much better than his 48.88 flat-start indicates). Could be a painful fade back to the field.

4. Germany – Actual: 3:32.60 Aggregate:3:34.01

Helge Meeuw – 53.22/Jan-Philip Glania – 53.50
Hendrik Feldwehr – 1:00.48/Christian vom Lehn (1:00.51)
Benjamin Starke – 51.65
Paul Biedermann – 48.66

Breakdown: Because of Hendrik Feldwehr’s injury, vom Lehn probably gets the spot on this medley, but that won’t likely result in as much of a downgrade (if any) as we would have seen in past years. This aggregate time is a bit misleading: Biedermann doesn’t swim the 100 free from a flat start on a taper often, but is capable of a 47-low on a rolling start. Benjamin Starke has been very good this year, but the Germans have a similar challenge of timing as the Americans do.

5. France – Actual: 3:36.21 Aggregate: 3:33.80

Camille Lacourt – 52.44
Giacomo Perez-Dortona – 1:00.86
Clement Lefert – 52.48
Yannick Agnel – 48.02/Fabien Gilot – 48.13

Breakddown: Again, emphasize the backstroke. Camille Lacourt, if he’s on at this meet, will be matched only by Matt Grevers. Hopefully, this squad can avoid the prelims meltdown that they had at Worlds that caused them to miss the final.  With newcomer Giacomo Perez-Dortona likely taking over the breaststroke spot, and Clement Lefert providing a much more stable option on the fly leg, the French are dangerous. Yannick Agnel shifting his focus to the freestyle races doesn’t hurt either. There’s still some trepidation here, though, after what we saw last year. The middle two legs will be significant for this team’s success.

6. Netherlands – Actual: 3:34.11 Aggregate: 3:34.48

Bastiaan Lijesen – 53.86/Nick Driebergen – 53.98
Lennart Stekelenburg – 1:00.50
Joeri Verlinden – 51.85
Sebastiaan Verschuren – 48.27

Breakdown: This is another relay that’s all about “balance”. With so few relays in the world being able to put together four good legs, this Dutch relay surprised some people to place 5th at Worlds last year. Their secret weapons are their back half – Verlinden is a very underrated butterflier, and Verschuren has proven to be an outstanding relay swimmer. There’s a chance for this squad to medal, if one of their two backstrokers steps up.

7. Brazil – Actual: 3:34.58 Aggregate: 3:33.44

Thiago Pereira – 53.86
Felipe Silva – 59.63
Kaio Almeida – 52.11
Cesar Cielo – 47.84

Breakdown: This Brazilian relay seems like it could be great. But they are going to be in a huge hole after the backstroke, and that will hurt. There’s been a lot of talk about moving Cielo to the fly leg and letting someone like Nicolas Oliveira, renowned for his relay skills, anchor. Afterall, Cielo is the World Champ in the 50 fly. But that doesn’t seem like it’s part of the plan – Cesar hasn’t been swimming any butterfly, and they left him as the anchor at Pan Ams. At the Olympics, its best to let everyone swim their primary stroke – especially in a relay as emotional as this one. They’ll be expecting him to split under a 48 for this move to make sense. Most of the drop for this team to medal will be counted to come from Felipe Silva’s improved breaststroke.

8. Poland – Actual: 3:36.13 Aggregate: 3:36.66

Marcin Tarczynski – 54.12
Dawid Szulich – 1:01.18
Oskar Krupecki – 52.88
Konrad Czerniak – 48.48

Breakdown: This is an underrated Polish relay that has a good chance at winning the battle with Great Britain, Canada, and Italy as well as a few other countries for the last spot in the finals. The Poles seem poised to slide Konrad Czerniak, the world’s number two butterflier, over to the freestyle leg. He’s the country’s best in both races, but they have butterflier Oskar Krupecki on the roster as a relay only swimmer, and nobody aside from Czerniak in the sprint group.

In This Story

Comments

  1. Mr. Neptune says:
    0
    0

    What about the Russians?

  2. HKswimmer says:
    0
    0

    I personally think that France has the potential to drop quite a lot of time. Even though they don’t have Duboscq they do have the fastest Medley relay time from 2010 and 2011 combined from Euros in 2010. Add to that the fact that Gilot on anchor especially is a proven relay man (44’94 in Dubai anchor medley/47’3 in Euro 2010/47’2 in Shanghai) and that Lefert is really a lot more stable than Bousquet on fly, I think the French could look quite dangerous.

    Also curious about Brazil. Pereira’s a proven 53 on back – wouldn’t they use him over Orzechowski?

    • Braden Keith says:
      0
      0

      You’re right – overlooked Pereira. Not sure he drastically changes their outlook though – has he been 53 low? Best I can find is his 53.8 from earlier this year. FWIW, they pulled him off of the finals relay at Pan Am’s last year.

      • Rafael says:
        0
        0

        He was not a 100 back swimmer.. he swan this year just for grabbing a relay spot..

        it was his last swim of the Maria Lenk and he was already a little tired on a meed he was not tapered.. based on Albertinho word he will maybe even swim 100 back, hoping he has time in him to go to final.. so a 53 low near flat is not impossible if he is fully tapered.

        • Rafael says:
          0
          0

          the X on Brazil is acutally the fly leg.. if he can keep with the aussies till end… Bra and Aus will sizzle through the field with a huge battle..

          • aswimfan says:
            0
            0

            I can’t see how BRA will be on level with AUS after fly.
            Maybe you know something about the brazilians that I don’t

          • Rafael says:
            0
            0

            Aswimfan

            2 Things only that I can know

            Thiago Pereira time was untapered and was his last swim of the meet, he had already swam 200 Medley, 400 Medley, 200 fly, 200 back , and If I Recall correcly 4×200 free and 4×100 free. So we has pretty tired already.. he can go much faster than his 53.86

            França was still about 3 to 4 kilos heavier than the weight he will have at London..

          • aswimfan says:
            0
            0

            Rafael,

            Well, Medley relay in London will also be on the final after a long 8 days. And pereira will also have to swim the prelims for Brazilians to have a chance to qualify. The Aussies will likely rest ALL their four final swimmers and swim completely different ones for prelims.

            Franca may swim faster, but Rickard has consistently overperformed (relatively much faster than his individual swims) over the past 5 years major championships.

            And Wright will be faster than any brazilian flyer.

            Still can’t see how BRA level AUS on current and past forms.

          • Rafael says:
            0
            0

            I think França will be around 58 high on relay.. probably faster than any australian… TP will only swim 2 events before (200 and 400 medley, he dropper his 200 back 200 breast and 200 free even before the olympics). So he will be rested even with a morning swim..

            Rickard went 59.32 on relay last year and.. this will probably be what França will have on Flat start by london.. so he will be rested.

            If TP swim what his coach thinks he can (53 low) and França swim a 58 high.. he will probably open a lead (agains the aussies) good enough for Kaio to keep Wright at bay.

          • aswimfan says:
            0
            0

            Rafael,

            I am pretty sure that Stoeckel’s and Rickard’s coaches also think they are capable of swimming 53 flat and 58high on relays.

            Should we count this as well?

          • Ole 99 says:
            0
            0

            Call me a skeptic, but I doubt Pereira went a 53.8 untapered given that he went a best time (textile) in the 200 IM and a near best times in his other events at the same meet. The guy is a great swimmer but some people need to cut down on the green, gold and blue kool aid.

          • aswimfan says:
            0
            0

            Ole 99,

            did you not know that Brazilian swimmers are quite unique: They can be both untapered and tapered at one meet.

            example:
            Few weeks out of Maria Lenk this year, our Brazilian sources (who apparently received information directly from Cielo’s coach) kept telling us that Cielo would be tapered, rested and ready to bust 47mid in Maria Lenk .
            But when he could not even break 48, suddenly the same sources said that Cielo was unrested and untapered.

          • Rafael says:
            0
            0

            Aswimfan.

            What I know about that stuff..

            Cielo and Pereira and França were rested for the meet, but not tapered. Also Cielo times on 100 free usually were pretty much terrible on all Maria Lenk..

            All the others I think were on taper already..

  3. Ole 99 says:
    0
    0

    The USA medley relay went 3:32.06 at worlds last year.

  4. KSswimfanatic says:
    0
    0

    Fastest relay anchor in history Eamon Sullivan in 46.65??? Might want to check that one… I believe there’s a man by the name of JASON LEZAK that anchored an American relay in 46.06 a few years back..

  5. john26 says:
    0
    0

    You can’t forget to mention Italy, who timed 3:32.8 at Euros, which would’ve almost medaled last summer! Additionally, you have to account for the fact that Magnini and Scozoli were probably swimming at half mast. I suspect that Italy will at least make the finals, and havea pretty good shot at picking off one of the more hyped up teams and finishing top 5.

    PS. Thiago Pereira has been 53.86 this year, and given his consistency, gives Brazil a much more solid lead off. Honestly, places 3-7, with France, Japan, Brazil, Germany, and Italy could pretty much be separated by under a second in this race. And the only advantage Australia seems to have over those teams is the fact that Magnussen no doubt has a huge psychological advantage over the other sprinters.

    • Rafael says:
      0
      0

      Can´t see Cielo being affected by Magnussen… not on a relay… on mental level they are on the same field.. at least they have the same confidence on their abilities..

  6. Jean Michel says:
    0
    0

    Us has huge potential to win this again , specially with a great Grevers and Hansen instead of Gangloff . It’s very clear . Also , as mentioned , Adrian needs to bring a 47 + to keep Aussies at distance . Whatever happens , Michael with blow the filed on Butterfly . Us for gold , Period

  7. Milo says:
    0
    0

    Leaving out Italy out of the final? Seriously?
    Cmon, they have been 3:32.80 at Euro Champs this year with Scozzoli and Magnini far off their best shape, they could be 3:31 at the Olympics. They should be considered a serious medal contender.

    And Cesar Cielos medley relay split in Rome was a 46.22.

    • Rafael says:
      0
      0

      What were Scozzoli and Magnini Splits? Can´t see de doing better than a 47 mid-high… even on relay..

      • Braden Keith says:
        0
        0

        59.3 and 47.7.

        They could sneak into the final…but I don’t think they’ll come close to a 3:32. Scozzoli was a 59.3 – already better than he was at Worlds on this relay. Their backstroke leg is terrible. That was a freak relay swim by Rivolta (51.24 – 1.2 seconds better than he was on a flat-start at the same meet).

        Keep in mind that Italy needed that swim at Worlds to even MAKE the Olympics. They would have been very close to not making it (still would have though) had they not been as fast. I could see them add a second on the butterfly leg alone from that relay.

        • DDias says:
          0
          0

          Oh, now i see the why Italy is out of your list…But scozolli looks good enough to be 59 mid-high in individual event and blast a 58 in relay leg…

          About Brazil relay:
          If Nicolas Oliveira(former Arizona) blasts a 47 low in 4×100 free, he will give a lot of headache for Brazilian coaches.Kaio Marcio will be probably dead tired from 200fly.It will be hard for him to break even 52 in relay fly leg.

          • Braden Keith says:
            0
            0

            Italy also had freakishly-good relay spits at Euro’s. I think they were like .09, .07, and .12. Something that I would be stunned if they could repeat. They could add 6 or 7 tenths on those, too.

            But you’re right – if Oliveira looks REALLY good, they could think twice….but as much as everyone thinks about Cielo’s capability in the 100 fly, we really have no idea! Would be a big risk, but at the end of the meet, maybe a worthwhile one?

          • Rafael says:
            0
            0

            DDias,
            200 Fly is Tuesday (if he finals), he can be top 16.. top 8 is not so given.. on friday morning the prelim of medley reay and only on saturday night is the final.. he will be fully rested.

        • john26 says:
          0
          0

          Braden, scozoli was 59.4 at worlds last summer on the individual, and magnini has split nearly half a second faster than he did at euros.

          Im not saying we are going to see Italy as a 3:31team, but they have the makings of a team that cwould definitely place top5. Also i definitely believe that with their stars the team definitely has more upside than downside.

          Also, check out Italian relay splits over the last few years, they have ALWAYS been ridiculously good.

    • DDias says:
      0
      0

      MILO,
      i agree with you.I can not understand how Braden let Italy out of Final(At least, ahead of Poland).Maybe him know about some injury we dont know…

      • DDias says:
        0
        0

        Braden,
        Oliveira is like a gamble.In 2007 he was only 1.49.4 in 200 free at PanAms, but blasted 1.46.99 in 4×200 relay.In 2008, his early take off burned Brazil in Beijing prelims.Last year, was not a good year till the end(where he made 48.71 in december), but at Universiades, he showed his relay prowess again.Only 49.58 in individual event, but 48.04 in relay.He just needs to be in 48 mid-high we wll have a chance to see a nice split.
        Honestly, if i was a brazilian coach, and Oliveira splits a 47.25 in relay, i will put Cielo in fly slot without much think.
        >those who dares wins!

        • Ole 99 says:
          0
          0

          47.25… That’s a preety big “if”. Let’s keep in mind that there were only eight splits (including Magnuson’s leadoff) faster than 47.5 at the world championships last year.

          MAGNUSSEN47.49 – leadoff of 4 x 100 Free
          MEYNARD

          • Ole 99 says:
            0
            0

            in the words of Homer J. “D’oh!!”

            MAGNUSSEN 47.49 – leadoff of 4 x 100 Free
            MEYNARD 47.39 – 4 x 100 Free
            GILOT 47.22 – 4 x 100 Free
            ADRIAN 47.40 – 4 x 100 Free
            MAGNINI 47.31 – 4 x 100 Free
            LOBINTSEV 47.45 – 4 x 100 Free
            WEBER-GALE 47.32 – 4 x 100 Medley
            MAGNUSSEN 47.00 – 4 x 100 Medley

          • DDias says:
            0
            0

            Olympics is the BIG meeting.These times will fall down like apples.
            Dont forget Cielo pan ams 47.07 split in 4×100 free(with a bad 0.33 relay start).

            Depends of Oliveira form.A 48 mid can put him even lower than 47.2 time.His much better relayer than normal swimmer.Make a 1.46 high swimming 1.49.4 is much more impressive than make 47.2 swimming 48.7.

        • aswimfan says:
          0
          0

          Oliviera split 47.25???

          Now, you MUST know something about the brazilians we all don’t.

  8. Milo says:
    0
    0

    I have no doubt Italy will be in the final. Like DDIAS said Scozzoli will be a 59mid flatstart in the 100breast, maybe even 59low, therefore could be 58 in the relay. Magnini is probably going to his last olympics, he will be well prepared and he always steps up for the relay, he will be a 47low. Rivolta is still young, maybe he could even imrpove on his 51.24 split, its the Olympics, everyone gives more than 100% and therefore even Mirco di Tora could go at least under 54. The top Italian swimmers usually have splits of 0.1 to 0.02.

    Maybe the Poles could try to put Kawecki on the back leg and Tarczynski on the free leg? He used to be a freestyle sprinter when he was younger.

    But either way Poland probably wont be in the final unfortunately, I think South Africa and Russia have better teams than the Poles to make the final. The South African relay is very young and they will be fast with Van Den Burgh probably outsplitting even Kitajima,Le Clos splitting a 51low.

  9. drdov says:
    0
    0

    Still magnuson on the last leg can make up ANY deficit
    I think he will break Lezak’s split bring it home
    Me very scared

  10. pvk says:
    0
    0

    Cant wait to see if magnussen takes down lezak’s incredible split from ’08

    • Rafael says:
      0
      0

      I think that´s a little impossible..

      We may see two 46 splits (Mag and cielo) but not even Mag split will beat the one from Lezak

      The fastest Split Textile is Magnussen 47,00? We also have on the same level Bousquet 47,03 and Cielo 47,07.. is there any TEXTILE faster split?

      • aswimfan says:
        0
        0

        When Magnussen swim 46.90 from flat start in London, everyone will be scared, including Cielo.

        • DDias says:
          0
          0

          There is no chance to scare Cielo.And IF that talk about Cielo going between 20.90 and 21.03 in 50 free is true(I doubt!Must be wrong typing), a lot of people will be scared with his 100 free time…

          And yes, i think Magnussen will take Lezak monster anchor leg relay down.

          • aswimfan says:
            0
            0

            I really don’t think Magnussen take down Lezak’s 46.06.

            Lezak was in LZR and drafted Bernard.

      • Kirt says:
        0
        0

        I believe the fastest textile split ever is Pieter van den Hoogenband’s legendary 46.79 to take silver over the Americans in Athens.

    • Royale w/Cheese says:
      0
      0

      Not a chance. To go a 45.9 beating Lezak is gonna take a monster swim. Don’t think we will see that go down for a long time.

  11. john26 says:
    0
    0

    It is VERY VERY unlikely that record will go down at this meet, but its not out of question magnussen’s swim could be more impressive. Remember lezak had a pretty much perfect reaction time of 0.07. Basically, from a flat start that swim is worth a 46.7x from a flat, which isn’t impossible for James in a relay race. To beat Lezak’s time, Magnussn would need to have a near perfect reactintine, and be attempting to go after a lezak of his own.

    • Rafael says:
      0
      0

      but he would also need the “reason” to do that… someone in striking distance.. and JPN is not much of a thing to rise a freestyler spirit to that extent..

    • aswimfan says:
      0
      0

      Even if Magnussen break WR, I doubt very much he can go under 46.06 in medley relay.
      46.06 was a freak swim, Lezak needed LZR and rode on Bernard’s wave.

  12. HKswimmer says:
    0
    0

    Agree with JOHN26, I don’t think Mag will be able to get past Lezak’s split, even if I do think he will be able to get close to it. We have to remember that improvement curves aren’t linear, and the faster the times get the harder improvement gets even for relay starts…

  13. bobo gigi says:
    0
    0

    Men’s 4X100 medley relay. USA in 3.29.20
    This american team is fast and has no weaknesses. I can’t imagine and I don’t want to see a defeat for the last race of Michael Phelps. He deserves a big win to finish his giant career.

    • Rafael says:
      0
      0

      the medley relays are probably the easiest team win for US, both are given ones… they are favorites for 4×200 free men relay.. but not on the same extent as medley.. the changes are equal for women 4×200 free relay,, not good for women 4×100 free relay and outside medal for 4×100 men relay..

      • Jean Michel says:
        0
        0

        exactly ! those 2 medleys are sure gold wins ! the 800 free relays will be more challenged by other nations but i still feel Usa can get them inot gold too . Let’s see how works the 400 free relays …we never know what can happen as in 2008 . Surprise , surprise , surprise

        • Rafael says:
          0
          0

          2008 was not a surprise.. US HAD the best times if you sum up all times.. This Craig Lord Nonsense is out of proportion

  14. SwimNerd says:
    0
    0

    South Africa will be top 8 for sure
    crous-54.1
    VD Burgh-59.49
    Le Clos 52.4
    Moore 48.15/Louw 48.7
    3:34,14/3:34.7
    All Young Great swimmers, they’ll even be in the hunt for a medal if crous has a good leadoff

  15. john26 says:
    0
    0

    To people who speak portuguese, what is Cielo saying?

    • DDias says:
      0
      0

      John26, nothing impressive, just he wants to best his(textile) times and try two medals.

      You can read all interview here(use google translator):
      http://www.cesarcielo.com.br/home/?p=1994

    • Rafael says:
      0
      0

      he is saying (some adjusts by myself to make it faster) that each race will be like “one of a kind” and he will give it all on each race.. (even the relays) he admits he has the best shot on 50 free but he will swim every race like it was his “last lifetime race”
      He remembered a little of Beijing and said he is feeling good.. and he will go for his textile best on both events..

      Just for the record

      França dropped about 4 kilos till Maria Lenk.. he Had nearly 20% fat on World 2011 and now he has 10%

  16. JackedAndTan says:
    0
    0

    Pretty sure Italy and Russia will beat at least Poland for a finals spot.

    Is gonna be interesting to see what Magnussen can pull out in the freestyle leg, given that he most likely WILL have a Lezak-esque deficit to make up on the Americans/Japanese/whatever and thus will be filled with motivation.

    • Rafael says:
      0
      0

      I Think it will be pretty saddening for the japanese to watch Fujii being passed by Magnussen Cielo maybe even Agnel and Bieldermann..

      • Tea says:
        0
        0

        Agree, Japan’s sprint freestyle is going to be sad. However, they could hang in there for silver. I could see them in the lead, by close to two seconds over everyone but the Americans at halfway (with Brazil probably in third). Matsuda has been looking good, even though he’s more of a 200 flyer. I don’t envy Fujii being run down by all those freestylers, but he *should* get a big lead over them.

        As for Lezak’s record, it’s not going anywhere. He had a perfect start and drafted off the huge Alain Bernard for 90% of that leg. Maybe it’ll work out where Magnussen can get a boost from chasing Adrian, but 46.0 is just toooooo fast.

        • Rafael says:
          0
          0

          JPN is going to need a Huge Advantage.. and that is not given.

          Considering Brazil and AUS the biggest threat… Brazil will probably be around 1 second, at most 1.5 seconds after JPN on fly leg.. and Matsuda and kaio are probably on the same level.. maybe a little advantage for Kaio on the 100 fly…

          But if Fujii is not at least 1.5 seconds maybe even 2 in front of Cielo and Magnussen… he is probably going for a 48 mid… while the top freestylers will be going for a 46 mid high..

          • Tea says:
            0
            0

            Agree Almeida and Matsuda should be pretty close on the fly leg. Chris Wright for AUS looks a little better, but only about 1/2 second. Fujii may be a 48 low, whereas I think either Magnussen or Cielo, at the end of the week, would be happy with 46 high. .7 seconds from a relay start is a best-case scenario, and Magnussen at 47.10 flat start is a best-case scenario.

            Personally, I think the Australian team is a little overrated. On paper, of Braden’s top 8 teams, they have the #5 backstroker, #4 breaststroker, #3 flyer, and #1 freestyler. There’s a lot more spread in the backstroke and breaststroke times than the faster strokes (despite Magnussen’s outlier time), so I think back/breast will ultimately be more important. Also, I’m sure all the Aussies were shaved and tapered to make the team, so they might have less time to drop than an Irie or Almeida.

          • john26 says:
            0
            0

            @Tea,
            The Brazillians do not stand a chance against the Aussies on paper. The only leg where they hold an advantage is the breastroke. They are not being overrated because all the discussion so far has been speculation based on seed times. Based this form of analysis, the US start as big favorites over the Aussies and other teams as the Aussies are in the 4×100 free (almost 2 seconds).

            The key for Australia is that they have 4 swimmers that can make finals in their events, this is something that no other nation except for the US could confidently boast. Also, they have reliable performers, which is not something the other potential medaling countries can claim.

            If a country “upsets” Australia for silver, it will most likely be France or Japan, and of the two, there are large question marks over the reliability of the breast and free legs, respectively (Based on flat starts the Japanese anchor SHOULD be able to post a 48.3 anchor, but have not been able to produce such a performance which would very likely place them on the podium)

          • Rafael says:
            0
            0

            John

            France has a superbeg back leg.. but that´s it for the team…

            Any advantage Lacout can build over Pereira, França can easily counter.. and on fly and free Brazil has the upper hand ( not by a big margin but has, and Cielo is a guy who has proven himself to put up times when needed to) he has a 47.07 split with a terrible start (.33, he usally has a .61 RT).

            I think US will be first, with Australia Second and Brazil third.. and then JPN will be pretty tied to France and Germany. How close AUS and BRA will be it depends on how much will França deliver with his “right” weight.. now 3 to 4 kilos less than Maria Lenk.. If both teams are close, Mag and Cielo will be a battle thay may put Mag to break lezak time..

          • aswimfan says:
            0
            0

            TEA,

            How can the aussies be overrated when they already won silver at last year’s worlds?

          • Tea says:
            0
            0

            I think the Aussies look great on paper – their aggregate time is #2, and they took the silver last year. But, I think most of their swimmers are maxed out this year. Stoeckel and Rickard put up mediocre times at Aussie trials, when presumably they were on a full taper to make the team. They are 27-28 years old, so while they might drop a little time, I doubt seeing any huge breakthrough performances from either. A 53 high back leg will kill them…. if you can draft from behind on breast or fly, I’ve never seen it. Wright looks good, but every country has a 51-52 flyer on their squad. Magnussen is of course outstanding, but I doubt he’ll be faster than at trials, and he’ll have a lot to come back from.

            I like Brazil and Japan for these reasons…
            I’m sure the Brazilians have all rested for a meet this season, but Pereira, Silva, Alemeida, and Cielo were pretty much assured of making their events – they have a qualifying window instead of one meet. They can all potentially drop time.
            The Japanese all tapered for their trials, but Matsuda and Fujii haven’t really focused on their legs as individual events… yet. Just as much as you get an adrenaline rush from being behind, you can get an adrenaline rush from finding yourself diving in at the front of the pack next to Phelps.

  17. Tea says:
    0
    0

    Ages back, I remember seeing a PDF of world all-time bests that included fastest relay splits of all time. Does anyone know if there is still a place where fastest relay splits are compiled????

    • Ole 99 says:
      0
      0

      Per Craig Lord the top six textile freestyle relay splits are as follows:

      46.70 Van Den Hoogenband 2003
      47.00 Magnussen 2011
      47.03 Bousquet 2003
      47.07 Cielo 2011
      47.18 Magnini 2007
      47.20 Thorpe 2002

      • Rafael says:
        0
        0

        Pieter and Cielo Splits are (for me) the best of that list.

        Pieter catch up was (and still is) amazing.. perfect swim by one of the greatest freestyle swimmers ever.

        Cielo was pretty good too based on a terrible RT (0.33), Altitude and that he was the only one of that list that was not catching up someone and , brazil was already leading the relay..

        But On Emotion based Bousquet split was the best

      • Tea says:
        0
        0

        I thought Alexander Popov had 46 relay split once upon a time. Maybe I’m remembering wrong?

        • Rafael says:
          0
          0

          I´ve checed All OG and World Champs and found nothing.

          But probably on medley relay Cielo and Mag will beat Pieter time.. but considering how many years after just shows how amazing Pieter was

  18. Andre Lucena says:
    0
    0

    Cielo´s keep training hard for 100 free. Brazilians here can confirm: Cielo have condition to swim 100m free in 47 low. At the same way, a possible silver/bronze medal in this event can´t stop him for 21 low (and gold – new textile best, olympic record) or 20 at 50m. Cielo want a gold in 100 free, naturally, but he´s psychologically prepared for eventual gold for Magnussen. Cielo is mentally indestructible, much more than Magnussen, and it´s go to be seeing at Olympics.

  19. Kevin says:
    0
    0

    Wow, a few of us on this site know way too much about swimming. Some of these analyses are amazing.

Leave a Reply

Name will be published. Email address will not. By commenting you agree to our Terms of Use & Privacy Policy.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

The most common question asked about Braden Keith is "when does he sleep?" That's because Braden has, in two years in the game, become one of the most prolific writers in swimming at a level that has earned him the nickname "the machine" in some circles. He first got his feet …

Read More »