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As reported by SwimSwam / Braden Keith
MEN’S 4×100 FREESTYLE RELAY – FINALS
2012 World Champ: 3:06.40 – United States
2010 World Champ: 3:04.78 – France
Meet Record: 3:04.78 – France – 2010 3:03.78 – France – 2014
World Record: 3:03.30 – United States – 2009
The men’s 400 free relay final was an entirely different landscape in finals than prelims. Whereas in the morning, only two swimmers were better than 46.5 (and neither of them raced in finals); in the evening, it took a couple of 45’s or a lot of 46-lows to be in the hunt for a medal.
France got that and then some as they roared to a new Meet Record of 3:03.78 – breaking the 2010 effort of 3:04.78 done by their countrymates four years ago.
Clement Mignon – 47.05
Fabien Gilot – 46.13
Florent Manaudou – 44.80
Mehdy Metella – 45.80
Manaudou’s 44.80 means he now moves within range of the 44.94 World Record belonging to Amaury Leveaux – which has stood since 2008 in the individual.
Meanwhile, the French had to come from behind (and even after Manaudou’s impressive split, they still were only 2nd) thanks to an explosive leadoff from Russian Vlad Morozov of 45.51. That broke the Meet Record in the individual 100 free. Joined by Sergei Fesikov (46.01), Danila Izotov (45.79), and Mikhail Polishchuk (46.87), the Russians were four-tenths behind in 3:04.18 for 2nd place. Everyone on that Russian relay swam very well, they just didn’t have an anchor to hold off France’s young star Metella. When Evgeny Sedov gets healthy for Worlds in 2015 and the Olympics in 2016, that won’t be a problem much longer for Russia.
The Americans took 3rd in 3:05.58 – though they were out of medal position (6th after Jimmy Feigen, 7th after Matt Grevers) until Ryan Lochte and Tom Shields anchored in matching 46.02’s. Lochte’s swim pulled them to 3rd, and Shields’ snuck past Italy for the bronze 3:05.58-3:05.79.
Australia took 5th in 3:06.48 after a 46.56 leadoff from Cameron McEvoy; Belgium was 6th in 3:07.54, Japan was 7th in 3:07.79, and Brazil, without Cesar Cielo, was 8th in 3:08.31. Cielo probably would’ve pulled the Brazilians up a few spots, but not enough to medal. Joao de Lucca had a nice 45.65 split for Brazil, though.