Relay Lineups: Dressel Will Be Lone Male Anchor On Mixed 400 Medley


The official lineups for the inaugural mixed 400 medley relay Olympic final have been released, and the Americans have put Caeleb Dressel on the anchor leg.

The U.S. team will consist of Ryan MurphyLydia JacobyTorri Huske and Dressel, a full exchange of swimmers from the preliminaries. All four finished in the top four of their respective individual events.

The Americans will be the only team to have a male swimmer on the freestyle leg, meaning they’ll be facing a deficit at the final exchange, and Dressel will try to mow everyone down. It should make for good TV.

This means the coaching staff favored the Murphy-Jacoby over Regan Smith and Michael Andrew, despite the Smith/Andrew combination being faster on paper. Nic Fink was also an option with Andrew seemingly declining in terms of performance quality as the meet has unfolded.

The Huske/Dressel back-half is virtually identical to a Dressel/Abbey Weitzeil combo.

Check out a look at the optimal lineups, purely based on times posted in Tokyo (no relay splits):

Only three of the remaining seven squads have gone with the traditional two male/two female strategy—Russia, Italy and China—while Great Britain, Australia, the Netherlands and Australia will book-end their teams with females and have the men swim the middle two legs.

Compared to the heats, the Brits have swapped in Anna Hopkin for Freya Anderson on freestyle, while #4 seed Australia has moved out three of their four athletes, adding Kaylee McKeown, Matthew Temple and Emma McKeon to join breaststroker Zac Stubblety-Cook. Notably, they chose not to use men’s 100 freestyle silver medalist Kyle Chalmers on free and used McKeon on fly.

The other team making some major changes was the Russian Olympic Committee, brining in men’s 100 back champion Evgeny Rylov on the lead-off and Svetlana Chimrova on fly.

Italy has made a substantial upgrade on backstroke, brining in 52.3 swimmer Thomas Ceccon, while the Dutch team has moved out Ranomi Kromowidjojo and activated Femke Heemskerk on the anchor.


  1. ROC (Evgeny Rylov, Kirill Prigoda, Svetlana Chimrova, Mariia Kameneva)
  2. Italy (Thomas Ceccon, Nicolo Martinenghi, Elena di Liddo, Federica Pellegrini)
  3. China (Xu Jiayu, Yan Zibei, Zhang Yufei, Yang Junxuan)
  4. Great Britain (Kathleen Dawson, Adam Peaty, James Guy, Anna Hopkin)
  5. United States (Ryan Murphy, Lydia Jacoby, Torri Huske, Caeleb Dressel)
  6. Australia (Kaylee McKeown, Zac Stubblety-Cook, Matthew Temple, Emma McKeon)
  7. Netherlands (Kira Toussaint, Arno Kamminga, Nyls Korstanje, Femke Heemskerk)
  8. Israel (Anastasia Gorbenko, Itay Goldfaden, Gal Cohen Groumi, Andi Murez)

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1 month ago


Texas Tap Water
Reply to  SwimFan01
1 month ago


1 month ago

I for one am buzzing for that. Can already hear Rowdy screaming that Dressel will win and to trust them even if they come 7th.

Reply to  Jack
1 month ago

This aged exceptionally well.

1 month ago

For USA to win, Dressel will need a Lezak type split

Dressel will come 3rd in 100 free in Paris
1 month ago

So he will actually be in the women’s wash by the time he enters the pool.


Will he even notice the wash?

1 month ago

F for American coaches

Reply to  MichaelTran
1 month ago

They don’t give af anymore

1 month ago

I like this decision. If not for anything else because it will be exciting to see if Dressel can run the whole field down

Texas Tap Water
Reply to  Walls
1 month ago

Aged like milk

1 month ago

What’s the point of prelims if a team switches out their entire lineup? An opportunity for more swimmers to bring home more medals?

Reply to  Swimmer
1 month ago

Yeah so like 90% of the american team can call themselves an olimpic medalist

1 month ago

If we’re within 5.5 seconds of Australia, and 7 seconds of GB and China then he’s got a chance. Gonna be fun to watch.

Reply to  David
1 month ago

You think he can pull back 7s on Hopkin who went 52.7 flat start? Big ask.

Dressel will come 3rd in 100 free in Paris
Reply to  Dee
1 month ago

If he pulls back 7 seconds on Hopkin, Lezak will no longer hold the fastest ever relay split.

Reply to  Dee
1 month ago

Ya…probably would need Hopkin to swim slower, but who knows…if he’s able to draft off a woman the last 10 meters we could see the first ever 45 second relay split.

Reply to  David
1 month ago

There is absolutely no way there will be any draft, let alone one large enough, for him to split 45. He’s going to be swimming through waves.

Lezak caught the draft at the beginning of the race, not the end.

Texas Tap Water
Reply to  David
1 month ago

Yeah, no.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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