Rio 2016 Olympics Previews: U.S. Men Look to Reclaim 4×200 Relay Crown

Men’s 4×200 Freestyle

  • 2012 Olympic Champ: United States,6:59.70
  • 2015 World Champ: Great Britain, 7:04.33
  • World record: United States, 6:58.55

Up until last summer, the United States had owned the men’s 4×200 free relay ever since their upset of Australia at the 2004 Olympics.  Every summer from 2004-2015, Team USA came away victorious at their top international meet, often by huge margins.  However, in a perfect storm of poor preparation, a year-in-advance selection process, Michael Phelps not making the trip to Kazan, and strong competition, the U.S. saw their historic run come to an end.

Last summer, it was Great Britain who managed to pulled off the stunner, thanks to a 1:44.74 anchor leg from 20-year-old star James Guy.  Three of the four legs from that relay–Guy, Dan Wallace, and Robbie Renwick–will be competing in Rio, but their finals squad participants remains to be seen.  Guy and Renwick are virtually shoe-ins, though Wallace finished in seventh place at British Trials in 1:48.50 after a 1:47.04 leadoff leg last summer.  Stephen Milne, traditionally more of a distance swimmer, back-halfed his way to the second place slot at Trials in 1:47.15, but won’t be competing in the individual 200 in Rio.  Rising star Duncan Scott finished fourth at Trials (1:47.31), but is not on the “official” Rio entry list to compete.  Fifth-place finisher Cameron Kurle (1:47.82) will be Britain’s second individual Olympic representative.

This British quest for gold in Rio will be a steeper one than 2015.  Not necessarily because their squad is worse; their primarily competition is just better.  Even with their dismal performance in Kazan, the United States are the favorites.  Four Americans have been under 1:45.8 in the past year, while Australia is the only other country with more than one swimmer under 1:46.4.  Remarkably, that doesn’t include Michael Phelps, who’s a shoe-in for a sub-1:46 split, even on an off day.  The new-found hope in American middle distance swimming is attributed to Longhorn training partners Townley Haas and Jack Conger hitting their stride at the right time.  Add in stalwarts Ryan Lochte and Conor Dwyer, and the U.S. is tracking to once again challenge the 7:00-barrier.

Australia–bronze medalists in Kazan–is still on the a rebound from a five-year lull where they didn’t win a medal at a World Championships or Olympics, though with the ascendance of Cam McEvoy alongside the experienced trio of Thomas Fraser-Holmes, David McKeon, and Daniel Smith, they’ll give the British squad all it can handle.

Russia would have been in the medal mix, but may be stuck on the outside looking in following the recent inelibility penalties levied by FINA.  While Danila Izotov and Alexander Krasnyikh (arguably their two fastest) are still on the squad, now-banned Mikhail Dovgalyuk and Nikita Lobintsev were both expected to compete on this relay.   Russia will have to rely on their 5th and 6th place finishers from Trials: Vyacheslav Andrusenko and Alexander Sukhorukov.

Japan missed the Worlds championship final in 2015, but with the ever-versatile Kosuke Hagino back in full form from an elbow injury that kept him out of Kazan (he was 1:45.50 in April), expect them to make the top 8 with ease, and be in the running for a medal.  Yuki Kobori, Daiya Seto, and the seemingly-ageless Takeshi Matsuda will all battle with Naito Ehara, who put together a breakthrough 1:46.66 at the KONAMI Open in February, for the final three relay spots.

One big unknown: China.  While the Chinese delegation is not sending any “relay only” 4×200 participants to Rio, they have the talent to put together a solid team.  In addition to Sun Yang, Wang Shun (1:47.3 earlier this season), Shang Keyuan (#2 qualifier in the individual 200), and Qiu Zhao (3:47.99 in the 400 free) will all be competing individually in Rio.  Should the Chinese choose to put a relay together that includes Sun Yang (he didn’t swim the 4×200 in Kazan), they should push for a finals slot.  For now, though, we will leave them out of our rankings.

And then there’s the French.  Back in 2011, with a young Yannick Agnel and Jeremy Stravius at the helm, France appeared to be the only team who could legitimately give the U.S. a run over the next five years in the 800 free relay.  The French finished a distant second in London, but their 7:02.77 was one of the top non-U.S. times in history, and given Agnel was just 20 years old at the time, there was no question the future looked bright.  Since then, however, France has struck out, failing to medal at 2013 Worlds and 2014 Euros, and completely missing the championship final last summer.  Agnel and Stravius are still around, and while a finals appearance is in play, the outlook in Rio isn’t what fans may have expected coming out of the previous Olympic Games.

Four other European teams will be in the hunt positions in the championship final:

  • The Netherlands: Sebastiaan Verschuren and Dion Dreesens gives the Dutch a great 1-2 punch, and the improvement of Maarten Brzoskowski (1:47.17 in April) provides some much-needed depth.
  • Germany: Paul Biedermann has been one of the world’s best for nearly a decade, and he has a solid group around him.  Florian Vogel earned himself a spot on the relay with a big time drop at the German Championships in May (1:46.44), and Christoph Fildebrandt is peaking at the right time.
  • Belgium: The Belgians have been sneaky-good this Olympiad, finaling or medaling in all three of their major international meets since London.  Veteran Pieter Timmers has been the linchpin, but Glenn Surgeloose, who recently dropped a 1:46.91 after a three-year plateau, could be the difference-maker
  • Poland: We’re familiar with Jan Switkowski’s work at the University of Florida, but watch for Kacper Marjchrzak (1:46.46 at Polish Nationals), as well

 

Place Country Best Time (Since 2012 Olympics) Predicted Time in Rio
1 USA 7:01.72 7:00.85
2 Australia 7:05.34 7:03.15
3 Great Britain 7:04.33 7:03.50
4 Japan 7:04.95 7:03.85
5 Russia 7:03.92 7:05:10
6 France 7:04.71 7:05.75
7 Germany 7:09.00 7:07.90
8 Netherlands 7:09.64 7:08.00

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Comments

  1. Rafael says:

    Morgan China won’t swim 4×200 as they have not qualified. Also Italy specially and Brazil may try to find a spot on final with Germany Netherlands and Belgium

  2. King in da norf says:

    Yanks
    Aussies
    Brits

  3. Iain says:

    2016 ranks – only athletes picked for the Olympics included:

    Men 4x200m Freestyle
    USA – C. Dwyer, T. Haas, J. Conger, R. Lochte
    1:45.41, 1:45.66, 1:45.77, 1:46.62 – 7:03.46
    AUS – T. Fraser-Holmes, C. McEvoy, D. McKeon, D. Smith
    1:45.63, 1:45.63, 1:46.61, 1:46.87 – 7:04.74
    JPN – K. Hagino, N. Ehara, T. Matsuda, Y. Kobori
    1:45.50, 1:46.66, 1:46.88, 1:47.27 – 7:06.31
    GER – P. Biedermann, F. Vogel, C. Fildebrandt, C. Rapp,
    1:45.45, 1:46.44, 1:47.06, 1:47.63 – 7:06.58
    GBR – J. Guy, S. Milne, R. Renwick, D. Scott
    1:45.19, 1:47.15, 1:47.23, 1:47.28 – 7:06.85
    FRA – J. Stravius, J. Pothain, Y. Agnel, L. Bourelly
    1:46.18, 1:46.81, 1:46.99, 1:47.83 – 7:07.81
    NED – S. Verschuren, D. Dreesens, M. Brzoskowski, K. Stolk
    1:45.87, 1:46.93, 1:47.17, 1:48.44 – 7:08.41
    BEL – G. Surgeloose, P. Timmers, L. Croenen, E. Vanluchene
    1:46.91, 1:47.34, 1:47.53, 1:48.04 – 7:08.82
    ITA – G. Detti, A. D’Arrigo, L. Dotto, M. Belotti
    1:46.78, 1:47.56, 1:47.74, 1:47.81 – 7:09.89
    RUS – A. Krasnykh, D. Izotov, V. Andrusenko, A. Sukhorukov
    1:47.00, 1:47.74, 1:48.00, 1:48.34 – 7:11.08
    POL – K. Majchrzak, J. Switkowski, P. Korzeniowski, K. Klich
    1:46.46, 1:47.43, 1:48.67, 1:48.77 – 7:11.33
    BRA – N. Oliveira, J. De Lucca, L. Melo, A. Pereira
    1:46.97, 1:47.65, 1:48.29, 1:48.72 – 7:11.63
    RSA – C. Le Clos, M. Brown, S. Rousseau, C. Justus
    1:46.68, 1:47.53, 1:48.80, 1:49.63 – 7:12.64
    HUN – D. Kozma, P. Bernek, G. Kis, B. Gratz
    1:47.38, 1:47.43, 1:49.02, 1:49.17 – 7:13.00
    DEN – A. Lie, S. Dahl, D. Skaaning, M. Westermann
    1:48.29, 1:48.97, 1:49.02, 1:49.20 – 7:15.48
    ESP – V. Martin, A. Puig, M. Duran, C. Castro
    1:48.66, 1:48.73, 1:49.20, 1:49.31 – 7:15.90

  4. Years of Plain Suck says:

    I’d be curious to hear others’ suggestions for the American personnel in the finals of the 4×200.

    Is it a foregone conclusion that Phelps will swim the 4×200 finals? Remember, the finals of the 200 fly is, what 40 minutes earlier.

    Assuming Haas, Dwyer, and Phelps will be in the finals, does that make the prelims a swim-off between Lochte and Conger for the fourth spot?

    On the other hand, the fitness level of both Haas and Dwyer will be shown on days 2-3 in the individual 200 free. I remember back in 1996 (when trials were held in March), John Piersma, the trials winner in the 200, didn’t swim well in the individual 200 — and was dropped from the 4×200 entirely (and received no gold medal).

    Whadya think?

    • Iain says:

      I will be surprised if Phelps swims this relay. He hasn’t really shown anything to justify it and, even if he’s in great form, the US don’t need him, so why take the risk.

      • Years of Plain Suck says:

        I think the 4×200 is going to be closer than you think.

        A semi-tapered MP beat Conger twice (both flys) and Lochte (200IM). MP’s time trial in the 100 free on Saturday shows that his freestyle has come around. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out — especially if Phelps leads off the 4×100 free relay in a fast time.

        • Years of Plain Suck says:

          Plus, there is the “NBC FACTOR.” Remember, this is the organization that paid $1.2B for Oly rights and was able to move swimming to 10-12 PM at night. I think NBC reckons that they’d have more viewers if they can promote that MP “will be coming up again in 25 minutes to swim in the relay. Don’t go away!”

          • Dino says:

            If there is any broadcast factor needed, I suggest NBC focus on Lochte’s possibility 4 straight on this event. Like, a little bit more Lochte promo will be appreciate. 🙂

          • Sportinindc says:

            God help us if NBC had any control over relay spots. That would suck.

        • Dino says:

          You said this relay will be closer than we think, shouldn’t US need 4 fresh guys(as fresh as they can) to do the final? Instead you’re suggesting Phelps who will had an intense 200 fly final 45 min before it? It’s not like we don’t have guys to step up for this relay. And I don’t understand your standard for using different events to measure swimmers.

          • Years of Plain Suck says:

            Food for thought.

            NBC exposes my cynical side. Never under-estimate the power of big TV to have its way — especially in sports. For example, did you think NFL football players like playing on Thursday night just four days after their previous Sunday game, and before they’re fully recovered?

            Also 4 years ago, an “out-of-shape” MP took silver in the 200 fly, and came back a short time later to anchor the relay in 1:44.3 (which they needed against Agnel).

          • Dino says:

            So I follow your logic to check on Trials result who else did Phelps beat on other events that make him more reliable in this relay. Bentz was 4th in 200 fly and 4th in 200 IM. He beat 3 guys in this relay(if Dwyer swim the 200 IM, I’m sure Phelps will beat him too, that’s make 4 guys beaten by Phelps). I guess you’re right, US need him on this relay.

        • Skoorbnagol says:

          Semi tapered, yeah ok

          • Beachbumj343 says:

            Phelps said a few times since trials that he rested a little bit so yes he was far from full tapered

          • weirdo says:

            you believe that? i don’t. but i think he has another gear for sure cause he always steps it up….not because he wasn’t fully rested.

      • weirdo says:

        I agree why take the risk, but Michael and Bob have egos and more medals=more money.

      • Janice says:

        It’s not ONLY about times, it’s about leadership and experience, and Phelps is a first-time Olympic team captain which speaks for his ability to lead this time around. Psychologically, it is of great benefit to the other swimmers to have Phelps’ commanding presence when everyone is nervous as heck. Lately, the relays have not looked good without him. If Phelps is swimming well at the Olympics, my guess is Bowman will put Phelps in all three relays.

    • Pvdh says:

      Haas Dwyer Conger Lochte

  5. Iain says:

    As others have said, China do NOT have the option to swim a 4x200m – they haven’t qualified.

    You rate Germany pretty slow and Russia bizarrely high – obviously done on reputation rather than research.

    Should be:
    USA
    AUS
    Great tussle – GBR, JPN, GER, maybe FRA

    • Morgan Priestley says:

      ……….. you do know that Russia was 4th last summer, with a 2+ second gap between them and 5th, right?

      • Iain says:

        You have spotted that things change? Their combined times rank them 10th this year, a full second off 9th. I could easily see them behind POL as well.

        It’s difficult to predict which teams will make a relay final, but putting that aside you seem to be expecting Russia to drop 1.5 seconds from last year with a squad that is slower on paper. Why would this happen?

        • Attila the Hunt says:

          It is indeed very strange that Morgan is upbeat on the Russians when 200 freestyle specialists Michael Dovgalyuk and Nikita Lobintsev are out, not to mention the moral damage the Russia ban is causing to the team.

  6. Pvdh says:

    USA – gold
    AUS – silver
    JAP – bronze.

    Gbr didn’t show anything in this race this year outside James Guy

  7. Skoorbnagol says:

    Dwyer – consistent 1.46 all year, you know what your getting
    Lochte – big balls going 1.45.0 will break any cautious swimmers or bottlers
    Haas – will finish strong and is the ‘unknown’ to the world outside USA
    Conger – give him his monent, everyone agrees he’s the real deal and has great closing speed.

    6.59.5-7.00.2
    Range
    USA gold

    If Aus swim David mckeon they won’t medal, if the team is:
    TFH
    Cam
    Smith
    Mack
    Think they’ll be silver
    GBR / jap bronze

  8. Sir Swimsalot says:

    The top 4 at Trials (Haas, Dwyer, Conger, Lochte) should be more than solid for Rio in finals. Phelps has other things to focus on.

  9. Uberfan says:

    Phelps can throw down a 1:46 split even on an off day when the fastest he’s been this season is a 1:48.21. As amazing as Michael is I don’t see him fitting in on this relay. I’m excited to see Ryan lochte to redeem himself I think he should be the anchor or lead off

  10. tea rex says:

    Which is more of a gamble: putting Conger on the 4×200 after the 200 fly, or putting Phelps on the 4×200 after the 200 fly?
    Katie McLaughlin pulled off this same double admirably last summer, but it’s pretty brutal.
    I think Conger at least has to prove himself in the prelims for a spot. My guess is:

    Prelims:
    Pieroni (moves off the hyper-competitive 4×100, but he still HAS to swim something)
    C Smith
    Bentz
    Conger
    — A 1:45 low is needed to be on the final relay.

    Finals:
    Dwyer
    Haas
    Lochte
    *Either a prelims swimmer, or Phelps

    That’s a little risky putting Lochte directly into the final, but he has the experience. The worst I see him splitting is a 1:46. If two prelims guy are 1:45.5 or faster, we may have a final with no Phelps or Lochte, but that’s a big IF.

    • Dino says:

      Not sure I understand your either this or that question on Conger…He didn’t qualify at 200 fly, there is no risk to swim him at the relay final.
      Agree he need to swims the prelims, 3-6 at Trails do the prelims, 2 individual spot swimmers will be saving for final, fastest 2 join Haas and Dwyer on final.
      About Pieroni, is it wise to ask him do a 200 free at Rio at this point?
      I mean, he prepares the 4×100 free for a month right?
      And I assume he didn’t expects to swim 200 free for this whole month in the training camp.
      His 200 free could be worse than Trials.

    • Haas 1:41 says:

      Why would Lochte be a finals swimmer if he was about a full second behind Conger at trials? I would switch Lochte and Conger for sure. I also don’t think Phelps will swim this relay because of the double with 2 fly finals. IMO it will be Smith, Bentz, Pieroni, Lochte for prelims and Haas, Conger, fastest split, and Dwyer for finals.

      • Dino says:

        Noticed your username. ????

      • Uberfan says:

        Because at trials he had a groin injury and in Kazan he lead off with a 1:45.71

      • SwimmerFoxJet says:

        1:44.02 split in 200 free after 200 fly in London. Terrible shape.
        1:45.7 at trials.
        Phelps always, always preforms on relays.
        He split a 1:46.0 in 2014, just months after coming out of retirement. I think he is needed on the relay to break 7 minutes.

  11. Dave says:

    Gah. Every time I see those Kazan results, it annoys me anew.

    • Dino says:

      Order of the relay is important, just put the fastest guy on anchor.
      Seriously who made the brilliant decision to put 2 fastest guy on first two leg and expect some rookie(who didn’t has WC experience) to hold on World Champion Guy?

      • Danjohnrob says:

        Absolutely! I felt so sorry for that anchor swimmer. If an age-group coach did that at a championship meet he’d be crucified by the team parents, believe me!

        • SwimmerFoxJet says:

          That is exactly what happened at my state championship meet, I saw the 11 and 12 relays, the guys who sucked went last.

  12. tm71 says:

    My picks
    USA
    AUS
    GBR

  13. thomaslurzfan says:

    Its really funny to see that german swimmers are underestimated in almost all events, hopefully their opponents will do the same. The combined time of our relay is 7:06.58, but they will be more than 1s slower with fyling starts … seems logic. I expect at least sub 7:05 by the german relay and i really dont see a reason why France or Russia should beat them. I also dont think that Japan is much faster on paper.

    • thomaslurzfan says:

      I think our relay has to gamble in prelims if theywant to win a medal.
      We should swim prelims with Fildebrandt (1:47.06), Rapp (1:47.63), Heidtmann (1:47.84) and Zellman (1:48.01).
      Vogel is the biggest question mark, all others should drop time in Rio. Our relay needs a sub 1:46 split by Vogel if they want to fight for a medal.

      • Clutch says:

        They won’t gamble. Zellmann is not nominated.
        And Biedermann really has to swim the prelims, because he always needs a race to wake up.

        • thomaslurzfan says:

          Really sad, he deserved to be in Rio just like Kusch. Wierling would be a very good option for the prelims, but sadly his schedule is too packed, so he probably wont swim the 800 free relay. I still think that Heidtmann should swim the prelims instead of Biedermann. This year it will be very difficult to win a medal, but the future looks bright with Vogel, Heidtmann, Zellmann, Wierling, Hintze. All have the potential to go sub 1:47 in the next 2 or 3 years.

  14. Dee says:

    1. USA
    2. Australia
    3. GBR

    Despite 3-5 being close on paper, I am confident GBR will nick the bronze. I feel is James Guy we hold the trump card, and I expect big things from Duncan Scott after his 48.8 relay lead-off a few weeks ago at Scottish Nats. Renwick is always reliable for a solid 1.46 low split. Whoever is fastest out of Milne, Kurle, Wallace and Lloyd will likely have to be around 1.47.0 flatstart. Japan the most likely quartet to split the top 3 from last years World Championships.

    • Iain says:

      I do agree, but who swims prelims for GB? Do we risk resting anyone apart from Guy?

      • Dee says:

        My biggest concern is GB coaches getting ‘cocky’, like they did with the ladies in 2008, and missing the final.

        It really depends on form, but I think British Swimming will feel propelled to ‘justify’ the bizarre decision to take 7 men with an eye on the 4×200.

        The problem is, how do you decide between Milne, Lloyd, Renwick, Scott, Kurle & Wallace when only one of those men will have swum a competitive 200fr before 4×200 heats? British Swimming have given themselves more headaches by taking so many men, in my opinion.

        If GBR make the final, Guy on anchor is really the only guarantee.

  15. Jrsaba says:

    Italy swam 7:08 at the Euros this year. Why aren’t they even expected to be in the final?

    • Nick says:

      Beacuse swimswam underestimate all european countries

      • iLikePsych says:

        Or because it would be crazy to expect the USA and Australia not to make it, Japan has two 1:45 studs, and there are only 5 spots left to choose 10+ potential countries from Europe.

  16. commonwombat says:

    Maybe not the greatest vintage USA M4X200 of all time, but they will not need to be to win this comprehensively. Being “rolled” in Kazan will have registered loud & clear and they aren’t going to allow a repeat. Furthermore, there isn’t any other team that can remotely challenge them.

    GBR took full advantage of the rare opportunity to hit USA when they were out of tune but the odds of a repeat are astronomic. Furthermore, they look distinctly weaker than they were last year and are no sure bets to even podium.

    In fact, the bottom 2 steps of the podium could go any number of ways between the likes of GBR, AUS, JAP, GER & FRA. All possess some notable strengths but are uneven in depth & consistency of performance.

    As for the time estimates, probably “ball park” for the USA but ridiculously optimistic for everyone else

    • robbos says:

      I think you will find that the Aussies are pretty clear 2nd favourites. As a matter of fact, if you see the time trials above in Iain’s post, the Aussies are further from 3rd then they are to the US who is the clear favourite.
      Now clearly understand, the US can throw in Phelps & Lochte, which will further their favouritism, but the Aussies have the depth in Chalmers, Hansford & Horton, who swam a 1.45 relay leg in the junior WC a couple of years ago.

      • commonwombat says:

        You have two solid legs; TFH & Smith. Looking at a 1.45split & a 1.46mid-low

        McEvoy is at/near the top of the tree when it comes to the 100fr relay but in this one, he’s very inconsistent. Maybe he will deliver something here but he’s yet to split below 1.46 on this relay, even at meets where he’s in sub48 100fr shape.

        Who’s your 4th leg ? Sorry but I wouldn’t trust Mr Tourist outside the kiddie’s paddling pool even with water wings. Horton DID swim a 1.45 split ….. 3 years ago but since then his 200 has been meh. Would be surprised if he’s below 1.47. Hansford is a recipient of inexplicable charity on the part of the selectors …. adds nothing, a 1.47man.. I’d plump for Chalmers, he may be a bit erratic (eg 2015 Jr Worlds) but I think he has the best potential top-side.

        Yes, they COULD win silver but its conditional on them all swimming at/close to their best. If they have more than one 1.47, your very plausible scenario gets a little blurry.. The coaches WILL need to be extremely careful over who they select for the heats as its all fairly even & they don’t want to repeat 2013 Worlds.

        • robbos says:

          Mr Tourist was poor 2012 Olympics & 2013 WC.
          However, he had a flying start 1.45.8 in the 2014 commonwealth games & a 1.47.05 flat start last year. I would accept either of those as my 4th swimmer.
          As for McEvoy, he will be swimming one 200 free in RIO, the 4×200 & I expect that to be amongst the top 5 in the whole race.
          Add the other 2 safe bets, you have your silver medalist. You still have depth in Horton, who can go 1.45, Chalmers & Hansford, both solid 1.47 low swimmers. Outside of US, I do not see any other country with a low 1.47 4th swimmer.

  17. Lp Man says:

    This relay is all dependent on Phelps potential performance on the 4 x100 free relay. If prelims swimmers are going 48 lows for splits (or 47 highs for that matter), that will not be enough to justify taking Phelps off the relay. So I think Phelps swims in finals and splits a 47.4. A 47.4 will convince the coaches that not only is his freestyle the real deal but also that he is capable of dropping a 1:45.00 flat start for the 200 crawl relay. That makes the relay Phelps, Haas, dwyer and either Lochte or conger. I think Lochte will throw out of 1:45.5-.75 split and that will fall short of Congers 1:45 low, so conger gets that final spot. Here is my prediction on time and order…
    Haas 1:45.5
    Dwyer 1:44.75
    Conger 145.25
    Phelps 1:44.5

    7::00.00 on the money and the gold with 2+ seconds to apare

  18. Nick says:

    Before making predictions it’s good to look at the times form European Championships form this year
    It’s annoying that Swimswam always forgets about many european countries which will surely make the final

  19. Taylor says:

    The Netherlands won the 2016 European championship in a time of 7:07.82 (Dion Dreesens: 1:47.92, Maarten Brzoskowski: 1:46.55, Kyle Stolk: 1:47.88, Sebastiaan Verschuren: 1:45.47). While I don’t see them winning a medal, I think they can definitely go faster than 7:08:00 as written in this article. I also think Italy have a good chance of making the final

    • thomaslurzfan says:

      Many dutch swimmers seemed to peak for the european championships, the same is true for many greek/ukrainian/italian swimmers, i am not sure that they will be (much) faster in Rio. Most of them knew that they had no chance to win a medal in Rio, so they gave everything to win a medal at the european championships. Many dutch athletes did the same at the athletics european championships in Amsterdam this year. The dutch medal contenders (Hassan and Schippers) on the other hand didnt bother to peak for their home european championships, in order to be at their best in Rio.

    • Iain says:

      And Dreesens swam a full second faster (1:46.93) on first in the heats

  20. bobo gigi says:

    Still the same mystery. Will MP swim or not that event?
    The only thing which could prevent USA from winning the gold would be MP in big trouble just after swimming a very intense 200 fly final.
    That’s one of the many reasons why I didn’t want to see him swim the 200 fly. I just fear that he dies just after a grueling 200 fly.
    But once again I just hope he will make me wrong and will win the gold in both events. 😎
    2 possible line-ups for USA:
    MP/Lochte or Conger/Haas/Dwyer
    Haas/Lochte/Conger/Dwyer

    France has 3 very solid legs with Agnel, Stravius and Pothain. But it lacks a decent 4th guy and it would be easier with Agnel version 2012. 🙂

    Australia has 4 solid guys. If USA fails they’ll win.

  21. MTK says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure it was indicated by Phelps that he would pass on the 4×200. Not sure that the turnaround after 200fly gives him enough recovery time either. Plus I think the U.S. can win this one without him. If Lochte is back in 1:45.mid form that he has been in recent years, then all of the flying starts on the U.S. team could potentially be sub 1:45. No other country can challenge that.

    Just use 3-6 from trials (Conger, Lochte, Bentz, Smith) in prelims, and the 2 fastest (which I’m sure will be Conger and Lochte) get to swim finals with Haas and Dwyer.

  22. Julio Plaintan says:

    I don’t think Phelps should skip this event. Even if Phelps goes 1:46, USA will win this race and Phelps should not give up on this chance of winning 1 easy gold medal. Conor Dwyer and Townley Haas are sure locks for this race. Michael Phelps should also participate and that makes it 3 guys.

    Lochte will earn a gold medal if he swims in prelims. Lochte, Conger, Gunnar Bentz and Clark Smith should swim the prelims and either Conger or Lochte should progress to the final.

    Finals Prediction

    Haas- 1:45
    Lochte/Conger- 1:45.3
    Phelps- 1:44.7
    Dwyer- 1:44.5

    Final Time- 6:59.5 Gold for USA

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About Morgan Priestley

Morgan Priestley

A recent graduate of Stanford University and Birmingham, Michigan native, Morgan Priestley started writing for SwimSwam in February 2013 on a whim, and is loving that his tendency to follow and over-analyze swim results can finally be put to good use. Morgan swam competitively for 15+ years, primarily excelling in the …

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