Men’s 400 IM prelims
Ryan Lochte, already with 4 gold medals under his belt, looks to have gotten a good start on his 5th with a top seed in the 400 IM prelim of 4:11.89. There’s not many conclusions that can be drawn from a rather-casual Lochte swim, other than the fact that he was already dominant. In the final, his only danger will be the chase of a few very good breaststrokers, specifically Yuya Horihata of Japan (4:13.68), Chaosheng Huang of China (4:14.07), and David Verraszto (4:15.01). All three could beat Lochte on the breaststroke leg, which is something he didn’t face in the 200 IM.
A great story to sneak into the final 8th is Britain’s Roberto Pavoni. He had to sit through the entire first 7 days of the meet to make his very first swim of the meet in this 400 IM, and he qualified for a 2nd swim in a 4:16.48.
The USA’s Tyler Clary looked to coast at least as much as Lochte, especially on the freestyle leg, and will be the 4th seed in 4:14.98.
Brazil’s Thiago Pereira scratched this final, which is disappointing as he placed 4th in this event in Rome.
Men’s 400 IM Prelims.
Women’s 400 IM prelims
This women’s 400 IM prelim was a very interesting one. The USA’s Elizabeth Beisel took by far the top seed in 4:34.95, which is within a second of her seed time. It was hard to get a good feel for her effort level in this prelim, but she was well ahead of her competitors.
Finally getting a good swim in was Spain’s Mireia Belmonte Garcia in 4:36.36 for the 2nd seed. That makes this her first final of the meet after earning 3 golds and 2 silvers at the short course World Championships in Dubai. If there were only one race where she would have been pegged to medal, with her extreme training levels, it would probably be this 400 IM.
Behind Belmonte, in a cluster in the 4:36’s, were Caitlin Leverenz, who had a great breaststroke leg predictably, and Barbora Zavadova of the Czech Republic. Zavadova’s swim of 4:36.96 shattered the National Record by just shy of 5 seconds to surprise from an outside lane.
Rounding out the finalists are Stephanie Rice of Australia, who looked really good on the front half, Hannah Miley of Great Britain, Xunaxu Li of China, and Shiwen Ye of China. Ye won the 200 IM with an incredible closing freestyle leg, but in this 400 she doesn’t seem to be able to get anywhere near that same closing speed.
Women’s 400 IM Prelims.
Men’s 400 medley relay
After this prelims of the 400 medley relay, the Americans suddenly go from 50/50 for the gold medal to heavy favorites. That’s because the French finished 2nd in a slow final heat, and placed 9th overall to shockingly miss the final as the top seed. The Americans, however thrived in this prelim to take the top seed in 3:32.42 with a squad of David Plummer, Eric Shanteau, Tyler McGill, and Garrett Weber-Gale. Weber-Gale looked fantastic on the anchor in 47.3, which was much faster than he swam on the 400 free relay. In fact, that split on the 400 free relay would have given the USA the win. But it’s hard to line up a taper for two races that are 7 days apart, so the difference in times is not unexpected.
The Germans recovered from a struggling meet to be seeded 2nd in 3:33.69, without Paul Biedermann, who may be subbed in for the final. The Netherlands, who we liked as a darkhorse, is 3rd in 3:34.59.
Japan, Australia, Canada, Poland (who won that final heat and was the only team to qualify out of it), and Great Britain.
Full men’s 400 medley result.
Full day 8 results here.