Women’s 4×200 Free Finals Lineups: Weinstein To Lead Off, Sims Anchoring


The relay lineups for the finals of the women’s 4×200 free relay have been released, with many changes made from prelims.

Despite recording the slowest split on the prelims relay (1:58.35), the United States is having 15-year-old Claire Weinstein lead off, most likely due to her best time of 1:56.94 set in the individual 200 free two days ago. Notably, they are also having her Sandpipers teammate Bella Sims as anchor, a position that usually Katie Ledecky takes. Sims anchored the prelims relay in 1:55.91, which was the fastest out of the entire field. Instead, veterans Leah Smith and Ledecky will be squeezed in between rookies Weinstein and Sims as the second and third legs.

Canada has replaced three out of the four members of their prelims relay, only retaining Taylor Ruck. She will be joined alongside Kayla Sanchez, Summer McIntosh, and Penny Oleksiak. Three out of the four Canadians on this relay will have session doubles, as Sanchez and Oleksiak will be swimming the 100 free semifinals and McIntosh will have the 200 fly finals.

Australia bumped up Kiah Melverton from the prelims relay, which makes sense considering that she recorded the fastest split on her team (1:56.49). Notably, they went with the veteran Leah Neale over Lani Pallister to take the second vacant spot on the finals relay alongside Mollie O’Callaghan and Madi Wilson. Neale led off the prelims relay in 1:57.03 whereas Pallister split 1:56.86 off a rolling start.

China has opted to to bring in Li Bingjie and Ai Yanhan from their prelims squad to join Tang Muhan and Yang Junxuan.  This leaves out Zhang Yufei, who was on last year’s world record breaking relay, and Lao Lihui, who split 1;56.91 on the prelims relay compared to Li’s 1:57.55 leadoff.

Full Lineups:

  1. Japan (Yoshii, Namba, Masuda, Kobori)
  2. Hungary (Padar, Molnar, Kesely, Kapas)
  3. United States (Weinstein, Smith, Ledecky, Sims)
  4. Australia (Wilson, Neale, Melverton, O’Callaghan)
  5. China (Tang, Li, Ai, Yang)
  6. Canada (McIntosh, Sanchez, Ruck, Oleksiak)
  7. Brazil (Balduccini, Tomanik Diamanta, da Silva Rodrigues, Heitmann)
  8. New Zealand (Fairweather, Thomas, Deans, Littlejohn)

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5 months ago

honestly had my doubts about that order but what a swim by all of them. did not expect a 1:54 from Bella Sims that’s awesome

5 months ago

LET’S GO USA!! 🇺🇸🇺🇸

5 months ago

I think Ledecky shouldve been 2nd to negate a potential “off” leg from Weinstein. Shows the coaches have a lot of trust in both of them.

5 months ago

Usually your put you most experienced swimmers in lead-off and anchor positions- this should be interesting!

5 months ago

Having 3 of 4 Canadians having already competed I think is a disadvantage and may be just enough to keep them off the podium. It seems they will have about 90 minutes after their other events so at least it’s not a quick turnaround. It’s been great that Ruck has been improving but not sure if we’ve seen signs of a real quick leg. Fingers crossed but it does have the makings of a very interesting race.

Reply to  CanuckSwmFan
5 months ago

It’s wide open

Steve Nolan
5 months ago

Does the “Weinstein knew she was on the finals relay this morning so took it easy” theory make more sense now?

Sorta hope so at least lol

5 months ago

I like this line up, something feels fun/different about it.. looking at where the U.S. wants to be in 2 years.. sliding people into “atypical” spots is good for them. KL can swim fast anywhere, Sims has Intl JR relay experience (right?).. there is really no better time to experiment.

I am really digging this coaching staff’s relay selections this far.

Reply to  Erik
5 months ago

Not junior relay experience, senior relay aka the Olympics

5 months ago

According to my calculation:

  1. AUS 7:43.50
  2. USA 7:44.00
  3. CAN 7:44.50
  4. CHN 7:45.00

This will be incredibly close race, USA needs Weinstein to step up and Sims to replicate her split from heats. AUS needs fast opener from Wilson. CAN is the biggest question mark, both Oleksiak and Summer could dip under 1:55, but Ruck can explode on last 50 and they could still miss a medal.

About Yanyan Li

Yanyan Li

Although Yanyan wasn't the greatest competitive swimmer, she learned more about the sport of swimming through scoring countless dual meets, being a timer, and keeping track of her teammates' best times for three years as a team manager. She eventually ventured into the realm of writing and joined SwimSwam in …

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