Women’s 4×200 Free Relay Prelims Lineups: Walsh and Li Leading Off, Ruck Anchoring


The prelims lineups for the women’s 4×200 free relay have been released, and could be an indicator of who will be seen in the finals.

This race is billed as a four-way battle between China, Canada, the United States and Australia at the top, so it shouldn’t be newsworthy that none of these countries have put in full-strength lineups in the heats.

The United States seem to have rested Katie Ledecky and Leah Smith for finals. Smith and Claire Weinstein placed ninth and tenth respectively in the women’s 200 free semifinals only 0.04 seconds apart, although it makes sense to favor Smith in this situation due to her many years of experience swimming the 4×200 on an international stage. They also have opted to lead off with Alex Walsh, who has turned herself into a hot favorite to get a place on the finals relay after she became the fifth-fastest 200 IMer in history on Sunday.

Li Bingjie will be the only member of China’s world-record setting 4×200 free relay from last year to swim in these heats, alongside Lao Lihui, Ge Chutong, and Ai Yanhan. Leaving out names like Tang Muhan and Yang Junxuan in prelims could be a very risky decision made by China, as Li has been well off-form in the majority of her events at this meet so far, failing to final in the women’s 400 and 1500 free. In addition, the other aforementioned prelims swimmers do not have much experience in this relay internationally.

Australia and Canada have also reserved their top two swimmers for finals, with Australia leaving out Madi Wilson and Mollie O’Callaghan and Canada not having Penny Oleksiak and Summer McIntosh.

Full Prelims Lineups:

Heat 1:

  1. New Zealand (Fairweather, Thomas, Deans, Littlejohn)
  2. Hungary (Jakabos, Padar, Kesely, Molnar)
  3. United States (Walsh, Weinstein, Flickinger, Sims)
  4. Canada (Harvey, Savard, Smith, Ruck)
  5. Brazil (Balduccini, Tomanik Diamante, da Silva Rodrigues)
  6. Korea (Kim, Jung, Hur,  Jo)

Heat 2

  1. Israel (Polonsky, Gorbenko, Barzelay, Golovaty)
  2. Great Britain (Anderson, Harris, Colbert, Hope)
  3. China (Li, Lao, Ge, Ai)
  4. Australia (Neale, Pallister, Throssell, Melverton)
  5. Japan (Yoshi, Namba, Masuda, Kobori)
  6. Austria (Kahler, Pammer, Kreundl, Opatril)

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Pacific Whirl
1 year ago

The names are Jakabos and Padar rather than “Jakaobs Padar”. Both the names and the punctuation are misspelled.

1 year ago

hoping Walsh has something big for us in store

Reply to  jeff
1 year ago

She did not haha

1 year ago

Good luck to the teenagers Sims and Weinstein!

About Yanyan Li

Yanyan Li

Although Yanyan wasn't the greatest competitive swimmer, she learned more about the sport of swimming by being her high school swim team's manager for four years. She eventually ventured into the realm of writing and joined SwimSwam in January 2022, where she hopes to contribute to and learn more about …

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