Seven Years Later, USA 400 Medley Relay Stalking Tough-To-Reach World Record

Michael Phelps in Omaha at USA Olympic Trials in pursuit of more glory in Rio at a fifth Games - by Matthew Bish - Bold Action Media
Michael Phelps in Omaha at USA Olympic Trials in pursuit of more glory in Rio at a fifth Games - by Matthew Bish - Bold Action Media

Seven years after the United States set the world record of 3:27.28 in the 400 medley relay, that tech-suit standard will be under assault by Team USA.

All SwimVortex articles are placed in our archive after five days, the library of content available to subscribers.
Log In Register

Comments

aswimfan

This men’s 4×100 medley is almost as certain USA gold as their w4x200.
It would be a huge upset if don’t win it.

Australia has good chance for a minor medal, and the other medal will be fought between GBR, Russia, Japan.

commonwombat

I’ll second that, ASF.

The only scenarios that I can see preventing a US victory would be:

– bringing about their own demise via a break
– being decimated by an illness break-out at the meet (which in likely reality would have similar impacts on their competitors.

AUS are the most likely runners up due to the strength of their bookends in Larkin & McEvoy. It will be the performance of the 2 middle legs that will determine how far back McEvoy will be coming back from.

kevin roose

i like the French for the bronze meddle Aswimfan .
Stravius in the free
Lacourt in the back and Metella in the butterfly breastroke is a concern…..
USA GOLD
AUSTRLIA SILVER
FRANCE OR JAPAN BRONZE

kevin roose

AUSTRALIA will likely have Packard in the breastroke and Morgan in the butterfly giving away between them probably around 1.5 sec on the Americans …….assuming Larkin and Murphy go round together ..
Certainly appears way to much of an advatage for Adrian he wont loose from there ….

aswimfan

Kevin,
Yeah, no. You can’t win 4×100 medley medal at olympics level with 1:01+

aswimfan

I mean with breastroker at 1:01+

beachmouse

While they aren’t quite as bad as the 4×100 USA squads on the running track, the American men’s medley has had its share of unforced errors over the years, some of them catastrophic.

Start of the article reminded me of when Piersol, Ian Crocker and Brendan Hansen were all at Texas at the same time. I remember middle-aged coach Eddie Reese noting that they could probably swim him as freestyle anchor on that squad and still win NCAA medley relay crowns.

Robbos

ASF, I agree, the US are nearly un-backable favourites.

However, who is this 1.01 breaststroker for Australia, Packard is a 59.6 swimmer.

aswimfan

Robbos,
Kevin mentioned in the above that he likes the French for the bronze medal.

The only breaststroker France bring to Rio is Theo Bussiere whose PB this year is 1:01.35, and he swam 1:02.13 last year. He is not even swimming in individual 100 breast.

with that kind of breaststoker they are not going to medal, and I don’t care how fast their combined back-fly-free is, which is not much faster than GBR/RUS/JPN anyway.

kevin roose

Aswimfan but you said cant win 4 x 100 medley ????
i stated that i thought france would be in with a big chance at a bronze not gold

aswimfan

This is what I said (you can even read it easily if you bother to just scroll up for 1 second):

You can’t win 4×100 medley medal at olympics level with 1:01+

aswimfan

MEDAL

aswimfan

Let’s compare:

Japan vs. France

Backstroke: Irie vs. Lacourt, advantage FRA 0.25 seconds
Fly: Fujii vs. Metehlla, adv. FRA 0.25
Free: Shioura vs. Stravius, adv. FRA 0.4
This means France has an advantage of less than 1 second in back-fly-free
Breast: Koseki vs. Bussiere, adv. Japan 1.75 seconds
1.75 seconds would amply overhaul the less than a second adv. that France gained in back-fly-free

aswimfan

GBR vs. FRA

Backstroke: Walker-Hebborn vs. Lacourt, adv, FRA 0.4 seconds
Fly: Guy vs. Metehla, adv. FRA 0.9 seconds
free: Proud vs. Stravius, adv. FRA 0.5 seconds
This means that back-fly-free yields total advantage of 1.8 seconds to France

now, Breast: Peaty vs. Bussiere, adv. GBR 3.35 seconds.

3.35 seconds is more than amply enough to overhaul France’s 1.8 advantage

aswimfan

Yeah, you cannot win Olympics 4×100 medley medal with 1:01+breastroker.

Bussiere may improve in Rio, but I will start asking questions if he improves by 2 seconds in just few months.

kevin roose

Aswimfan have you seen the entry sheets for the olympic swim events they were published yesterday ?

Craig Lord

They are here for what they’re worth:
Men
http://www.fina.org/sites/default/files/men_final.pdf
Women
http://www.fina.org/sites/default/files/women_final_0.pdf

Some entry times from last year, some from this year – nothing significant we didn’t already know…

aswimfan

kevin,
Yes, I am basing my projections on the FINA list, so those numbers are based on their most recent best times.

aswimfan

Breast leg is extremely crucial in medley relay just because it’s the leg that takes the longest time, so any weaknesses or strength is amplified in breaststroke.

Australia lost w4x100 medley last year because they had 1:07 breast. You just cannot win worlds champs with that kind of weaknesses, it was great that Bronte swam lights out 51.7, otherwise Australia would not have medalled.
Right now, most elite breastrokers are at 59+, so when your breaststroker is only at 1:01+, you have a 2 seconds hole to cover.

aswimfan

Now let’s do RUS vs. FRA match up

Back: Rylov vs. Lacourt, adv, FRA 0.5 seconds
Fly: Koptelov/Sadovnikov vs. Metehla, adv. FRA 0.25 seconds
Free: Morozov vs. Stravius, tie
So total combined back-fly-free yields advantage of 0.75 seconds to France

Breast: Prigoda vs. Bussiere, adv. RUS 1.65 seconds.

1.65 seconds Russian advantage would amply overhaul France’s 0.75 seconds advantage.

Rafael

aswimfan, just to make it a bit easier for you, the top add up times for medley from Trials relay except US and AUS who are far ahead

China: 3:32:2 (with Wang out)
RUS: 3:32:3
BRA: 3:32:5
GBR: 3:32:9
JPN: 3:33:3
Italy: 3:33:3 (With Toniato)

Even if we used best times 2015/2016.. Lacourt + Methella + Stravius would be 1,6s faster than Guido + Martins + Chiereghinni but Brazil is 2,3 and 2,1 seconds faster on Breast..

Craig Lord

rafael, which, of course, highlights the very speculative nature of such exercises 🙂 On best times, Britain’s combination is 1.2sec faster – and if you look at relay splits, the sum goes to 1.8sec – and I’m sure there would be such discrepancies in all such calculations across all teams. It will be what it will be – down to the day, the race and the form of folk come the hour.

Rafael

I´m back now! Just yesterday I noticed that Bronze become paid (I was wondering why I could not post)

Rafael

I expect all top 3 Brazilians + França to drop some time.. Guido should break 53 finally, Martins was Sick at ML (Almost did not even swim), but he went 52,1 at Open and 52,4 untapered at SA Champs.. França went 59,2 and then 59,9 on a Training camp (Possible to go 58) and Chiereghinni should finally break into 47 realm (Went 48,8 in training).

I Think the current situation is like this:
USA
Australia
RUS/GBR/BRA
CHN (Even being faster on paper I do not bet much on them)/FRA/JPN/ITA – One will be out final
GER and CAN might also cause an upset and take one more team out of final (Ger specially)

Rafael

Germany add up times (Deibler on Fly, Wierling on free):
3:33:5

aswimfan

I’m betting on Germany to make final.
They were pretty consistent in Kazan: 3:32.9 in the prelims and 3:32.16 in the final.

Canada is not going to final. They are not even taking their breaststroke specialist. It’s like they’ve given up on trying for 4×100 medley.

Apart from USA and AUS which can afford to rest some of their top swimmers, all the other countries will have to swim all of their #1 swimmers in the prelims to guarantee final, so the prelims will be very fast.

China made blunder in Kazan by resting Ning and missed final. If they swim all their top swimmers, they’ll make final.

I’m not so sold on Italy. In Kazan they swam all their top swimmers in prelims, but all of them just didn’t perform and missed final just behind Russia.

If I have to make some projections now, here’s the countries I have most confident in finaling:
USA
AUS
GBR
JPN
RUS
CHN
GER

and one place will have to be fought between France, Brazil, and Italy.
Poland might even steal that position if all of their swimmers show up in the prelims like they did in Kazan, but I doubt it will happen again. It didn’t even happen for them in the final.

Rafael

aswimfan… I think some teams might rest some guys if their top 2 are pretty close.

France can rest the freestyler.
Brazil could rest the Fly Breast and Free (Difference is 0,4 adding the 3 times)
Germany could rest the breast maybe the free
Japan could rest the free, maybe back (Is Koga going?)
RUS could rest back, free and breast.

Italy, GBR could not rest anyone (Maybe free for GBR but only that). China could not rest anyone too..

commonwombat

USA can rest all four of their top seeds in the heats and indeed, they are the only team for which the heats are likely to be “comfortable” with regards to qualifying.

Indeed, they are probably the only assured medallists. Whilst AUS was a close 2nd in Kazan; that was a distinctly weaker US line-up and it was McEvoy’s WTF anchor leg that overhauled a number of competitors.

The guy IS extraordinarily good but he’s also human and 46mids legs aren’t something you can just summon “at will”. He is probably the only one they can afford to rest in the heats as the alternates on both back & brs both give away at least a second each.

Whilst USA have to be seen as clear favourites and would need to shoot themselves in the foot to lose; and AUS look the next most likely; I think the 3rd medallist looks incredibly open and may well go to whichever team that has gained positive momentum from the meet.

aswimfan

Rafael,

Those countries you listed on paper can rest some of their top swimmers, but if they do that, they are not going to make it back in the evening.

In Kazan, France, Germany, and Japan used ALL their #1 swimmers in the prelims and final.
Even France used the same freestyler. Gilot finished ahead of Stravius in the individual 100, and had faster split in 4×100. France used Gilot in both prelims and final.

As usual, Brazil thought they could get away using their second swimmer. They used Lima instead of Silva in the prelims. They didn’t qualify.

Russia did their roulette and rested 3 swimmers (back, breast, free) and finished 8th and almost missed the final.

CW,
Australia can rest both fly and free and qualify.
They did that last year, using Morgan and Chalmers in the prelims to qualify comfortably third. And used Hadler and McEvoy in the final. I am predicting it will be the same in Rio with second fly plus Chalmers in the prelims.

aswimfan

By the way,
There is another factor that will surely force France to use all their top swimmers in the prelims:
Their only breaststroker Bussiere is even slower than their last year’s breaststroker Giacomo Perez Dortona by a second, so yeah they are not going to risk not swimming their fastest in the prelims.

As for Brazil, I hope they have learned from their past experiences that not using their fastest swimmers in the prelims is a bad idea.
In both 2013 and 2015 worlds, they didn’t swim all their fastest swimmers in the prelims, and at both occasions they didn’t qualify to final.
But in their 4×100 free, they used all their fastest sprinters and they qualified to final at both world championships.
During Cielo’s peak, Brazil thought he was too important to swim in relay prelims, and all their relays never advanced to finals.

Rafael

aswimfan, it was not Lima fault Brazil did not final, he was 59,6.. Arthur mendes went really really bad 52,8 fly leg.. and Guido was 53,9 only..

Guido is a lock on back and he won´t have a double job (Taper for PAN and then try to retaper for Worlds, did not work).. if Guido was his 53 low Brazil would have been 8th same for Arthur.

For Medley relay we all know that teams will decide who they use and if they will use 2 swimmers based on results..

As the medley relay is after 100 back/100 breast final and 100 fly heats/semis, we will have a better picture of where each team stands

commonwombat

Free, definitely as Chalmers has demonstrated the capacity for 47mid-high splits which should be sufficient.

Fly … maybe. Whilst Morgan & Irvine seem “much of a muchness”; I think it will boil down to which one has had the better meet. If one of them has had a shocker then the other will do double duty.

aswimfan

my mistake, AUS actually finished 2nd in the prelims last year, comfortably 0.7 seconds ahead of France.

I guess for fly leg it will have to wait until the semis of 100 fly to decide which swimmers to swim relays prelims and final. Either Morgan or Irvine it would not make any difference as long as Larkin, Packard and Chalmers swim the other legs.

Robbos

Thanks for that ASF, I got confused on which breastroker you talking about!!!

John Lohn

On the topic of resting guys for prelims, when are some countries going to stop playing with fire that has backfired in the past. I understand trying to save energy, but assuring qualification comes first.

kevin roose

Interesting to see Sarah has entered 4 individual events 50/100/200 free and 100 fly looking at the entry list …
I thought she would such a competative girl coupled up with possible relays will be one tired lady …..

kevin roose

Mathew Abood has been given the second 50 free swim joining Mcevoy and Mckeon has taken Mcevoy place in the 200 free….
Australia has no entrant in the 200 breastroke still stunned by Wilson non selection …..

aswimfan

Kevin,
The last time Sarah Sjostrom didn’t swim 4 individual events was in 2011 world championships where she swam “only” 3 individual events. Since then, she has always swum 4 individual events and 3 relays at Olympics and World Championships.

kevin roose

Yes i understand Aswimfan but there has been debate you included about the merit of her dropping a event and only swimming 3 individual events to increase her chances of gold ….

aswimfan

kevin,
And in that recent debate I favored dropping the two free relay events but keep all the four individual events.

commonwombat

Kevin, whilst I’d have liked to have seen Wilson selected; there are two explanations as to why they didn’t.

Had he finished 2nd in the 100brs then he would’ve been on the plane….. period; but he didn’t. Had they selected him but not Palmer, then they would’ve been facing likely appeals from both Palmer and at least the 1st placed finisher in the 200IM.

Second reason ? Two words …… Jarrod Poort

aswimfan

CW,
Whilst I understand the reason why AUS selectors didn’t select Matthew Wilson, the Jarrod Poort reasons cannot be applied here.

1. Matthew Wilson went under FINA automatic QT, while the NZ pool swimmers only swam FINA B times.
2. Matthew Wilson’s time currently ranked 9th in the world this year, counting only 2 swimmers per country, which is much better ranked than any of NZ male swimmers’.

aswimfan

the AUS selectors could have selected both Wilson (in addition to Palmer) and Daniel Tranter and everything would have been fine, no appeals etc. But they didn’t.

commonwombat

ASF, what NZ Swimming chooses to do or not to do has no relevance to Swimming AUS.

Secondly, FINA B times were never going to be considered. Realistically, you had to hit the AUS QT or at minimum have the FINA A time and/or have some relay justification.

HAD Wilson been 2nd in the 100brs, he’s be on the plane but regrettably he wasn’t. I’d have taken him in place of Palmer as the med relay “insurance” and to swim the 200. In hindsight, had they known how the 200brs has been swum this year, they may’ve taken the punt but you can’t always have total prescience in early April !

They could justify Palmer automatically on the grounds that they needed insurance for med relay and he & Wilson are (currently) much of a muchness. Tranter, however, has a mediocre intl CV and clearly they weren’t feeling charitable.

As it is, they’ve handed a 200IM swim to Mahoney but they have the ‘cover’ of him being already fully qualified in 400IM. Ditto Abood in 50free who had the A qualifier and giving him an individual swim lessens their “relay only” numbers although he will almost certainly be used on that relay.

The Jarrod Poort reference IS relevant as it was a case of selectors extending “charity” …… and it coming back and biting them square on the gluteus maximus !

Therefore, whilst I would have selected Wilson, I fully understand the reasons why he wasn’t

aswimfan

CW,
As I said, I completely understand why selectors didn’t take Wilson. No need to explain it to me again.

However, Jarrod Poort reference is not applicable to Wilson.
Giving the ticket to Wilson wouldn’t have been a charity.
Actually it’s the opposite, the only Jarrod Poort reference that is applicable to Wilson is that Wilson SHOULD HAVE GOTTEN the ticket as he swam automatic qualification time.
In his defense of his friend Kane Radford, Jarrod Poort cited that Radford should go to Rio because he already qualified according to FINA, but Swimming NZ decided not to send him.
Same situation with Wilson: He swam automatic time and so FINA would have sent him automatic invite had Swimming Australia nominated him, but they didn’t because they think that Wilson wouldn’t be competitive for a medal.
The difference is that Radford situation exploded into international drama and Radford sued Swimming NZ.

aswimfan

In short, Wilson was denied Rio ticket by AUS selectors because they think he would not be able to challenge for medal.
There’s no other reason, really.

kevin roose

Wilson was not selected for the 200 breastroke not because the selectors didnt think he could medal that is a rediculous comment ….
Despite winning the 200 he was not selected because he did not meet the qualifying time of 2:09:64 he swam 2:09:90….
The same happened to Daniel Tranter despite winning the 200 I.M he again did not meet the qualifying time of 1:58:54 he swam 1:58:72 ….
Palmer on the other hand was selected despite doing 1:00:51 coming second , time needed was 59.75 as insurance for the 4 x 100 medley ……
Now where i get irritated with swimming criteria/ selections is they took a team of 47 to London and only taking 37 to Rio …
Tranter and Wilson should be on that plane , now we have a situation whereby we have no entrant in the mens 200 breastroke and Manoney given a berth in the 200 I.M despite Tranter beating him at trials ….
Yes yes i understand why Mahoney is being given a 200 I.M spot because he is already in the team ……. but i best swimmer for that event is not

aswimfan

kevin,
I KNOW that Wilson didn’t go under Australian specific qualifying time and that’s the official and legal reason why he was not selected.
And do you know why the australian selectors created that tougher qualifying time on top of FINA A?
To ensure they will take swimmers who can at least final.
Palmer was taken because Australia doesn’t have any other breaststroker aside from Packard. Imagine if Packard is sick or something.

The thing is, Wilson at 17 is by far the fastest 17 yo 200 breastroker in the world. In the current top 25, only 3 are teenagers, Wilson and another two who are already 19 yo. He is improving at much faster rate than both Packard and Palmer.

the selectors could have taken Wilson and Tranter, and that would have been an elegant and effective solution to any current and potential problems.
In Brisbane Grand Prix, Wilson beat both Palmer and Packard in 100.
imagine in Rio if Packard is sick, and Palmer’s best was really that swim in the trials (I’m still not convinced with Palmer), then the AUS medley relay is doomed.

aswimfan

What’s even more annoying about Wilson’s non-selection is that both Grant Irvine and David Morgan didn’t go under QT and yet they are going to Rio just because they are needed for that medley relay,

kevin roose

Aswimfan so first you say Wilson wasnt picked cause the selectors thought he would not medal ????
Now you are saying he wasnt picked cause he would not final ???????????

aswimfan

kevin,
yes and yes.

aswimfan

kevin,
at this rate, it is obvious to everyone that you are just a troll.

commonwombat

Sorry ASF, but both Morgan (1.55.63) & Irvine (1.55.73) made the AUS QT (1.55.75) in the 200fly so they were already on the plane.

aswimfan

CW, you are right. I forgot about that

kevin roose

Thank you for the personal insult Aswimfan

kevin roose

Aswimfan your happy to be critical of people posts on this site, yet when your posts come under question you show anger and call people names like troll ………
Really is there a need to personally insult people have you forgotten that swimming is just a sport, entertainment ????
Are you taking a anger management course ???

aswimfan

kevin,
thank you for the personal insutl.

No, I haven’t forgotten that swimming is just a sport and entertainment.
What is your point?

And no, I wasn’t angry at all.
I still think you are trolling. It’s not an insult, I think most people who have been here long would agree that your comments have been thinly veiled attempts at trolling.

kevin roose

Beleive what you want …………….but there is one thing we have in common like it or not we both love the sport of swimming ……..

kevin roose

There is a differance between putting out legitimate thoughts for discussion and trolling …..and might i add many of my discussion points you have had dialouge into …Aswimfan ?

aswimfan

You are trolling because you littered so many non-related articles with your unrealistic predictions about Australia’s chances in Rio.

kevin roose

Unrealistic, time will tell my little Indonesian friend …

aswimfan

As long as you keep your unrealistic predictions in related articles, all is fine because the problem is not your predictions.

kevin roose

ok i will take your advice on board because i do intend to upgrade my membership 1 st of August i think the guys at Swimvortex write terrific articles……

Leave a comment

Post a comment with your SwimVortex Account. Don't have a SwimVortex Account, Sign Up?

(*) Fields are required!
×