Which Champs Will Keep World Crowns? Men’s 4x200m Free – Lochte’s Tilt At History

Ryan Lochte - reason to keep his head down - by Patrick B. Kraemer

Who is shaping up for a knockout in Kazan at world titles in August? Which teams are looking strong? Our guide reaches the relays and heads to its conclusion, USA’s men a strong shot at winning a sixth straight 4x200m free crown … and if they do, Ryan Lochte will become the first swimmer to win six straight world relay crowns

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Who is shaping up for a knockout in Kazan at world titles in August? Which teams are looking strong? Our guide reaches the relays and heads to its conclusion, USA’s men a strong shot at winning a sixth straight 4x200m free crown … and if they do, Ryan Lochte will become the first swimmer to win six straight world relay crowns



How come USA has three men listed in is mixed medley sample?

Craig Lord

Because you read it too quick Verram, obviously 🙂


Malone’s best flat-start 200 was 1:47.41. Sorry to nit-pick.


I somehow suspect that the USA & AUS are NOT likely to enter top-seeds in the mixed FS relay and probably only 2nd stringers in the mixed. They’ll only be worrying about the Olympic events.

Men’s 4×200 ?? Like the other AUS men’s relays; I tend to discount their chances despite the impressive case they make “on paper”. Too often this relay has been touted yet proven to be a misfiring engine. Hackett MAY add some maturity and stability but I certainly don’t see him swimming much below 1.46 at best. F-H was a world-beater last year but has swum like a ruptured duck in 2015. McKeon (male variety) has a questionable international record; his 2014 relay swims were presentable, previously not so. McEvoy has a questionable history in this relay. The alternates (Smith & Herzog) are 1.47men; realistically heat swimmers only.

Not the strongest US 4X200 one has ever seen but they’re certainly still in the mix. I don’t think CHN is quite “there” but anyone out of USA, FRA, JAP, RUS could win and GBR isn’t without a medal shot.


Isn’t McLean off of the WC team due to injury?

Craig Lord

jd14: no worries – please do nit-pick if you see an error 🙂 … in this case, as explained in copy, i’ve taken 1sec off the best flat start for all who have no relay split on their record, that’s why he’s at 1:46.41



4×200 relay-only selections for the US men are now Klueh, Malone, Weiss, and Youngquist. Two of those guys will advance to finals, unless Tyler Clary shows the coaches something in camp and gets a spot on the relay for finals, like he did for short course worlds six months ago.


Also, McLean is out of contention for the World’s roster with an injury. I know you’re going with fastest flat-start times, but as of now, the relay is a bit of a mystery. Conor Jaeger or Tyler Clary are likely relay candidates for the US though.


The Americans do indeed tend to let some spots in the non-Olympics roll down a bit. Too bad that the mixed 4×100 FR is 20 minutes after the wome’s 800 because it’s the kind of thing where they’d throw Katie Ledecky in there and it would be fun to see what she could split while tapered.


I love geeking out to relay selections. It’s going to be really interesting to see if the USA trots out the “A” lineups for the mixed relays, or if the big names stick to the single-gender relays and let some of the swimmers who have less events handle the mixed relays. For instance, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Murphy and Cordes get swims in the mixed medley relay as a sort of “try-out” for the men’s medley, since neither one is swimming the 100 individually, but could very possibly actually be faster than the men who are swimming those events individually for the USA.


jd14 – totally forgot about Jaeger. I really thought after he went 1:47 in 2013 that he’d become a fixture on the 4×200, but he didn’t seem to focus on the event last year. He’s been swimming well, though, so if the times from prelims aren’t sterling, and if the schedule works out (don’t remember off the top of my head), I could see him getting a chance to swim at finals and going 1:46-low or 1:45-high.

Craig Lord

Jaeger would be next, as noted, and the paper exercise almost the same, jd14. Thanks


Mixed relay I would have McEvoy and Chalmers along with the Campbell sisters… Chalmers finishes stronger than D’Orsogna

Craig Lord

Noted GMR. thanks


Elmslie & Wright plus D’Orsogna & Chalmers would be more likely. Wright more than solid enough but not as yet convinced Elmslie’s more than a heat swimmer at the top level. Both males = major question marks. One’s on his first senior team; the other’s international (non) performance speaks for itself.


Aussie men in this relay has utterly underperformed in the past 3 years.
In 2013 I pegged them to win medal in Barcelona and last year I thought they would mount a strong challenge to USA in Pan Pacs.
They didn’t even advance to final in Barcelona and even beaten by the Japanese for silver in Pan Pacs.

I don’t know if a group of swimmers can underperform for so long. If they all swim anywhere near their best, they should be favored for the win in Kazan.


I want to believe this will be the year when Australia finally wins the 4x200m freestyle race. I suspect, however, that if Mr. McEvoy has raced the same day, Mac Horton will replace him in the team. I really hope that Mr. Fraser-Holmes will be at his physical best, and that everything works out as it should.

For second place (and very close winning) I expect that Japan will do wonders. I would think that Daiya Seto (which was second at the Japan Nationals(?) this year in 200m free) will be one of the team members. Not sure about 3rd place, but Great Britain or France would be wonderful!



I agree with you on replacing mcEvoy with Horton. In 2013 Junior Worlds, Horton already split 1:45.
By projecting his improvement in individual 200/400, surely now he can split and anchor in 1:44, thus potentially making him a better anchor than mcEvoy.


Men’s 4×200

Australia & USA look a cut above right now – I can’t see anybody getting between them. The real intrigue is behind them. Japan, China & Britain are the next three for me. Overall I am just pleased Britain finally have a competitive relay – 7 lads in our squad are 1.47 freestylers or faster and most are mid 90s births, promising looking forward.


For the 4×200, the Aussies. Hackett, Fraser-Holmes, McEvoy and McKeon with Daniel Smith – somebody do a story on that guy – and Mack Horton in reserve. I’ll think they’ll come through this time.

I’m serious, too, about somebody doing a story on Daniel Smith. “The next Thorpie” when he was 13, homeless & struggling with drugs in his late teens and makes his 1st National Team at 22. Would love to know more about the guy.

The Japanese for 2nd and maybe the Americans for 3rd.

Viva la Bang

Commonwombat, Elmslie no more than a heat swimmer, she did the job in London for the aussies on the third leg, but has great competition here in Australia just to get on the 4×100 nowadays!

Viva la Bang

Looking at the teams any of the top 6 can win this race, expect a close finish!


Still can’t get excited for the AUS Men until I see them touch the wall first- or near their best times. I suspect they have peaked this year at the Nationals.
As for the (yawn) mixed relays, I think countries may field their best team if the medal table is looking close. A gold is a gold in perpetuity!


Aussies have six fast swimmers to pick from. Horton could be a star.

Personal Best

Ouch, not a lot of confidence in the Aussie men.

Good reason too given their recent form, but I don’t know; I’m sensing a turning of the tide with some of the younger swimmers coming through who seem focused and are progressing; Horton comes to mind.

Cam McEvoy shouldn’t be written off. I think he’s still finding his feet, so to speak.


Viva, indeed she did ….. however the level of the AUS 4X100 relay has, as you state yourself, moved on since then. Her 2015 PB nonwithstanding, she’s a 53mid leg whereas the top 4 are all sub53 splits hence the context for my comment.

AUS may sub Horton in but for whom ? McEvoy maybe but he is potentially their man to swim that “gun” leg ….. that is if he fires. McKeon isn’t exactly Mr Reliability and F-H has been ordinary in all his 2015 showings. The two named subs are 1.47 flat start men and hardly going to “lift” the team. With little pleasure in saying it; AUS male relays are more likely to bat 0 from 3 with regards to medals than not.


I tipping the Australian team to win the gold medal with McEvoy & Horton leading the way, with Hackett, Fraser Holmes, Mckeon & Smith fighting for those 2 last position. This is my most confident of all the 3 Australian men’s relay teams, even before Maggie pulled out.
They have quality & depth.


With Phelps absent and now McLean and with no new blood the USA’s 11 year winning streak will probably come to an end. But they will make a real fight of it because they still have quality in Lochte and Dwyer and you can bet on the whole team lifting when USA pride is on the line. Picking Australia does not come easy because this team has seriously underperformed at every major recent competition. At last year’s Pan Pacs they looked like winners based on individual times but then McEvoy swam an absolute shocker and Fraser-Holmes put in a mediocre anchor leg. However, they’re fully conscious of this appalling history and will leave no stone unturned this time around. The presence of Hackett will also help. The Russians were much slower than expected at their trials so you’d have to think they weren’t fully tapered(Izotov’s 1.48 is surely not indicative of what he’s likely to swim in Kazan). I’m picking them for the bronze ahead of Japan who will perform heroics just as they did at the Pan Pacs when they almost toppled the USA.


Longstroke, your certitude worries me LOL !! I completely concur that whilst this looks a non-vintage USA line-up; they cannot be underestimated.

My contention is with your comments re the Australians. The AUS 4X100 were “certain to make amends for London” at 2013 Worlds ….. and still walked away empty. Hackett certainly SHOULD add some needed stability and maturity but people need to realise this is 2015 Hackett not the Hackett of a decade ago who could swim 1.44. Horton could be a plus however 2015 Fraser-Holmes is not the Fraser-Holmes of 2014. McEvoy & McKeon are erratic performers. IF they somehow pull it all together, then they just might win it …… I just don’t feel confident of that happening.

This is a very open race for ALL 3 medals. I don’t discount JAP (who also kicked AUS backsides at PP) along with RUS.


Not sure if reported here, but just watched a TV Show with Thorpe, who said he had a SHOULDER REPLACEMENT six weeks ago- and no swimming of any kind for a long time.
That’s major, and sad.

Personal Best

All that’s true about Aus, however after a few years of instability at the organisation level they now have a new head coach (and what a coach) as well as more stable management. These are bound to make a difference.

I’m hopeful we’ll see them do something special, even if they don’t win (anything), as long as they perform to their capabilities I’d be impressed.

Sure Hackett’s not swimming 1:44s, but he never did off a flat start; he was a 1:45 mid, and he swam a 1:46 high at trials. Not bad at all and I feel he’ll improve on this time and maybe jump ahead of a team mate in the ranks.

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