2013LCNationalsConor Dwyer in the warm-up session.
Courtesy of: Peter H. Bick
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BARCELONA, Spain, August 2. THE final event of tonight's competition is likely to feature a seven-minute battle between Russia and the United States in the men's 4x200 freestyle relay.

The United States goes into the final as the top seed. Conor Dwyer, Ryan Lochte, Charlie Houchin and Ricky Berens will race for the USA in that order. The Russians will have Danila Izotov, Nikita Lobintsev, Artem Lobuzov and Alexander Sukhorukov on their squad.


On paper, the United States has a two-second advantage of Russia, based on times swum either at the world championships or at their respective country's trials this year. United States stands at 7:04.05 based on these splits:

Dwyer: 1: 45.32 in 200 free final, worlds
Lochte: 1:45.64 in 200 free final, worlds
Houchin: 1:45.66 in 800 free relay prelims, worlds
Berens: 1:47.43 in USA trials

Russia's times add up to 7:06.00:

Izotov: 1:45.59 in 200 free final, worlds
Lobintsev: 1:46.82 in 800 free relay prelims, worlds
Lobuzov: 1:46.96 in Russian trials
Sukhorukov: 1:46.66 in Russian trials

Of course, races are not decided on paper.

France could challenge in the early stages, with Yannick Agnel swimming leadoff. The same three swimmers who joined him in prelims this morning are swimming at night: Lorys Bourelly, Gregory Mallet and Jeremy Stravius.