GOLD COAST, Australia, August 23. THE 400 freestyle relays tonight at the Pan Pacific championships should be a battle for gold between Australia and the United States, with the crowd anxious to see how close the Aussie women can get to their still-fresh world record.
Australia is making one replacement in its quartet from the world record-setting team in the women’s relay, substituting Brittany Elmslie in for Emma McKeon. The other three that broke the record last month in Glasgow – Cate Campbell, Bronte Campbell and Melanie Schlanger – will race tonight against an American squad that will not concede the race to the Aussies.
Missy Franklin, Simone Manuel, Abbey Weitzeil and Shannon Vreeland make up the American foursome in a race that will also see a full field of eight teams.
In the men’s race, Australia will be looking to back up the Commonwealth Games title with a Pan Pac gold medal, using the same four that captured the win in Glasgow last month. Buoyed by last night’s 100 free winner Cameron McEvoy, the Aussie team will feature James Magnussen, Matt Abood and Tommaso D’Orsogna.
The United States will feature Michael Phelps, Nathan Adrian, Anthony Ervin and Ryan Lochte in tonight’s relay. Lochte scratched the 200 back prelims today, in part to avoid swimming in three events tonight. He and Phelps are set to race in the 100 butterfly final about 90 minutes before the relay.