ROME, Italy, August 2. THE United States' world record in the men's 400 medley relay was put on notice in the final preliminary session of the FINA World Championships this year.
At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Aaron Peirsol (53.16), Brendan Hansen (59.27), Michael Phelps (50.15) and Jason Lezak (46.76) put together a world record time of 3:29.34. That swim is likely to fall this evening after three teams clocked 3:29s this morning.
Germany's Helge Meeuw (52.46), Hendrik Feldwehr (58.22), Benjamin Starke (51.11) and Paul Biedermann (47.69) led the way in prelims with a meet-record time of 3:29.48. The swim smashed the meet record of 3:31.54 set by the U.S. in 2003, while Meeuw lowered his national record in the 100 back from 52.49 set earlier this meet.
Australia's Ashley Delaney (53.29), Christian Sprenger (58.88), Andrew Lauterstein (50.16) and Matt Targett (47.51) copped the second seed with a 3:29.84, while the U.S. contingent of Matt Grevers (53.20), Mark Gangloff (58.68), Tyler McGill (50.82) and Nathan Adrian (47.24) also posted a 3:29 with a third-seeded 3:29.94.
The world record is almost assured to fall this evening as each team fields its A squad.
France (3:30.09), Brazil (3:30.25), Russia (3:30.55), Great Britain (3:30.68) and Japan (3:30.74) picked up the rest of the championship final transfer spots.