ROME, Italy, July 31. IT came down to the wire, and not even 800 meters could decide the top seed in the men's 800 free relay at the FINA World Championships.
The U.S. and Japan tied with matching 7:03.30s in the final heat of prelims in the relay, as the two teams nearly beat the meet record of 7:03.24 set by the U.S. in 2007.
Ricky Berens (1:44.95), Dan Madwed (1:45.63), Davis Tarwater (1:47.94) and Peter Vanderkaay (1:44.78) made up the U.S. time, while Shogo Hihara (1:46.75), Yoshihiro Okumura (1:44.73), Shunsuke Kuzuhara (1:46.41) and Takeshi Matsuda (1:45.41) comprised the Japanese relay.
Australia's Nicholas Ffrost (1:46.93), Robert Hurley (1:45.96), Kirk Palmer (1:46.65) and Tommaso D'Orsogna (1:46.02) finished third with a 7:05.56.
Germany (7:05.62), Great Britain (7:06.11), Russia (7:06.44), South Africa (7:08.01) and Italy (7:08.07) made up the rest of the championship heat.
Germany's Paul Biedermann provided the top leadoff swim with a 1:44.02, while Okumura had the top split otherwise with a 1:44.73.