2019 FINA World Championships Predictions: Australia’s Quest for 3:29 in Women’s 4×100 Free Relay

cate campbell, bronte campbell, 2018 commonwealth games
Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr/Swimming Australia Ltd.

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Australia has been the unstoppable force this decade in the women’s 4×100 freestyle relay. The Americans have won world titles in 2013 and 2017 but outside of those years, the Aussies have been dominant. With all four of its swimmers ranked in the top five in the world, it is a pretty safe bet to have the green and gold singing their national anthem on the first night of the World Championships.

Cate Campbell (52.12), Emma McKeon (52.41), Bronte Campbell (52.84) and Shayna Jack (53.18) are the prohibitive favorites. Those four swam a 3:30.05 at the Commonwealth Games last April to set the world record and a 3:29 is within reach this year. With their cumulative flat start times from this year, the Australians are currently a 3:30.55. With relay takeovers and some more rest, a 3:29 is definitely a possibility.

The Americans are the only country to take down the Australians in a major meet since the 2012 Olympics but it doesn’t appear they will be able to challenge this summer. The U.S. has American Record holder Simone Manuel and NCAA Champion Mallory Comerford, along with Olympian Abbey Weitzeil and former NCAA champion Margo Geer. The United States should be a lock for a silver medal, but they don’t appear to have the horsepower to be able to compete with the Australians.

The Canadians have a good young core with the likes of Taylor Ruck and Penny Oleksiak as they are certainly a medal favorite as well. France surprised the swimming community by taking down the Netherlands at Europeans last year. Charlotte Bonnet has been a 53.29 this year and Beryl Gastaldello was a 53.84 in March.

The Dutch will always be medal contenders as long as Femke Heemskerk and Ranomi Kromowidjojo are around. Those two have carried the Netherlands’ 4×100 free relay the last few years and will be doing the same in 2019. Sweden is also an outside shot at a medal as long as Sarah Sjostrom is on the team. The Swedes are also boosted by Louise Hansson and Michelle Coleman but the struggle has been finding a fourth leg. Sweden did not make the final at Europeans last year after resting Sjostrom in the morning. If it can get a spot in the final, it could grab a medal.

Current Records:

World Record: 3:30.05, Australia, 2018 – Shayna Jack, Bronte Campbell, Emma McKeon, Cate Campbell
Championship Record: 3:31.48, Australia, 2015 – Seebohm, McKeon, B. Campbell, C. Campbell
American Record: 3:31.72, Mallory Comerford, Kelsi Worrell, Katie Ledecky, Simone Manuel

2017 World Champion: United States, 3:31.72, Mallory Comerford, Kelsi Worrell, Katie Ledecky, Simone Manuel
2018 Top 8:

  1. 3:30.05, Australia, Commonwealth Games
  2. 3:33.45, United States, Pan Pacs
  3. 3:33.92, Canada, Commonwealth Games
  4. 3:34.65, France, Europeans
  5. 3:34.77, Netherlands, Europeans
  6. 3:36.52, Japan, Asian Games
  7. 3:36.78, China, Asian Games
  8. 3:37.03, Denmark, Europeans

Everyone’s Picks:

  1. Australia
  2. United States
  3. Canada

1 comment

  1. avatar

    Relays position should be as follows
    Women 4x100fs
    First leg must swim by Shane Jack next will be bronze or mckeon
    Cate campbell must in final leg
    4×200 fs women
    Titmus must swim in last leg