2019 FINA World Championships Predictions: Great Britain Shooting For Third Straight 4×200 Free Relay Gold

james-guy-duncan-scott-nicholas-greigner-gbr-relay-gold-champion-2017-world-champs
Great Britain is going for a third straight gold medal in the men's 4x200 free relay. Photo Courtesy: SIPA USA

The British men are going for their third straight gold medal in the 4×200 free relay. They won world titles in 2015 and 2017 and they would become just the third country to win the same relay at three consecutive Worlds. The Americans and the Australians are the only countries to claim that feat, with the Aussies tripling up in the men’s 4×200 free relay from 1998-2003. The Brits would be in exclusive territory if they can win the gold medal in Gwangju.

Great Britain’s four quickest swimmers this year are Duncan Scott (1:45.63), James Guy (1:46.34), Tom Dean (1:46.86) and Calum Jarvis (1:47.18). Scott and Guy have shown up big for the Brits, splitting under 1:45 in Budapest two years ago as Guy was a 1:43.8 on the anchor leg, which is one of the fastest splits ever. Scott has come into his own this year in the 200 free, sitting third in the world. He was a popular pick for the gold medal in the 200 free. Guy hasn’t looked as sharp as he did in 2017, although a positive sign for him is that his 1:46.34 from British Trials was faster than what he did at the Commonwealth Games and at the European Championships last year. Guy has been known to step up on relays, so if he is in the anchor spot then it will be hard to beat him.

The Australians look to be the favorites on paper. Australia’s four fastest guys this year are Kyle Chalmers (1:45.76), Clyde Lewis (1:45.88), Alexander Graham (1:46.14) and Jack McLoughlin (1:46.82). Chalmers has really stepped up this year as a 200 freestyler as he leads a group of strong young guns in Lewis and Graham. The Aussies were leading the Americans for most of the race last summer at Pan Pacs before Townley Haas ran down Jack Cartwright on the final 50. The Aussies used to be so dominant in this event with the likes of Ian ThorpeGrant Hackett and Michael Klim but haven’t been on the top of the podium in a major meet in this relay since 2003. They have solid depth this year and also have the option of 400 Olympic Champion Mack Horton.

The Americans are a bit of a mystery simply because we haven’t seen what their four best swimmers can do tapered. The four fastest Americans this year have been Zach Apple (1:46.80), Andrew Seliskar (1:46.89), Haas (1:47.09) and Blake Pieroni (1:47.25). Apple swam tapered at the World University Games earlier this month and he was clutch on all three relays for the Americans. He showed last year at Pan Pacs that he is a valuable relay asset and will be a key leg on this relay. Seliskar has also been a key relay swimmer for Cal at the NCAA level in yards, and has really broken out to have good long course swims the last 12 months. Haas has not been known to be a good in-season swimmer and like Guy, he has been known to swim out of his skin on relays. He came up big at the Olympics with a 1:44.1 in the 4×200 free relay and again was a 1:43.78 at Pan Pacs last summer. The United States has plenty of depth, with the option of either Caeleb Dressel or Jack Conger on the relay. Dressel was a 1:47.31 in April and has stated he wants to be on the 4×200 free relay in the future. He will have a busy program as is, so the coaches might not use him but he is a solid option.

The only country that should be realistically close to any of the aforementioned three teams is Russia with the likes of Martin Malyutin (1:45.46), Mikhail Dovgalyuk (1:46.08), Aleksandr Krasnykh (1:46.34) and Ivan Girev (1:46.54). The Russians are always in the mix and this one should be no different. They won the silver medal in 2017 and this particular night – day six – in the lineup is exceptionally strong for them. Yulia EfimovaEvgeny Rylov and Anton Chupkov are all gold medal contenders in their respective day six events, and momentum could lead to a medal in this relay. The Russians are led by Malyutin, who has the fastest time in the world this year. Dovgalyuk and Krasnykh have that Worlds experience that Malyutin does not. Dovgalyuk and Krasnykh were on the silver medal winning team in 2017 and Krasnykh was the bronze medal winner in the individual 200 free in Budapest. Even if one of those four guys is under the weather in Gwangju, the next option is Mikhail Vekovischev, who was also on the 2017 relay.

Current Records:

World Record: 6:58.55, United States, 2009 – Michael Phelps, Ricky Berens, Dave Walters, Ryan Lochte
Championships Record: 6:58.55, United States, 2009 – Michael Phelps, Ricky Berens, Dave Walters, Ryan Lochte
American Record: 6:58.55, 2009 – Michael Phelps, Ricky Berens, Dave Walters, Ryan Lochte

2017 World Champions: Great Britain, 7:01.70 – Stephen Milne, Nicholas Grainger, Duncan Scott, James Guy
2018 Fastest Times:

  1. 7:04.36, United States (Pan Pacs)
  2. 7:04.70, Australia (Pan Pacs)
  3. 7:05.17, Japan (Asian Games)
  4. 7:05.32, Great Britain (Europeans)
  5. 7:05.45, China (Asian Games)
  6. 7:06.66, Russia (Europeans)
  7. 7:07.58, Italy (Europeans)
  8. 7:09.31, Germany (Europeans)

Swimming World’s team of Andy RossDan D’AddonaDavid RiederDiana Pimer and Taylor Covington will be selecting their medalists for the World Championships in each event. Read below who everybody picked.

Andy’s Picks:

  1. Australia
  2. United States
  3. Great Britain

Dan’s Picks:

  1. United States
  2. Great Britain
  3. Australia

David’s Picks:

  1. United States
  2. Great Britain
  3. Australia

Diana’s Picks:

  1. Great Britain
  2. United States
  3. Australia

Taylor’s Picks:

  1. United States
  2. Great Britain
  3. Australia

2019 FINA World Championships Predictions:

Day 1:

Day 2:

Day 3:

Day 4:

Day 5:

Day 6:

4 comments

  1. avatar

    Great web site. Lots of helpful information here. I’m sending it to several buddies
    ans additionally sharing in delicious. And obviously, thanks
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  2. Mattias Löwe

    My money is on the USA. I think Blake Pieroni and Zach Apple will smash it.

    • Cox Coleys

      Mattias Löwe GB 🥇
      M Lichfield 1.46
      T Dean 1.45
      D Scott 1.44
      J Guy 1.43

    • Mattias Löwe

      Cox Coleys Would love to see it