2019 FINA World Championships Predictions: USA vs. Brazil in Men’s 4×100 Free Relay

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Editorial content for the 2019 World Championships coverage is sponsored by FORM Swim Goggles. See full event coverage. Follow FORM on Instagram at @FORMSwim #swimwithform FORM Swim-Logo

The United States men have put together several superb lineups in the 4×100 free relay since winning gold at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. The Americans are the reigning world champions from 2017 and are entering the 2019 Worlds as the favorites once again. The Americans are not as heavily favored as the Australians in the women’s 4×100 free relay but will be the team to beat in Gwangju.

At the 2018 Pan Pacs, the Americans had Caeleb DresselZach AppleBlake Pieroni and Nathan Adrian. They touched first in a good battle with Brazil, Japan and Australia, but were disqualified for swimming in the wrong order. Prior to the disqualification, the Americans clocked the fastest time out of any country last summer.

Apple has already been a 47.7 this summer when he led off the 4×100 free relay at the World University Games in Naples earlier this month. The big question is if the Americans can go faster than what their teammates did in Naples earlier, where they swam a 3:11.03. Dressel has the second fastest time of any Americans (on the Worlds team) this summer with a 47.86, ahead of Blake Pieroni (48.11) and Nathan Adrian (48.50). If those three swimmers plus Apple can all split under 48, then the Americans will be tough to beat.

The big challenge will come from Brazil, which was second at the 2017 Worlds and won the 2018 Pan Pacs. The Brazilians have been on a roll the last few years and have the third fastest man in the world for 2019 in Marcelo Chierighini (47.68). The three quickest Brazilians this year have been Chierighini, Breno Correia (48.11) and Pedro Spajari (48.34) and can easily go toe to toe with the United States.

The Russians will factor into the medals as they are led by Vladislav Grinev (47.43) and Vladimir Morozov (48.04). The Italians also have a young core now that Olympic finalist Santo Condorelli has joined the fold. The 2018 European Champion Alessandro Miressi, who has been a 48.32 this season, will be giving them a big boost.

The Australians should never be counted out either. They have the current number one swimmer in the world on their team in Olympic Champion Kyle Chalmers (47.35) as well as rising star Clyde Lewis (48.46).

The Japanese are a dark horse. They were leading the Pan Pacs 4×100 free relay last summer through 300 meters but did not have the horsepower to finish the job, settling for a bronze after the USA DQ. Japan’s top swimmer right now is Katsumi Nakamura (48.12). If any of the aforementioned teams falters, Japan could be right there to sneak in for a medal.

Current Records:

World Record: 3:08.24, United States (2008) – Michael Phelps, Garrett Weber-Gale, Cullen Jones, Jason Lezak
Championships Record: 3:09.21, United States (2009) – Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte, Matt Grevers, Nathan Adrian
American Record: 3:08.24, 2008 – Michael Phelps, Garrett Weber-Gale, Cullen Jones, Jason Lezak

2017 World Champion: United States, 3:10.06 (2017) – Caeleb Dressel, Townley Haas, Blake Pieroni, Nathan Adrian
2018 Top 8:

  1. United States, 3:11.67 (Pan Pacs)
  2. Brazil, 3:12.02 (Pan Pacs)
  3. Russia, 3:12.23 (Europeans)
  4. Australia, 3:12.53 (Pan Pacs)
  5. Japan, 3:12.54 (Pan Pacs)
  6. Italy, 3:12.90 (Europeans)
  7. China, 3:13.29 (Asian Games
  8. Great Britain, 3:13.88 (Commonwealth Games aggregate)
  9. Poland, 3:14.20 (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. United States
  2. Brazil
  3. Italy

Dan’s Picks:

  1. United States
  2. Brazil
  3. Russia

David’s Picks:

  1. United States
  2. Russia
  3. Brazil

Diana’s Picks:

  1. United States
  2. Russia
  3. Brazil

Taylor’s Picks:

  1. United States
  2. Brazil
  3. Russia

Read Up on Previous Picks:

Day 1: