FINA World Championships Predictions: Men’s 400 Free Relay

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If there’s been any constant over the last decade of international 400 free relays, it’s been seeing France on the medal stand. The French medal streak goes back all the way to the 2007 FINA World Championships, and teams from that country have won the World title in both 2013 and 2015.

But that consistent streak will end this summer, as France loses both Florent Manaudou and Fabien Gilot from its World Champion and 2016 Olympic silver medal-winning relays and will not even have an entry this summer in Budapest. The Australia, Olympic bronze medalists in Rio, lose 100 free gold medalist Kyle Chalmers to a heart issue.

So it’s tough to see the Nathan Adrian and Caeleb Dressel-led Americans as anything but heavy favorites for Budapest. The competition was so quick at U.S. Nationals that Ryan Held, who swam on the gold medal-winning 400 free relay in Rio, swam a 48.53 in the 100 free… and placed seventh.

Read below to see what Swimming World’s trio of experts think will happen in Budapest. David RiederJohn Lohn and Andy Ross will each offer their predictions for who will finish on the podium.

Men’s 400 Free Relay

Current Records:

World Record: United States — Phelps, Weber-Gale, Jones, Lezak (2008) — 3:08.24
Championship Record: United States — Phelps, Lochte, Grevers, Adrian (2009) — 3:09.21
American Record: Phelps, Weber-Gale, Jones, Lezak (2008) — 3:08.24

2015 World Champion: France — 3:10.74
2016 Olympic Gold Medalist: United States — 3:09.92

Swimming World Predictions

David Rieder’s Picks:

Gold: United States
Silver: Brazil
Bronze: Australia

John Lohn’s Picks:

Gold: United States
Silver: Brazil
Bronze: Russia

Andy Ross’ Picks:

Gold: United States
Silver: Brazil
Bronze: Australia

Previous Events

Men’s 400 Free
Women’s 400 Free
Women’s 400 Free Relay


  1. Shaheen Alghofari

    Casually left Europe out the mix Joe Stott

  2. Brett Davies

    Don’t write off the British team they have a good chance of being in the medals race. But definitely U.S.A. for gold

    • avatar

      ARE GBR actually fielding a M4X100 this year, they didn’t last year ? Yes, I could see Scott, Proud & prob Guy but not too sure about a 4th man.

      Granted the minor medals do look a complete lottery this year but I’m still struggling to see them as the medal contenders they most certainly are in M4X200 & M4XMED

  3. avatar

    Predictions on who Team USA has lead off for the men? Do you think they’ll have Dressel do it again and give him a shot at the American Record?

  4. avatar

    With FRA not fielding a relay this year, the reality is likely to be that USA either has to break or “miss the bus” on the night not to win comfortably.

    Minor medals look a lottery but am leaning BRA & RUS in no particular order. The withdrawal of Chalmers leaves AUS with 3rd & 4th swimmers who haven’t broken 49 so they can most likely be discounted from anything other than an outside chance at bronze. ITA … maybe an outside chance