FINA World Championships Predictions: Men’s 400 Free

Photo Courtesy: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

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Last summer in Rio, Australia’s Mack Horton dethroned Sun Yang in the men’s 400 free final, holding off his Chinese rival by just 0.13. They meet again in the very first final of the FINA World Championships in Budapest.

The two developed quite a rivalry on day one of the Olympic competition, as Sun attempted to distract Horton from his training in the warm-up pool, while Horton referred to his Sun as “just a drug cheat,” in reference to Sun’s 2014 doping suspension.

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

Current Records:

World Record: Paul Biedermann, GER (2009) — 3:40.07
Championship Record: Paul Biedermann, GER (2009) — 3:40.07
American Record: Larsen Jensen (2008) — 3:42.78

2015 World Champion: Sun Yang, CHN — 3:42.58
2016 Olympic Gold Medalist: Mack Horton, AUS — 3:41.55
2017 World No. 1: Sun Yang, CHN — 3:42.16

Swimming World Predictions

David Rieder’s Picks:

Gold: Mack Horton, AUS
SilverSun Yang, CHN
Bronze: Gabriele Detti, ITA

John Lohn’s Picks:

Gold: Sun Yang, CHN
Silver: Mack Horton, AUS
Bronze: Gabriele Detti, ITA

Andy Ross’ Picks:

Gold: Sun Yang, CHN
Silver: Gabriele Detti, ITA
Bronze: Mack Horton, AUS


  1. Hoang Le

    It would be Sun Yang

  2. Shaheen Alghofari

    Oooo Joe Stott I’m thinking a mystery man for the win but detti will get gold I’m going bold

    • Joe Stott

      James guy 😉

      • avatar

        James guy will be up there

    • avatar

      Good call…i agree…i don’t think it is a crazy call!

  3. avatar

    Paul Biedermann cheated in 2009. Tech suit or not, the guy was on something. Agree or disagree?

    • avatar

      Based on what facts?

      • avatar

        In 2008, Biedermann was ranked 9th in the world in the 200 m freestyle and 21st in the world in the 400 m freestyle. He won the 200 m freestyle long course at the 2008 European Aquatics Championships final, finishing in a time of 1:46.59. His times for the 400 m freestyle (3:47.69) and 200 m freestyle (NR in 1:46.37) qualified him for the Olympic Games in Beijing. At the Olympics, he placed fifth in the 200 m freestyle final (1:46.00) and 17th overall in the 400 m freestyle (3:48.03).

        One year later he ends up with a 1:42.00 in the 200 and a 3:40.07 in the 400 and hasn’t been near those times since….. If I put his progress into a graph, we would see a huge dip in his times in 2009 and in 2009 only. You have to ask, what was the reason for this dip in the graph? Well, no tech suit would have had him drop 4 full seconds in the 200 and 8 seconds in the 400 at that level. Something suspicious there. I think his doping was overlooked because of the “tech-suit” situation happening.

  4. avatar

    Sun Yang or Detti. Horton tends to be “hit or miss” and may miss the podium.

  5. avatar

    Agree about Horton! He didn’t look good in Europe!

  6. avatar

    Sun Yang has the best power.last ten days .fighting!