FINA World Championships Predictions: Men’s 800 Free Relay

Photo Courtesy: USA TODAY Sports-USA TODAY Sports

Editorial Coverage provided by Suit-extractor-logo

For more than a decade, the Americans went undefeated in the men’s 800 free relay. That streak began with an upset win over Ian Thorpe and Australia at the 2004 Olympic Games and ran until 2015, when an upstart British team took the win at the FINA World Championships.

The U.S. would win gold one year later in Rio, but gone from that team are Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte. Lochte had been on every single U.S. 800 free relay going back to the start of the winning streak in 2004.

And this British team is good, really good. Led by 2015 200 free World Champ James Guy and 100 free Olympic finalist Duncan Scott. Adding up the top four 200 free times from British Nationals (Guy, Scott, Calum Jarvis and Nicholas Grainger) comes out to an aggregate time of 7:05.65.

The top four American times (Townley HaasBlake PieroniZane Grothe and Conor Dwyer) come out to just a bit quicker (7:04.97), but neither Pieroni nor Grothe has ever swum in a major relay final.

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 800 Free Relay

Current Records:

World Record: United States — Phelps, Berens, Walters, Lochte (2009) — 6:58.55
Championship Record: United States — Phelps, Berens, Walters, Lochte (2009) — 6:58.55
American Record: Phelps, Berens, Walters, Lochte (2009) — 6:58.55

2015 World Champion: Great Britain — Wallace, Renwick, Jarvis, Guy — 7:04.33
2016 Olympic Gold Medalist: United States — Dwyer, Haas, Lochte, Phelps — 7:00.66

Swimming World Predictions

David Rieder’s Picks:

Gold: United States
Silver: Great Britain
Bronze: Australia

John Lohn’s Picks:

Gold: United States
Silver: Great Britain
Bronze: Japan

Andy Ross’ Picks:

Gold: United States
Silver: Great Britain
Bronze: China

Previous Events

Day One:

Day Two:

Day Three:

Day Four:

Day Five:

Day Six:



  1. avatar

    Probably the only relay, other than W4X100, where USA’s chances of a relay sweep are endangered. GBR are very much in this one. The 2 top seeds for both teams essentially cancel each other out so it will most likely come down to who’s “gun” fires off a “barnstormer” killer leg or who’s lower seeds stand up the best.

    The issue of who may deliver an amazing split is an unknowable but if I were to measure up, the lower seeds; GBR have the experience whereas I think USA may have the slight advantage with regards to potential upside. I’d weight this as Adv USA but “with caution”

    Bronze is a lottery with a much weakened field; FRA not even fielding a team. JAP would be my pick but I feel this year’s lineup may not be as strong as last year’s bronze. RUS are always an X factor. AUS has no “weapon”, merely a ruck of 1.47men

  2. Shaheen Alghofari

    Is this the one you think gb will win Betsy Perry . I’m saying USA China Australia

    • Betsy Perry

      No definitely not this one, I think they’ve got a chance in the men’s medley relay though. Duncan Scott and Adam
      Peaty fastest in the
      world this year in their 100s

    • Shaheen Alghofari

      Mad one. Shame their backstroke is about as stable as a leaf in the wind

Author: David Rieder

David Rieder is the host of Swimming World TV and a staff writer for Swimming World. A contributor to the magazine and website since 2009, he has covered the NCAA Championships, U.S. Nationals, Olympic Trials as well as the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and the 2017 World Championships in Budapest. He is a native of Charleston, S.C., and a 2016 graduate of Duke University.

Current Swimming World Issue

Trouble Viewing on Smart Phones, Tablets or iPads? Click Here