Italy Leads Russia, USA and Australia in Competitive 4×200 Free Relay Prelims

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Zach Apple swam the anchor leg for the U.S. men's 4x200 free relay -- Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

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World Swimming Championships 4×200 Free Relay

Gwangju 2019

Day Six Heats

Men’s 4×200 Free Relay

A relatively-unknown Italian foursome put up the fastest mark in the 4×200 free relay qualifying heats, as Filippo Megli (1:46.97), Matteo Ciampi (1:46.42), Stefano Ballo (1:45.66) and Stefano di Cola (1:46.10) combined to swim a time of 7:04.97, a time that beat the 7:05.32 that Great Britain swam to win last year’s European title. The Italians swam in heat two and put up a time just ahead of Russia’s No. 2 mark of 7:05.28.

Russia, which got a strong 1:45.41 anchor split from Mikhail Vekovishchev, will add 200 free co-bronze medalist Martin Malyutin to its finals squad as the Russians aim to improve on a silver medal from the 2017 World Championships. Meanwhile, the United States will look to return to the top of the World Championships podium for the first time since 2013 after qualifying third in 7:06.86. Andrew Seliskar (1:45.71 lead-off) and Zach Apple (1:45.59 anchor) are likely to join Townley Haas and Blake Pieroni on the final relay, although Caeleb Dressel remains a possibility for the U.S.

Australia, led by strong efforts from Alexander Graham (1:46.41) and Mack Horton (1:46.56), qualified third in 7:06.97, with Clyde Lewis and Kyle Chalmers set to join the finals squad. Meanwhile, Great Britain swam without Duncan Scott and James Guy in prelims, and the British will have to go for a third straight World title from an outside lane after tying for seventh in 7:08.45.

Finalists and splits:

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Read more about the FINA World Swimming Championships.

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