World Championships: Wholesale Changes for 7th-Place U.S. Medley Relay

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Photo Courtesy: Andrea Staccioli / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

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World Championships: Wholesale Changes for 7th-Place U.S. Medley Relay

The United States’ women’s 400 medley relay just snuck into the final in seventh place in Saturday’s prelims at the 2022 FINA World Championships.

The foursome that finished seventh in the morning will be completely replaced for the evening finals in Budapest. The squad of Rhyan White, Alex Walsh, Natalie Hinds and Erika Brown went 4:00.06 in prelims, which was more than three seconds up on ninth-place Israel but still a lower finish than the U.S. is used to. It was 3.29 seconds behind the pace set by Australia.

The changes for the evening are wholesale. Regan Smith, Lilly King, Torri Huske and Claire Curzan all enter to mount a charge at a medal. Huske is chasing her sixth medal at these championships, Curzan her fifth.

Australia makes only one change, with Mollie O’Callaghan, the 100 free champ, entering on the anchor leg for Maddie Wilson. The team of Kaylee McKeown, Jenna Strauch, Brianna Throssell and Wilson went 3:56.77 in the morning session.

Second seed Netherlands (3:57.48) and third seed Sweden (3:57.81) both named unchanged squads. Canada was fourth in the morning in 3:58.38. They change three legs, with Kylie Masse in for Ingrid Wilm on backstroke, Rachel Nichol subbing for Kelsey Wog in breast and Penny Oleksiak in for Kayla Sanchez on the anchor. Maggie MacNeil, swimming only relays at this championship, is the lone hold over.

Fifth-place Italy swaps its front half, with Margherita Panziera and 100 breast champ Benedetta Pilato stepping in.

The men’s 400 medley relay prelims featured six teams separated by .70 seconds and eight by 1.15. The U.S. led the way, and they’ve got big guns stepping in for three of the spots. Ryan Murphy takes over for Hunter Armstrong leading off. Michael Andrew will swim free in place of Trenton Julian. Ryan Held is off the end for Brooks Curry. The U.S. went 3:32.91 in the morning. Nic Fink is the lone holdover.

France, the second seed just .07 back, names an unchanged squad. Italy swaps in its back half, with Federico Burdisso to swim fly and Alessandro Miressi freestyle, after going 3:33.02 in the morning. The Aussies, fourth in 3:33.20, add Isaac Cooper off the front and Kyle Chalmers on the anchor.

Great Britain was fifth, just .65 back of the Americans. James Guy and Tom Dean are added to the mix on the back half. China, sixth in 3:33.61, adds Wang Shun on backstroke, in place of Xu Jiayu. Germany, in seventh, names an unchanged squad, as does eighth-place Austria.

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