World Championships, Day Six Prelims: Aussies Top Qualifying in 800 Freestyle Relay, But Great Britain Aiming For WR

australian-2023 WORLD TRIALS Kai Taylor fist pump

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World Championships, Day Six Prelims: Aussies Top Qualifying in 800 Freestyle Relay, But Great Britain Aiming For WR

On the back of Kai Taylor’s third-leg split, Australia comfortably moved into the final of the 800-meter freestyle relay at the World Championships. The Aussies posted a time of 7:04.37, an effort that was fueled in a big way by Taylor and his split of 1:44.56. Taylor was joined by Flynn Southam (1:47.85), Elijah Winnington (1:46.27) and Thomas Neill (1:45.69). Several changes are expected for the final, with Kyle Chalmers and Sam Short as options.

Although the Aussies will be in Lane Four at night, the favorite will be Great Britain. The British unit of Joe Litchfield, Duncan Scott, Tom Dean and Matt Richards eased through its prelim swim, finishing fourth in 7:06.07. There is plenty remaining in the British tank and a run at the world record of 6:58.55 is expected. Richards was the gold medalist earlier in the week in the 200 freestyle, where Dean, the Olympic champion in the 200 free, earned silver. Scott is the reigning Olympic silver medalist in the 200 freestyle, and James Guy – who will be added at night – is a longtime relay lynchpin for Great Britain.

The United States will be the second seed in the final following the efforts of Drew Kibler, Baylor Nelson, Henry McFadden and Jake Mitchell to go 7:06.07. The American coaching staff will bring Kieran SmithLuke Hobson and Carson Foster in at night.

Italy was third-fastest in the morning, going 7:06.12, while France and Korea were fifth and sixth. The field will be completed by Germany and Brazil. France is expected to have Leon Marchand on its relay. The 21-year-old has won the 200 butterfly and both medley events at the World Champs.


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