World Championships: Kieran Smith, Tom Dean, Kristof Milak Among Anchors for Men’s 800 Free Relay (Lineups)

Kieran Smith -- Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

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World Championships: Kieran Smith, Tom Dean, Kristof Milak Among Anchors for Men’s 800 Free Relay (Lineups)

The men’s 800 freestyle relay final at the World Championships will see the United States as the top-seeded team attempting to return to the medal podium after a rare fourth-place finish in the event at the Tokyo Olympics. The American group for the relay final will include Drew KiblerCarson FosterTrenton Julian and Kieran Smith. Smith and Kibler return from last year’s Olympic final, and both swam in the individual 200 free final earlier in the meet (Kibler was fourth and Smith sixth), while Foster has already won a pair of silver medals this week in the 400 IM and 200 IM.

The pre-meet favorite, Great Britain, was just the sixth-fastest team in prelims, and Britain will go with a group of James GuyJacob WhittleJoe Litchfield and Tom Dean. Dean is the Olympic gold medalist in the 200 free, and he was the bronze medalist in the individual 200 free final Monday, while Guy was the world champion in the event back in 2015. However, Great Britain suffered a big setback in its hopes of backing up an Olympic gold medal last year with a world title when Duncan Scott withdrew from the World Championships because of complications in his recovery from COVID-19.

Defending world champion Australia finished eighth in prelims to sneak into the final, and the Aussies will return only one swimmer from that gold-medal squad in 2019, Mack Horton. The Aussies took bronze at the Tokyo Olympics, and only Zac Incerti is back from that group. 400 free world champion Elijah Winnington will lead off ahead of Incerti, Sam Short and Horton. Notably, 2016 Olympic gold medalist Kyle Chalmers will not race for Australia. Chalmers has been a staple of this relay for several years, but the Aussie coaches chose not to use him after he missed qualifying for the semifinals in his only individual event in Budapest, the 100 butterfly.

Notably, 200 free Olympic bronze medalist Fernando Scheffer will lead off for second-seeded Brazil, while 200 fly world champion and world-record breaker Kristof Milak anchors for third-seeded Hungary. France will have 400 IM and 200 IM world champion Leon Marchand swimming second.

Check out the full start list here.