World Championships: Ryan Held Posts Swift Leadoff as Team USA Takes Top Seed in Mixed 400 Freestyle Relay

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World Championships: Ryan Held Posts Swift Leadoff as Team USA Takes Top Seed in Mixed 400 Freestyle Relay

The United States’ relay strength at this week’s World Championships has been impressive, with the Stars & Stripes grabbing gold in four of five relays through six days of competition in Budapest. And on the morning of Day Seven, Team USA positioned itself to earn another trip to the top of the podium.

In the mixed 400-meter freestyle relay, the U.S. moved into the final as the No. 1 seed when the squad of Ryan Held (47.85), Drew Kibler (48.26), Erika Brown (53.73) and Kate Douglass (54.64) produced a time of 3:24.48. That performance outpaced Canada and Australia, which clocked respective marks of 3:25.30 and 3:25.55 for the second and third seeds.

The mixed freestyle relay is the one relay on the program that is not an Olympic event and it will be interesting to see what lineup the United States opts for during the finals. After leading off in sub-48, Held figures to be on the team, along with Brooks Curry. For the women, Torri Huske and Claire Curzan are the suspected team members, although it would mean a third event of the session for Huske, who has the 50 butterfly and 50 freestyle also on her schedule.

Held has been a terrific storyline for the Americans, as he bounced back from missing the Olympic Games to help Team USA to gold earlier in the week in the men’s 400 freestyle relay. During duty in that event, Held checked in with a sub-47 split.

The fourth seed for the final was taken by the Netherlands, as it touched the wall in 3:25.86.

MIxed400FreeRelay(Prelims)

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