There is not much time left until the 17th FINA World Championships – the Event that is always full of surprises in a post-Olympic year. In swimming, the men’s 400m freestyle event is always highly anticipated and spectacular, as it is contested on the first day of the discipline’s competitions, on July 23 this year.
Olympic and world champions will clash over 400m at the brand new World Championships venue, the Dagály Aquatics Arena. Let’s take a look at the event’s expected protagonists - strictly on the basis of the figures and results of the recent past:
Mack Horton (AUS)
Olympic champion of Rio, Mack Horton is one of the strongest candidates for gold in Budapest, too. Horton did not make it to the 44m freestyle final at the 2015 FINA World Championships in Kazan, but a year later he triumphed at the Olympics as the youngest finalist.
Sun Yang (CHN)
The event’s gold medallist in Kazan, Sun Yang is coming to Budapest to defend his title. At the Olympics he finished behind Horton by only 0.13 sec, so the Chinese Meteor has a good reason to strike back.
Gabriele Detti (ITA)
The Italian athlete swam his personal best in Rio (3:43.49), it got him an Olympic bronze medal.
Conor Dwyer and Connor Jaeger (USA)
Americans have strong domination in the world’s swimming field, and this for sure will continue in Budapest, too. At the Rio Olympics Conor Dwyer finished fourth (3:44.01) in the 400m freestyle final, while Connor Jaeger came just behind him, finishing fifth (3: 44.16). Both of them were ‘close to the fire’, and will be likely wanting to reach the top at the Dagály Aguatics Arena.
Peter Bernek (HUN)
Although he did not make the Olympic final in Rio, Peter Bernek regained his confidence by clinching the bronze medal of the 400m freestyle event at the World Short Course Swimming Championships in Windsor last December. This time, he is aiming to amaze the home-crowds in Budapest in July.