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 4x100m freestyle relay event is 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 4x100m 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.
The US team always has a great pool of swimmers to select the national roster from, they enter in all events with a possibility to win. This is especially true in the 4x100-meter freestyle relay while they arrive as the defending Olympic champions to Budapest – at the Rio Games C. Dressel, M. Phelps, R. Held, Adrian N. took the first place with the time of 3:09.92.
The Americans finished only 11th at the previous World Championships in Kazan in this event, but they were not even close to their best possible team combination. There, for example, the most successful Olympians of all time, Michael Phelps was not member of the relay. Among his 23 Olympic gold medals, two are from the 4x100 freestyle relay (2008 and 2016).
Specialist of this relay, Jason Lezak, delivered an unforgettable performance at tha Beijing Olympics – as member of the 100m freestyle relay he swam 46.06.
The French are the American's greatest challengers in the event, because they took the silver medal at the Rio Olympics for example, while in London they actually triumphed in 2012. They are coming to Budapest this July as defending World champions.
In Kazan, the Aussies were not participating with their best relay team composition, the only finished at the13th place therefore. Australia has traditionally raised brilliant freestyle swimmers - in Rio, for example, the women's 4x100 freestyle relay team became Olympic champion with a world record, and the men finished with bronze in the event.
Russia is always close to the fire, in Rio they remained three tenths behind the Australian relay team, while they took the silver medal in front of home crowds in Kazan two years ago. Interestingly they qualified for the final with the best time both in Kazan and at the 2016 Olympics.
The heats and final of the men’s 100m freestyle relay event will be held at the brand new Dagály Aquatics Arena on July 23, on the first day of the World Championships’ swimming competition.
Tickets for the 17th FINA World Championships’ swimming event are available here.