Matt Grevers Fuels United States to Top Seed in Mixed Medley Relay
23 July 2019, 08:31pm
World Swimming Championships (Matt Grevers)
Day 4 Heats (Mixed Medley Relay)
Propelled by a strong leadoff backstroke leg from Matt Grevers (52.75), the United States claimed the top seed for the final of the mixed relay, clocking in at 3:41.23. Grevers was followed into the water by Andrew Wilson (58.35), Kelsi Dahlia (57.35) and Mallory Comerford (52.78). The event has taken on greater significance at these World Championships since the mixed medley relay will be an Olympic event for the first time next year in Tokyo.
Australia, the primary challenger to the United States, advanced to the final in the No. 2 qualifying position. The Aussies relied on the foursome of Minna Atherton (59.65), Matthew Wilson (58.84), Matthew Temple (51.41) and Bronte Campbell (52.32) to post a time of 3:42.22. Australia was followed in third by Russia (3:43.30), with Great Britain placing fourth in 3:43.37.
There will be plenty of changes to lineups for the final, with the United States likely to go with a squad that consists of Ryan Murphy, Lilly King, Caeleb Dressel and Simone Manuel. Meanwhile, Australia is expected to add Mitch Larkin and Cate Campbell for additional firepower, while Russia has the option of adding Evgeny Rylov and Yuliya Efimova to its order. Unlike the mixed 4×100 freestyle relay, in which most teams front-load their lineups with the men to get clean water, the mixed medley forces countries to assess their relative strength on each leg. The result is an event with plenty of action and changes in position.
Canada took the fifth position for the final in 3:44.03, while Italy, the Netherlands and Germany rounded out the finalists. China and Japan were expected to contend for medals, but disqualifications short-circuited those hopes. The world record of 3:38.56, set in 2017 by the United States, should be under fire in the final.
Mixed Medley Relay Finalists
1. United States 3:41.23
2. Australia 3:42.22
3. Russia 3:43.30
4. Great Britain 3:43.37
5. Canada 3:44.03
6. Italy 3:44.38
7. Netherlands 3:44.67
8. Germany 3:45.20