An Olympic Males’s 400 Freestyle Relay Showdown: Russia vs. USA


An Olympic Males’s 400 Freestyle Relay Showdown: Russia vs. USA

The USA has been on a tear within the males’s 400 freestyle relay in recent times. After taking gold on the 2016 Olympic Video games, the U.S. adopted that efficiency up with gold at each the 2017 and 2019 World Championships. Led by 100 free world champion Caeleb Dressel, the U.S. sports activities a deep lineup of sprinters, making it seem like the favourite as we head towards the Olympics in Tokyo.

Nonetheless, Russia took the silver medal in 2019, and could also be even higher in 2021. At Russia’s latest Olympic Trials, Kliment Kolesnikov reset the nationwide file within the 100 freestyle with a time of 47.31. He was joined by world junior file holder Andrei Minakov in qualifying individually for Tokyo within the 100 free. The relay will seemingly additionally embody Vladislav Grinev, the bronze medalist within the 100 free from the final World Champs, and longtime worldwide standout Vladimir Morozov or Evgeny Rylov. May the Russian group probably dethrone the USA? We’ll attempt to determine this out by trying nearer on the instances.

Observe: Though the Russian group identify and nationwide anthem have been banned from the Olympics, it would nonetheless be capable to subject a relay underneath the identify “Russian Olympic Committee.”

Flat Begin Comparability

The best means to take a look at this matter will probably be to check the quickest 4 flat-start instances on every group since 2017. These are proven within the desk. For the Russian group, the 4 swimmers included are those who will probably be chosen for the Olympic group based mostly on outcomes from Trials.

USA Russia
1 Caeleb Dressel 46.96 47.31 Kliment Kolesnikov
2 Ryan Held 47.39 47.43 Vladislav Grinev
3 Maxime Rooney 47.61 47.57 Andrei Minakov
4 Zach Apple 47.69 47.75 Vlad Morozov
Complete 3:09.65 3:10.06


The outcome right here barely favors the USA, with Dressel’s 46.96 making up a lot of the distinction. The opposite three legs seem to principally be a wash. Nonetheless, we do know that three of those swimmers will go from relay begins, so we might be able to calculate a extra correct prediction through the use of the quickest flying splits from all sides since 2017. Moreover, there’s a good likelihood that when america has its Trials, sooner instances are produced.

Comparability with Relay Begins

For the USA, Caeleb Dressel has constantly led off, so he stays within the leadoff place, and the opposite three legs have been altered to replicate the quickest flying splits by American swimmers. On the Russian aspect, each Kolesnikov and Minakov have dropped considerably, so their relay splits usually are not reflective of their precise velocity. For this train, I left Minakov’s break up as his flat-start time, and put Kolesnikov because the leadoff leg. Additional, it was unattainable to go away Evgeny Rylov off the relay following a 47.0 break up in 2019. I used him to exchange Grinev, who had two subpar leadoff legs in 2019.

USA Russia
1 Caeleb Dressel 46.96 47.31 Kliment Kolesnikov
2 Dean Farris 47.08 47.31 Vlad Morozov
3 Zach Apple 46.86 47.57 Andrei Minakov
4 Nathan Adrian 47.08 47.02 Evgeny Rylov
Complete 3:07.98 3:09.21


Right here, we see america gaining a much bigger benefit. Notably, 3:07.98 would break the world file. Nonetheless, there are a couple of components to contemplate. Initially, america has many various choices on relays, that means that they won’t essentially be capable to nail down an ideal order (which this simulation assumes). Russia, alternatively, has principally 5 choices for 4 spots, so their lineup is extra set in stone. Additional, the Russians have Minakov’s time from a flat begin, which may simply be a half second sooner from a flying begin. A number of changes could possibly be made to the above mannequin for a extra life like simulation.


On america’ aspect, a pair changes could possibly be made for a extra life like time prediction. Initially, whereas Dressel swam his private better of 46.96 in 2019, he was a bit slower main off the relays. He was simply 47.63 main off the lads’s relay, and 47.34 main off the blended medley. For this train, we’ll take the sooner of the 2 splits, and have Dressel lead off in 47.34.

Additional, there’s the consideration that the U.S. won’t have this actual lineup on the Olympics. Each Adrian and Farris had been outdoors the highest six nationally in 2019, which would go away them outdoors the Olympic roster. Finally, there aren’t any ensures, and there’s no good technique to modify for which swimmers will or gained’t make it. Nonetheless, with the U.S.’ depth, it could be protected to imagine that it’s going to have three legs of 47-low or higher. Due to this, I selected to go away the opposite three legs in place.

For Russia, the primary adjustment can be Minakov, who we will assume can be about half a second sooner going from a flying begin. This may put him at a 47.07. Everybody else will most likely be across the similar.

USA Russia
1 Caeleb Dressel 47.34 47.31 Kliment Kolesnikov
2 Dean Farris 47.08 47.31 Vlad Morozov
3 Zach Apple 46.86 47.07 Andrei Minakov
4 Nathan Adrian 47.08 47.02 Evgeny Rylov
Complete 3:08.36 3:08.71

This projection as soon as once more has america forward, however by simply 0.35. The outcomes all barely favor the U.S. on paper.


Whereas the projections barely favor america, the numbers are shut sufficient to point an attractive duel is on the horizon. There are lots of concerns, equivalent to whether or not the swimmers are having an on meet, and even what swimmers will qualify for the U.S., that might drastically change the end result.

Nonetheless, what we will say for certain is that Russia is an actual menace. The 0.35 margin within the ultimate projection is miniscule, and signifies that the race may actually go both means. Though the People could be the favorites, there’s a actual likelihood that the Russians may take the gold.

All commentaries are the opinion of the creator and don’t essentially replicate the views of Swimming World Journal nor its employees.

Supply hyperlink


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here