2019 FINA WORLD AQUATICS CHAMPIONSHIPS
The USA men came through with a new Championship Record in the 400 Free Relay on the first night of finals at the 2019 FINA World Championships. Caeleb Dressel, who first broke the American Record as the leadoff member of this relay in 2017, swam his fastest time since the last Worlds meet with a 47.63 to start. He handed off to Blake Pieroni, who held the lead in 47.49.
Their 3rd leg man, however, really brought the thunder. Zach Apple pulled the Americans further ahead with a huge 46.86 split. Nathan Adrian, the anchor staple of this relay over the last several years, then sealed the deal with a 47.08 split.
American Relay Splits:
Their 3:09.06 cleared the USAâ€™s former mark of 3:09.24 from 2009 Worlds and is within a second of the World Record. Itâ€™s also the fastest textile suit relay in history.
Appleâ€™s split brings up an interesting possibility of whether he may be considered for the anchor position on the medley relay. With Dressel likely swimming the fly leg, he could be used on the prelims or finals relay in that spot. Pieroni is the other man slated to swim the individual 100 free here.
The coaches will have several men to choose from, as Adrian is also a possibility. Heâ€™s been consistently reliable as the USAâ€™s anchor leg and was nearly sub-47 himself tonight. Apple, however, was over 6 tenths faster than Pieroni and had the fastest split of any man in the Worlds field tonight.