McEvoy predicts relay race for the ages
4 August 2016
SWIMMING: Commonwealth and Australian record holder in the 100m freestyle Cameron McEvoy has tipped the men’s 4x100m freestyle relay to be one of the most exciting races at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Australia is chasing just its second gold medal in the prestigious event but faces stiff competition from the likes of France, the USA, Italy and Brazil.
“This year it seems like there’s the most depth in the world in the history of the sport in the 4x100m freestyle relays,” McEvoy said.
“It’s going to be an exciting race for the spectators and even more for the people in it.
“It's one of the events I'm most excited to race in these Games.”
James Roberts, James Magnussen, Kyle Chalmers and Matt Abood are among the squad set to join McEvoy in Australia’s 4x100m freestyle relay team, which has enjoyed a strong preparation for the race at the team’s final training camp in Auburn, in the USA, before arriving in Rio.
“The mood with the relay team, with us, is really, really good,” McEvoy said.
“It aligns with how I like to approach a lot of my competition, and it’s a very relaxed vibe.
“It’s a feeling of we know what we need to do individually and we’re comfortable with that, and that has a lot of synergy with how we like to go about the race.”
Five-time Olympian Michael Phelps is expected to be included in a USA team that has traditionally dominated the event.
The Americans won every gold medal in the men’s 4x100m freestyle relay from the 1964 Tokyo Olympics through to the 1996 Atlanta Games, before being ‘smashed like guitars’ by the Australian team of Ian Thorpe, Michael Klim, Ashley Callus and Chris Fydler at the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
The Sydney 2000 win is Australia’s only Olympic gold medal in the event.
South Africa won gold in Athens in 2004, the USA again in Beijing in 2008 while France won the event for the first time in London in 2012.