The 400-meter individual medley relay is swimming's most difficult race to win. You not only need to have endurance, but you also need to have technical ability to swim well at four different strokes. This is swimming's version of the decathlon. Typically, a swimmer needs to be the best in the world at one or two strokes of the medley to have a chance at winning.
Following are predictions of how the race will turn out.
Lochte claims he wasn’t tapered in the Olympic Trials, but all I hear is excuses. Expect Michael Phelps to come up on top. Phelps has a big meet mentality, so don’t be surprised if he reaches the finals with a slower time than Lochte.
Cue the Jaws music because the shark will strike in the finals, and the shark is not Ryan Lochte. Lochte doesn’t lack confidence; What he lacks is an ability to defeat Michael Phelps. If Lochte can break 4:04 in the 400-meter individual medley, he can win, but don’t expect him to get this time. Expect Lochte to finish second a with a shade under 4:05.
The bronze medal will be won by either Yuya Horihate or Kosuke Hagino.
British swimmer Miley Hannah will earn the silver medal. Propelled by the support of a nation, she will get a personal best time and end up on the medal podium.
19-year-old American Elizabeth Beisel will improve on her performance in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and win her first gold medal. At only 19, don’t expect this to be her last Olympics, and certainly not her last gold medal.