Nick Zaccardi
Sunday July 29th, 2012

LONDON -- The U.S. announced its 4x100 freestyle relay lineup. In order, it's Nathan Adrian, Michael Phelps, Cullen Jones and Ryan Lochte.

The U.S. is the reigning Olympic champion in the event, thanks to Jason Lezak's memorable anchor leg in Beijing. Lezak was part of the preliminary relay this morning that had the second fastest time to Australia, the favorites in tonight's final.

None of the U.S. swimmers in the prelims were kept on for the final. Instead, it's Adrian, the Olympic trials 100 free champion, Phelps, now a three-time member of this relay, Jones, second at trials, and Lochte.

Lochte's inclusion is the most interesting. He scratched out of the 100 free final at the Olympic trials. Nor was he put on the 4x100 free relay at last year's world championships, when many called for him to be a part of the final quartet. Lochte's dominance in winning the 400 individual medley on Saturday certainly made him more appealing to join this relay for the first time at an Olympics.

The world champion Australia lineup is James Magnussen, Matt Targett, Eamon Sullivan and James Roberts. The Aussies led off with Magnussen at last year's worlds, and he set a textile-suit best in the 100 freestyle to give them a huge lead. The U.S. will likely be trailing after the first leg.

As we've seen before, it can get really interesting after that.

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