The U.S. men won their first world title in the 4x100m freestyle relay since 2009 on Sunday.
Nathan Adrian, an eight-time Olympic medalist, anchored the American quartet to a time of 3:10.06. They won by .28 over Brazil. Hungary took bronze.
Adrian was joined by Caeleb Dressel, Townley Haas and Blake Pieroni in the final, all Olympic relay champions racing at their first worlds.
Dressel, who led off the Rio Olympic 4x100m free, broke an eight-year-old American 100m free record leading off the race in Budapest on Sunday.
“It’s not unexpected,” Adrian said of Dressel, according to Swimming World. “Anybody who’s followed Caeleb in his trajectory the last couple years — I’m not surprised a bit.”
Brazil closed the gap on the next three legs with its fastest swimmers, including the two fastest splits of the 32-swimmer field, but Adrian held off veteran Bruno Fratus on anchor.
The U.S. last won the 4x100m free at worlds in 2009, at the height of the super-suit era. It took bronze in 2011, silver in 2013 and bottomed out in 2015, tying for 11th.
France, gold medalist at the 2012 Olympics and 2013 and 2015 Worlds, has fallen so far that it did not even enter the 4x100m free in Budapest.
Longtime rival Australia lacked its best sprinter, Olympic 100m freestyle champion Kyle Chalmers, who missed worlds after heart surgery.
Men’s 4x100m Freestyle Relay Results
Gold: USA — 3:10.06
Silver: Brazil — 3:10.34
Bronze: Hungary — 3:11.99
4. Russia — 3:12.58
5. Japan — 3:13.65
6. Canada — 3:15.25
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