LONDON -- Despite having the fastest 400-meter relay split of any U.S. swimmer in the heats, Matt Grevers of Lake Forest did not think it was fast enough to get him onto the team for Sunday night's final.
He was right. The U.S. relay lineup is Nathan Adrian, Michael Phelps, Cullen Jones and Ryan Lochte.
And Grevers said Sunday afternoon he can live with that, because it will allow him to concentrate on the 100-meter backstroke semis about a half hour before the relay final.
Grevers still gets a medal if the U.S. team wins one.
"No one told me a time but I had in my head 47.3, so I figure I just missed possibly making finals," said Grevers, whose split was 47.54 seconds.
"It is (disappointing), but only if I went faster. If they choose someone else, there’s no bad feelings at all. I just want USA to do the best it can do."
The top two in the 100 meters from the Olympic trials, Adrian and Jones, were expected to be in the final. The addition of the two swim superstars, Lochte and Phelps, also was no surprise, even though neither swam the event at the U.S. trials.
The U.S. coaches have a lot of leeway in relay selections.
"There could be a lot of politics," Grevers said. "But I believe the coaches are going to put the best possible relay out there. I think I can throw down a faster time. I was a little conservative on my start."
Australia is a heavy favorite in the relay.
Grevers, who had the second fastest 100 backstroke in history (52.08) to win the Olympic trials in June, was the only one of 43 swimmers in the morning heats to break 53 seconds (52.92).
"Its not a bad thing," Grevers said of the possibility he will be swimming only backstroke at the Olympics. "I’m happy, no matter what."
Grevers was silver medalist in the backstroke at the 2008 Olympics, where he also won gold on the medley relay after swimming in the prelims. He would likely get to swim the final of the medley relay here if he is the top U.S. finisher in the 100 back.
"The back was awesome," Grevers said of his Sunday morning swim. "I’ve never felt so smooth. I didn’t expect to see that time. I think that really bodes well. Right now I’m really excited for the 100 back."Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times