Confident Australian James Magnussen backed up his brash talk as he overhauled US veteran Jason Lezak to put his team in pole position for the 4x100m freestyle relay Olympic final on Sunday.
Magnussen, in his first swim of the London Games, clocked a sizzling 47.35 seconds in the final leg as he turned the tables on front-runner Lezak, who famously overtook France to claim gold for the United States in 2008.
Australia had trailed the Americans from halfway, but world champion Magnussen dived in at the last change to qualify his team top in 3:12.29 -- grabbing the coveted lane four for Sunday night's final.
Defending champions America were second quickest in 3:12.59, ahead of Russia (3:12.77) and France (3:13.38).
Magnussen, who insists the individual 100m freestyle is his to lose, had earlier spoken of his deep admiration for Lezak's come-from-behind swim in 2008.
"I felt nice and relaxed in the first 50 and I just let the crowd carry me home at the end," he said.
Australia's Jason Roberts, the second-fastest in the 100m this year, registered 48.22sec as the second swimmer in a top-strength quartet.
It is unusual for the leading relay teams to use their big names in the morning heats, but Australia were looking for the favoured lane four in their bid to down the American defending champions.
In Magnussen and Roberts, Australia have the fastest two men in the world this year by a wide margin, while former world record-holder Eamon Sullivan and world champion Matthew Targett are also expected to feature in the final.
The Americans, who are expected to bring in Nathan Adrian, winner of the individual 100m free at the US trials, Cullen Jones and Michael Phelps for the final, have won eight of the 10 Olympic gold medals awarded in the event.
Head US coach Gregg Troy was keeping the makeup of his team secret for the final.
"We've talked about it and have decided on the team composition, but we have to give ourselves the best chance of winning," Troy said. "This is the best 400 relay field ever."
The USA won the first seven Olympic editions of the event, from 1964-1996, before Australia ended their unbeaten run in an epic showdown in Sydney -- where Gary Hall Jnr had vowed to smash the Aussies "like guitars".
South Africa seized the gold in Athens four years later in the Americans' only defeats at the Olympics.