American Men Smash 4×50 Free Relay World Record In 1:21.80


  • Tuesday, December 11th – Sunday, December 16th
  • Hangzhou, China
  • Tennis Centre, Hangzhou Olympic & International Expo Center
  • SCM (25m)
  • Prelims: 9:30 am local, 8:30 pm ET / Finals: 7:00 pm* local, 6:00* am ET
  • *The final night of finals will be one hour earlier, starting at 6:00 pm local and 5:00 am ET
  • Live Results (Omega)

The American reign in the relays continued to open day 4 finals in Hangzhou, as Caeleb DresselRyan HeldJack Conger and Michael Chadwick teamed up for a new world record in the men’s 4×50 free relay.

The quartet clocked a time of 1:21.80, smashing the previous mark of 1:22.60 set by the Russians at the 2014 World Championships in Doha.

Dressel broke his American Record for the third time on the lead-off in 20.43, and then Held (20.25), Conger (20.59) and Chadwick (20.53) all had elite splits. In 2nd, Russia was also under the old world record in 1:22.22, with Vlad Morozov beating out Dressel on the first leg in 20.39.

Held has the fastest split in the field, while Chadwick and Conger were 5th and 7th in terms of flying splits. South Africa had Chad Le Clos split 20.31, Russia had Evgeny Rylov anchor in 20.37, and Italy had some fast ones from Andrea Vergani (20.44) and Lorenzo Zazzeri (20.57) as they placed 3rd in 1:22.90.

Russia, 2014 SC Worlds USA, 2018 SC Worlds
Morozov – 21.01 Dressel – 20.43
Sedov – 20.37 Held – 20.25
Tikhobaev – 20.59 Conger – 20.59
Fesikov – 20.63 Chadwick – 20.53
1:22.60 1:21.80

Despite the record, this isn’t the fastest relay in history. The French team swam a time of 1:20.77 at the 2008 European Championships in Rijeka, Croatia, but FINA never recognized as it as an official world record. That was the team that had the only two sub-20 legs in history from Fred Bousquet (19.87) and Amaury Leveaux (19.93). It’s interesting to not that their swim is also listed as the European Record despite not counting as the world record.

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mike in dallas

TEAM USA continues that relay dominance, both men, women, and mixed relays!
What a great set piece for Tokyo 2020!!


Yes we’re dominating so far. But we are also benefiting from the absence of a strong British in like the medleys.


thats pretty right


And the women’s Australian relays.

Samuel Huntington

Wow Held, feel like 20.2 is 17 SCY! And Conger and Chadwick fast too


Sounds about right. I think Caeleb is in roughly 18.2-18.3 form. 20.2 being roughly equivalent to 18.0 or 17.9 feels about right.


Why do you think he’s in 18.3 form? He went 20.4 in the 50 free which is less than two tenths from what a monster called Manaudou went and they both have the same time in LCM. I’d love to see Morozov or Florent in his prime try out a 50 SCY, they would most definitely rival Dressel. Keep in mind Gkolomeev was a 18.6 swimmer and can barely go under 21 in SCM.


Dressel has dominated Morozov’s times in both SCY and LCM. Why would SCM be any different? And if 18.6 is indeed equivalent to a 21.0 SCM as you say, then Dressels 17.6 would roughly mean he should be going 20 flat in the 50 SCM. Don’t try and tell me that this Dressel at this meet is on the same level as peak NCAAs Dressel, it’s simply not true.


He has dominated his times in SCY from 5 years ago, not now, in LCM he is a better swimmer. If Morozov swam yards now he´d be at Dressel´s level as he is as explosive as Dressel. For your second point SCY is less distance meaning the difference between both will be different and would indicate Dressel should be, at best at WR time, he is less than two tenths from it so it´s pretty spot on. Why is he not on the same level? Do you think he´s better than Manaudou in short course? Does he have a better start? Tandy and Morozov kept up with him today. Better underwater? Nobody is better than Manaudou as he went 22,22… Read more »


Lol you’re delusional. First off, Murphy is the World Record holder in the 100 back LCM. I don’t know what you are trying to say about him, especially when he won the 100 back here anyway.

Secondly, Dressel has already proved himself LCM by going some of the fastest textile times in history across multiple events. 21.15/47.17 50/100free, 49.86 100 fly. Your boy Vlad only has PR’s of 21.46/47.62 50/100LCM. “Better LCM swimmer” huh?

Lol, what a bunch of crock.


I meant Dressel>Morozov in LCM, hence why I refer to yards after that…Try and argue the rest of the points fan boy.

For Murphy he won the 100 back by 0.03, lost the 50 back and will most likely lose the 200 back to Rylov. By the way, I hope Russia put Rylov in the 4×100 medley as he will most likely be faster than Kolesnikov.
My point is In NCAA´s Murphy and Dressel thrashed everybody for four years straight, here they are some of the best swimmers, but not the best as you all envisioned.

tea rex

Fun fact: the UNOFFICIAL WR was set exactly 10 years ago (to the day!).

BERNARD Alain 0.71 20.64 20.64(1)
GILOT Fabien 0.22 20.33 40.97(1)
LEVEAUX Amaury 0.40 19.93 1:00.90(1)
BOUSQUET Frederick 0.21 19.87 1:20.77


Leveaux 19.93 with a 0,4 RT is very impressive. Did they have the real rubber suit here? The one that Biedermann and company wore at Rome.


Think back end of ‘08 was still LZRs.

They still had a significant impact in the sprints, guys like Bousquet and Bernard were absolutely jacked and the LZR seemed to allow them to translate 50 speed to the hundred (Eamonn Sullivan the same but skinnier).


People tend to diminish bousquet as a LZR guy.. he was textile world record holder on 50 free with a 21,36, he went a 47,03 split on 2003 World.. he had some amazing no suit times on his belt..


Probably. That entire French relay benefitted heavily from the super suits. Big, muscular, dense bodies that relied on the suits to retain an aerodynamic shape and to float on top of the water. I’m glad the super suits are gone for this reason, forces athletes to have more balanced physiques.


Bousquet was a world class sprinter, with or without the so called “super-suits”. He was the first guy under 19 in the 50 Y free in 2005 (NCAA). Let’s not rush to demean the amazing performances of an entire decade just because there was a bit more fabric covering skin.

Norn Iron swim

Leveaux was wearing TYR I think. But the chat at the time was that he was wearing 2 of them for extra compression and “effectiveness”.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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