Aussies Blast 3:24.29 In Mixed 400 Free Relay To Shatter World Junior Record

2023 WORLD JUNIOR SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS

The Australians put an end to the U.S. relay streak in definitive fashion on the third night of racing at the 2023 World Junior Swimming Championships, smashing the World Junior Record by over a second and a half in the mixed 4×100 free.

The Aussies were coming into the race with a lot of momentum, as not only were they being led off by Flynn Southam, who won the boys’ 200 free on Tuesday, but they also had Olivia Wunsch and Milla Jansen on the back half, who went 1-2 in the girls’ 100 free less than half an hour prior.

Southam led off in 48.58, slightly trailing the U.S. team that had a blistering opening leg from Maximus Williamson (48.38), but the Aussies assumed the lead at the halfway mark after Edward Sommerville dropped a 48.54 split, putting the team three-tenths clear of the Americans.

Wunsch (53.62) and Jansen (53.55) ran away with the title over the final 200 meters, giving the Australian team a new World Junior Record in 3:24.29, shattering the previous mark of 3:25.92 set by the U.S. in 2019 (which also stood as the Championship Record).

Split Comparison

USA, 2019 AUS, 2023
Luca Urlando – 49.66 Flynn Southam – 48.58
Adam Chaney – 48.25 Edward Sommerville – 48.54
Amy Tang – 54.18 Olivia Wunsch – 53.62
Gretchen Walsh – 53.83 Milla Jansen – 53.55
3:25.92 3:24.29

The runner-up American team also went under the old record in 3:25.59, as Williamson was followed by Jason ZhaoErika Pelaez and Anna Moesch.

Williamson’s lead-off leg was notably under the U.S. 17-18 National Age Group Record, though it won’t officially count since it was done on a mixed relay.

Split Comparison

AUS, 2023 USA, 2023
Flynn Southam – 48.58 Maximus Williamson – 48.38
Edward Sommerville – 48.54 Jason Zhao – 49.05
Olivia Wunsch – 53.62 Erika Pelaez – 53.76
Milla Jansen – 53.55 Anna Moesch – 54.40
3:24.29 3:25.59

For the Australian team, Wunsch’s split was just under her winning time from the individual event (53.71), while Jansen’s 53.55 leg was very impressive given she went 54.08 to win individual silver earlier in the session. Wunsch is 17, while Jansen is still just 16.

For the boys, Southam does not appear to be on career-best form, having been as fast as 47.77 from a flat start, though his lead-off swim from Wednesday was an improvement compared to his 48.47 flying split from the boys’ 400 free relay.

Sommerville’s 48.54 split was significant given he set a personal best time of 49.24 on the lead-off leg of the 400 free relay early in the meet (he also anchored in 48.70 on the mixed medley relay on Tuesday).

The victory came after three straight silver medal finishes for the Aussies behind the Americans in the boys’ 400 free relay, girls’ 800 free relay and the mixed 400 medley relay over the two days of the meet.

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Hooked on Chlorine
3 months ago

You’d think that FINA would upload clips of some of these races or at the very least race highlights to YouTube to publicize the event and to promote world swimming, but no, that’s asking for too much.

Fukuoka Gold
Reply to  Hooked on Chlorine
3 months ago

World Aquatics is a dinosaur.

Hooked on Chlorine
Reply to  James Sutherland
3 months ago

Thanks.

Swimmer
3 months ago

Those splits from the Aussie girls are as fast as some of the splits from the women at normal worlds. Aussie women are unmatched in the 100 free, enough said

Sub13
Reply to  Swimmer
3 months ago

Both Wunsch and Jansen’s times would have been an improvement for the slowest leg on every women’s relay in Fukuoka except Australia and China.

Wunsch’s time would have made the senior team in every country except Aus and USA. Nuts!

Torchbearer
Reply to  Sub13
3 months ago

Wunsch could have swum in Tokyo or Budapest and Australia still would have won easily!

Troyy
3 months ago

This relay suits the Aussies well at both senior and junior level 😊

Verram
Reply to  Troyy
3 months ago

Shame it’s not an Olympic event though .. talk about gold medal gone begging

Sub13
3 months ago

I as doubts they would break it because of Flynn not being at his best and the tight turnaround but they demolished it!

Assuming a solid chunk of the current 100 free women retire after Paris, looks like we should have a few to replace them.

AussieAussieAussie
Reply to  Sub13
3 months ago

Let me see. Mollie, Shayna and Meg I assume will still swim til LA, Wunsch, Jansen will be 22 and 21 by then. Casey hopefully too.

Troyy
Reply to  AussieAussieAussie
3 months ago

I’ve been wondering for a while if Casey would benefit from changing programs.

commonwomnat
Reply to  Sub13
3 months ago

Of the current WR quartet, McKeon looks the only obvious retirement. Of the wider list of “candidates”; both Campbells, Wilson & Throssell will almost certainly collect their retirement payout.

Stefe
3 months ago

The amount of racing in a short period, is starting to hit hard. Which makes that record even more impressive

Chad
3 months ago

Sheesh when will Australia ever NOT have a consistent pipeline of women who dominate in the 100 free? Seriously impressive.

Pacific Whirl
3 months ago

Jansen is 16 according to her AQUA profile.

Stefe
Reply to  Pacific Whirl
3 months ago

She is

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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