Australia Breaks 4×200 Free Relay World Record, Titmus Clocks Fastest Split Ever

2023 WORLD AQUATICS CHAMPIONSHIPS

At the 2023 World Championships, the Australian team of Mollie O’Callaghan, Shayna Jack, Brianna Throssell, and Ariarne Titmus combined for a time of 7:37.50 in the women’s 4×200 free relay, breaking their world record from the 2022 Commonwealth Games by nearly two full seconds.

Newly-minted 200 free world record holder O’Callaghan led off, giving Australia a 2.31-second lead over the United States at the 200-meter mark. Katie Ledecky caught up to Jack and Bella Sims touched at the 600-meter mark ahead of Brianna Throssell, but it all didn’t matter because Titmus dropped a 1:52.41 anchor leg to out-split American anchor Alex Shackell by nearly four seconds and help Australia win by 3.88 seconds.

Titmus’s split was the fastest 200 free relay split in history, surpassing her own 1:52.82 split from when Australia last broke the World Record in this relay. She holds the only two sub-1:53 relay splits in history.

All-Time Fastest Splits, Women’s 4×200 Free Relay:

  1. Ariarne Titmus, Australia — 1:52.41 (2023)
  2. Ariarne Titmus, Australia — 1:52.82 (2022)
  3. Federica Pellegrini, Italy — 1:53.45 (2009)
  4. Sarah Sjostrom, Sweden — 1:53.64 (2014)
  5. Katie Ledecky, United States — 1:53.67 (2022)

Splits Comparison:

Australia, 2023 World Championships Australia, 2022 Commonwealth Games
Mollie O’Callaghan – 1:53.66 Madi Wilson – 1:56.27
Shayna Jack — 1:55.63 Kiah Melverton – 1:55.40
Brianna Throssell – 1:55.80 Mollie O’Callaghan – 1:54.80
Ariarne Titmus – 1:52.41 Ariarne Titmus – 1:52.82
7:37.50 7:39.29

So far, Australia has been responsible for all four women’s world records that have been broken at this World Championships. In addition to O’Callaghan’s 200 free world record, Titmus took down the 400 free world record on the opening night of the meet. O’Callagha, Jack, Emma McKeon, and Meg Harris also broke the 4×100 free relay world record by over two seconds.

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Larry
6 months ago

So proud of all these kids. I wish they were all my granddaughters.

Sweet Sweet Peter Rosen
6 months ago

Very impressive swim for all four of them.

Justhereforfun
Reply to  Sweet Sweet Peter Rosen
6 months ago

??? None of them were more than 0.8 slower than their flat start times, which is extremely difficult to pull off for a 4×2 relay

Jimmyswim
Reply to  Justhereforfun
6 months ago

There were 5 splits in the field that were 1:54 or better. Australia already had 2. A 1:55 split is very good by any measure.

Oceanian
6 months ago

They earned another World Record surely? How many relay teams have broken this many records with one swim?

  • World Record
  • World Championship Record
  • Commonwealth Record
  • Area (Oceanian) Record
  • National (Australian) Record
  • State (Queensland) Record
  • Club (St Peters Western) Record

???

Did I miss any??

Maybe:

  • Coach (Dean Boxall) Record
Dan
Reply to  Oceanian
6 months ago

Where all 4 from St Peters Western (I am not from Australia so I have not followed which club each swimmer is from)?

Sub13
Reply to  Dan
6 months ago

Yes all 4 are SPW

Fukuoka Gold
Reply to  Dan
6 months ago

Yes

jeff
6 months ago

Would not be all that surprised to see both Titmus and McIntosh sub 1:53 too by next year

Torchbearer
6 months ago

RE: Olympic Relay Qualification.

What I hated about the the only-top-3 qualify for Paris standard was that it risked AUS and USA qualifying for all relays (maybe minus one) and leaving only ONE place for the whole rest of the World…..and that is how it is playing out.

Sub13
Reply to  Torchbearer
6 months ago

Only top 3 AUTOMATICALLY qualify. The next 13 times are taken from either Fukuoka or Doha. A relay in the top 6 here is essentially guaranteed qualification. It would be almost statistically impossible for 13 teams in Doha (excluding the teams already auto qualified) to swim faster than the 6th fastest in Fukuoka.

And realistically I would say that top 10 here will probably be enough in vast majority of cases

Torchbearer
Reply to  Sub13
6 months ago

Yes of course, but it would be nice to enter an Olympic year guaranteed your position. USA and AUS have that luxury and good for them they have earned it.
I think Top 8 here would have been fairer. That’s all.

Last edited 6 months ago by Torchbearer
Dan
Reply to  Torchbearer
6 months ago

Be glad that this is the scenario because the first proposal had only 3 from this meet and the other 13 from Doha.

Which system do you think is best the current or what was used for the last couple of Olympics, Top 12 from Worlds plus 4 at large relays based on times done at accepted qualifying meets during the qualifying period prior to the Olympics?

jim
6 months ago

All congratulations to Australia – they have had a sensational meet…possibly the best women’s meet of all time??

Given I’m an American, I do want to talk about the USA women…while Ledecky is ‘irreplaceable’, the fact that it was possible they could’ve not even had Ledecky on this relay (put Claire back on it) and STILL finished 2nd with equivalent of an 18 & U relay is remarkable.

Looking at it by age, it was technically girls racing women –
USA 800 free relay ages –

  1. Erin Gemmell – 18
  2. Katie Ledecky – 26
  3. Bella Sims – 18
  4. Alex Shackell – 16
  5. Average age – 19.5 (with Claire instead of Ledecky, average age is 17!!!)

Australia 800… Read more »

MSC
Reply to  jim
6 months ago

What a bunch of word salad.

BairnOwl
Reply to  jim
6 months ago

Australia could have new swimmers come through too. Before 2021, some people were worried about how the aging 4×100 would fare after Tokyo, but then MOC and Harris came up out of the woodwork.

Last edited 6 months ago by BairnOwl
Sub13
Reply to  jim
6 months ago

A few things here:

Yes, USA has a very young team and are looking very bright for the future. The age comparison is a bit weird. Pallister was actually expected to swim this over Throssell but she’s having an off meet. If she had swum it then the average age is 21.5.

Titmus and MOC are the two stars that really give the team their oomph and they’re 22 and 19, so not retiring any time soon. Throssell is unlikely to continue beyond Paris but we should have an even better leg to replace her. Jack is just finding her feet in this event so actually expect her to be faster next year, and she certainly could still be viable… Read more »

Skip
Reply to  jim
6 months ago

Women please, not girls, please don’t infantalise young women to prove a statistical point, this isnt world jnr champs. Times on the board, thats what matters. Both USA and Australia have exceptional young talent coming through for the future.

Personal Best
Reply to  jim
6 months ago

Um… I don’t believe the Australian team is going to keep Madi Wilson and Throssell hostage till the 2028 Olympics.

I’m pretty sure they will allow them to retire, and allow younger swimmers the opportunity to qualify for the team in the relay.

Some of those younger swimmers may even be 14 or 16 years old today! It’s insane.

Faulty Touch Pad
6 months ago

Has anyone else noticed Shayna Jack doing everything in her power to avoid congratulating/shaking hands with competitors after ever race/relay she swims? Noticed it in the 400 relay first night, and she obviously stayed down by the water with Titmus after the 800 today, avoiding hugs with other teams. Just seems strange. Anyone know what the beef is?

Last edited 6 months ago by Faulty Touch Pad
Madge
Reply to  Faulty Touch Pad
6 months ago

look at you creating beef where there is none

Faulty Touch Pad
Reply to  Madge
6 months ago

Hey, I’m just sayin what I saw, guess I’m the only one seeing it though.

Oceanian
Reply to  Faulty Touch Pad
6 months ago

I saw her hugging US swimmers after the relay but perhaps I was imagining it..

Faulty Touch Pad
Reply to  Oceanian
6 months ago

Jack did not, but the rest of the Australian team did

Fukuoka Gold
Reply to  Faulty Touch Pad
6 months ago

Stop spreading FAKE NEWS.

This is swimming site, not 4chan or FauxNews or Truth Social.

Mods…!

Jeepers
Reply to  Faulty Touch Pad
6 months ago

Absurd. She’s probably following her coaches advice. She has more swimming to do.

Steve Nolan
Reply to  Faulty Touch Pad
6 months ago

Scared competitors will be able to detect the tren leaking out of her pores.

Sub13
Reply to  Steve Nolan
6 months ago

Never change Steve. Stay bitter

Hooked on Chlorine
Reply to  Steve Nolan
6 months ago

Or the beer leaking out of yours.

WillW
Reply to  Faulty Touch Pad
6 months ago

Perhaps, you are seeing things not as they are, but as you are.

Sarah
Reply to  Faulty Touch Pad
6 months ago

Maybe she’s not a hugger. I can relate. When did society deem hugging necessary in these situations? I must have missed the memo.

Swammer
Reply to  Faulty Touch Pad
6 months ago

She shook Alex Shackells hand when she was congratulating Ariarne in the water…

Tracy Kosinski
6 months ago

Congratulations ladies!!
🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺

About Yanyan Li

Yanyan Li

Although Yanyan wasn't the greatest competitive swimmer, she learned more about the sport of swimming by being her high school swim team's manager for four years. She eventually ventured into the realm of writing and joined SwimSwam in January 2022, where she hopes to contribute to and learn more about …

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