2022 FINA SHORT COURSE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Tuesday, December 13 to Sunday, December 18, 2022
- Melbourne Sports and Aquatics Centre, Melbourne, Australia
- SCM (25m)
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In the second last race on night 1 of the 2022 World Short Course Swimming Championships, the Australian women reset the world record in the 4×100 freestyle to win gold. Team Australia swam a 3:25.43 to bring the world record under 3:26 for the first time to improve upon the Netherlands’ mark of 3:26.53 from 2014. The Dutch women set that former world record at the 2014 World Championships.
The American women were notably also under the former record with their silver medal time of 3:26.29 and they were actually ahead of Australia for the first 75% of the race.
The race started with a showdown between Mollie O’Callaghan and Torri Huske, which Huske won with an opening split of 51.73 to O’Callaghan’s 52.19. Kate Douglass continued the USA’s lead with a 51.17 split while Madi Wilson was slightly slower with her 51.28. On the third leg, Australia’s 52.00 was a touch slower than Claire Curzan‘s 51.59 and the USA seemed to be moments away from a gold medal and a new world record.
But Emma McKeon of Australia had different plans and she managed to out-swim the USA’s anchor Erika Brown with a mind-blowing split of 49.96. That sub-50 split by McKeon is, according to the event announcers, the fastest split on a women’s 4×100 freestyle relay in history. Brown closed with a 51.80 to bring the USA to a 3:26.29 for silver, followed by the Canadian contingent, which swam a 3:28.06 for bronze.
|Australia – 3:25.43 WR||Netherlands – 3:26.53 Former WR||USA – 3:26.29|
|100||52.19 – O’Callaghan||52.39 – Dekker||Huske – 51.73|
|200||51.28 – Wilson||50.58 – Heemskerk||Douglass – 51.17|
|300||52.00 – Harris||52.55 – van der Meer||Curzan – 51.59|
|400||49.96 – McKeon||51.01 – Kromowidjojo||Brown – 51.80|
Despite Australia’s legendary status in the sprint events, they didn’t actually hold any short course world records in the relays heading into this meet. The Netherlands held the 4×50, 4×100, and 4×200 freestyles, while the Americans hold the 4×100 medley and the Americans and Swedes share the 4×50 medley.
Australia does, however, now own both the short course and long course women’s 4×100 freestyle world records. Bronte Campbell, Meg Harris, Emma McKeown, and Cate Campbell swam a 3:29.69 for Olympic gold in 2021, resetting the world record.