Belgian Masters Team Breaks Men’s 160-199 4×100 FR World Record

A team of four Belgian masters swimmers representing Mozka Swimming Club shattered the men’s short course meters 160-199 4×100 free relay world record last weekend at a masters meet in Mol, Belgium.

The age group category is the sum of the relay members’ ages.

The “age 163” team of Frédéric Tonus, Michel Van Thielen, Ruud Cuyvers, and Stef Verachten combined for a 3:27.42. Tonus led off in 53.19, Van Thielen went 51.82, Cuyvers was 51.75, and Verachten anchored in 50.66. The men had gone into the meet with their sights set on the world record, as other members of Mozka organized an afterparty for the attempt.

The previous 160+ record of 3:31.49 was set by the Italian team Gianluca Ermeti, Maniero Andrea, Maurizio Tersar, and Massimiliano Gialdi in March of 2018. According to FINA’s records, the Belgian team is just the third to break 4:00 in this event.

The Longhorn Aquatics team of Anders Rasmussen, Todd Bartee, Tyle Blessing, and Mike Varozza was the first to do it, going 3:32.44 back in 2009.

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Michael L
4 years ago

So is this a Belgium national team beating an Italian National Team? Just tried to google the members and their respective teams and not all seem to swim at Mozka. The article isn’t very clear about that.
Very impressive splits though!

Mike Van Thielen
Reply to  Michael L
4 years ago

Hi Michael,
3 of the 4 swimmers are originally from MOZKA team and 4th Belgian swimmer transferred temporarily to make this record happen. Frederic is 46 (1973), Ruud 35 (1984), myself 48 (1971) and Stef 36 (1983).

Siphiwe Baleka
4 years ago

Congrats! Especially to Van Thielen who actually swims masters here in the US and is one of my most formidable competitors. Just to put Mike’s 51.82 split in to perspective. The Men’s 45-49 USMS record in the 100 SCM free is Paul Smith’s 52.54 from 2007. The FINA masters world record is 51.30 by Nicholas Granger in 2017. Mike is definitely giving me some motivation to compete. 51.8 is a phenomenal swim…..

Mike Van Thielen
Reply to  Siphiwe Baleka
4 years ago

Thanks Siphiwe! I have not seen you compete since the World Championships in Budapest .. so it’s great to see your name pop up:) With your American master records in the 50 free and 100 IM and by far my biggest competitor in 100 free, you actually motivated me to keep going and train hard. Your personal story is also amazing and the way you motivate your co-workers to stay healthy and in shape is inspiring…so are you still competing? Let’s stay in touch:)

David Guthrie
4 years ago

Congratulations guys! Impressive splits!

Mike Van Thielen
Reply to  David Guthrie
4 years ago

Thanks David!

Greg K
4 years ago

Congrats guys that’s epic! Nice to see Masters coverage on SwimSwam

About Torrey Hart

Torrey Hart

Torrey is from Oakland, CA, and majored in media studies and American studies at Claremont McKenna College, where she swam distance freestyle for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps team. Outside of SwimSwam, she has bylines at Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, SB Nation, and The Student Life newspaper.

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