British Men’s 4×100 Free Relay Goes From Non-Entrant In 2017 To 5th In 2019


The continent of Europe had a successful opening night of competition at the 2019 FINA World Championships, with Russia and Italy entering the overall medal table. European medalists so far include Gabriele Detti‘s 400m free bronze and the Russian men’s 4x100m free relay silver.


1 Australia 2 1 1 4 1 (tie)
2 United States 1 2 1 4 1 (tie)
3 China 1 1 2 (tie)
4 Russia 1 1 2 (tie)
5 (tie) Canada 1 1 2 (tie)
5 (tie) Italy 1 1 2 (tie)
Totals 4 4 4 12

Great Britain didn’t collect any hardware as of yet, but at least one medal appears to be on its way, courtesy of Adam Peaty. The Loughborough star and reigning 100m breast Olympic champion fired off a new 56.88 World Record in the semi-finals. His compatriot James Wilby produced a time of 58.83 to claim the 3rd seed and set-up a possible 1-2 British punch in tomorrow night’s final.

Another promising sign of British speed came in the form of the men’s 4x100m free relay. Although the squad finished in 5th and off the podium, the combination of Duncan Scott, James Guy, Ben Proud, and Scott McLay came within .2 of their nation’s standard, producing a textile National Record in the process.

Their 3:11.81 5th place finish were comprised of the following splits:

Scott – 47.97
Guy – 47.72

Great Britain didn’t even field a men’s 4x100m free relay at the 2017 edition of the World Championships, so for the nation to see 3 men split sub-48 is an indication of sprinting progress in that region of the world.

McLay in particular was impressive, carrying an individual personal best of 49.05 clocked just this past April to finish 2nd behind Scott at British Championships. The 19-year-old blazed right by the 48-range and hit new territory in 47.85.

Records Broken:

  • Elena Di Liddo lowered her newly-minted 100 fly Italian National Record to 57.04 to snag the 6th seed.
  • 17-year-old Ajna Kesely of Hungary broke the National Record in the 400m free, producing a time of 4:01.31 en route to 4th place in tonight’s final.
  • Britain’s Adam Peaty lowered his own World Record en route to taking the top seed in the men’s 100m breaststroke. The Olympic champion nailed a time of 56.88 to wow the world an enter entirely new territory with the first sub-57 time ever produced in history.
  • The Italian men took fourth-place finish in the final of the men’s 400 free relay, breaking their National Record in a time of 3:11.39.
  • Gabriele Detti set a new Italian Record in the final of the men’s 400 freestyle, winning the bronze medal in a time of 3:43.23.
  • Swiss standout Maria Ugolkova clocked a new Swiss National Record of 2:10.72 in the women’s 200m IM.
  • Ireland hit a new National Record in the prelims of the men’s 4x100m free relay, producing a time of 3:17.38.

Additional European Notes:

  • Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom took the top seed of the women’s 100m fly semi-finals in 56.29.
  • French woman Maire Wattel sits 3rd headed into tomorrow night’s final, carrying a semi mark of 57.00
  • Ukrainian Wolrd Record holder Andrii Govorov produced the 3rd fastest 50m fly of the night in 22.80, while 2 Russians also earned top 8 status in Oleg Kostin and Andrey Zhilkin. The pair sit 4th and 8th in respective semi efforts of 22.88 and 23.21.
  • Hungary’s newest sports citizen Sebastian Sabo also made tomorrow night’s 50m fly final, ranked 6th in 23.09. Sabo has put the Hungarian National Record of 23.06 held by Laszlo Cseh on notice.
  • Katinka Hosszu put up her 2nd 2:07 200m IM of the day, hitting a time of 2:07.17 to hold over a 1 1/2 second advantage over the field heading into tomorrow night’s final.

Notable Quotes:

  • Peaty on his WR:“It feels incredible! I’ve been chasing that for three years now – ever since I touched the wall in Rio I knew I could go faster. I said this morning I wasn’t going to chase 56, I was going to let it come to me, and that’s exactly what we’ve done. I’ve used all the team around me and have some great support staff at British Swimming, so a massive, massive thanks to them, especially Mel who’s been there for 10 years, so it’s a very special journey that we’ve had.

    “But there’s still a job to do tomorrow. I’ve come here to win a World title and that’s tomorrow and that’s still my main focus, so this was just a bonus and I’ll use this energy tomorrow.”

  • Wilby on his 3rd seed:“I just focus on my own stuff and my own races, but credit where it’s due, that was a very, very impressive swim! It’s always really satisfying when we have a GB 1-2 and we’ve had that at the last two major internationals – we get a real buzz from that. For myself though, I’m just moving through each round and the 100m and 200m are both equal focuses for me. I’ve started strong now I’ve got to continue it.”
  • Guy on the relay:  “To come fifth in the final with these boys, in our first 4x100m at a major meet is amazing and to set a new British record in the textile suit is amazing. To go 47.7 again is pretty cool and it shows I’ve got plenty of speed, which is a nice confidence boost for the meet.”
  • McLay on the relay: “We came in here with nothing to lose, gave it our all and as team we did absolutely incredibly. I’m really happy with my drop but it’s just great to be a part of this. I wanted to leave everything in the water and that’s exactly what I did.”
  • Scott on the relay: “I was happy with my lead off, the first time going 47 outside of Britain so that’s a nice boundary to get away. We went in there to try and better ourselves from this morning and we did that, so we can walk away proud of coming fifth in the world and try and move it on next year.”
    • “It was all about getting to the final, which hasn’t come naturally to me today, with neither of the races feeling springy or the way they’ve felt in the past, but I’ve got through and I’ve got 24 hours to put my legs up, recover, focus and try and put a good race together tomorrow. I feel confident that if I get my race right then I can get a big chunk out of that time and who knows – in a 50m fly final it really is just about getting your hand on the wall.”

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Ben has also split 47.9 before so hopefully the standard can be maintained through to Tokyo and we see that national record go


A sub 48 split from McLay only makes it more confusing as to why he wasn’t entered in the individual 100 free. He looks in shape and could have done a decent PB


Same reason Georgia Coates is swimming 200brs and she came 6th at trials but they took her for relay and haven’t entered a 4×200. Disgusting


He doesn’t have the A standard, so we couldn’t enter both him and Duncan unfortunately.


Actually might be a really good battle for spots on the 4×100 at trials next year; Duncan is sewn up. But then Cumberlidge, Richards, McLay all looking similar at the minute… Throw in Guy, maybe Proud but I suspect he’ll want to give the 4×100 a miss, and who knows maybe Whittle drops a second and sneaks on to the team… Suddenly the 100fr is worth watching in Britain.

Well done boys!


I think Ben Proud is done with the 100 Free. ZApple destroyed him on the second 50. Amazing a guy can go 21.1 flat start in the 50 and only 48.2 flying. Good on him for going in there to get the team qualified but I’m 99% sure Proud will not be on a British relay again unless it’s a 4×50.

Peaty the Potato

I think Proud is so focused on 50 free gold for next year he has specialised to the point where its literally 50 free and nothing else. I’m assuming that’s why his fly seems to be off where he was 2 years ago and even last year at Commonwealth Games.
I don’t really understand how tapers work that much, but could it be he has timed his taper to fully hit for the end of the meet on the 50 free, and that’s why he seems a bit off his best in the 100 free and 50 fly?


Agreed, but fun to see Proud swim that hundy

About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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