2020 TOKYO SUMMER OLYMPIC GAMES
- When: Pool swimming: Saturday, July 24 – Sunday, August 1, 2021
- Open Water swimming: Wednesday, August 4 – Thursday, August 5, 2021
- Where: Olympic Aquatics Centre / Tokyo, Japan
- Heats: 7 PM / Semifinals & Finals: 10:30 AM (Local time)
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The British swimmers had a statement swim in the prelims of the mixed 400 medley relay on Thursday night in Tokyo, staking their claim as the team to beat in the event’s Olympic debut.
Sending out a near-optimized team in the heats, the quartet of Kathleen Dawson, Adam Peaty, James Guy and Freya Anderson produced a time of 3:38.75, lowering the European and British Record of 3:38.82 set by three of the same four swimmers at the European Championships in May.
Due to the mixed 400 medley relay making its Olympic debut this year, the time is also an official Olympic Record.
Anderson was the only swimmer not apart of the squad that won gold in Budapest, with Anna Hopkin anchoring that team home in 52.65.
|2021 Euros||2021 Olympics|
|Kathleen Dawson – 58.43||Kathleen Dawson – 58.50|
|Adam Peaty – 57.13||Adam Peaty – 57.08|
|James Guy – 50.61||James Guy – 50.58|
|Anna Hopkin – 52.65||Freya Anderson – 52.59|
The two teams had eerily similar splits across the board, with the last three swimmers all slightly faster than the record swim two months ago to get them under by .07.
Hopkin will likely be added to the team for the final in place of Anderson, having set a British Record in the individual 100 free prelims (52.75) before qualifying for the individual final in eighth (53.11). Anderson finished 11th in 53.53.
Guy notably no-showed the 100 fly prelims, despite having a shot at winning an individual medal, to be 100 percent ready to go for this relay.
For Peaty, his breaststroke split of 57.08 stands as the third-fastest in history, trailing a pair of sub-57s from the 2016 Olympics (56.59) and 2017 World Championships (56.91).
All-Time Men’s 100m Breaststroke Relay Splits (LCM)
- 56.59 – Peaty, 2016 Olympics, men’s medley
- 56.91 – Peaty, 2017 Worlds, men’s medley
- 57.08 – Peaty, 2020 Olympics (in 2021), mixed medley prelims
- 57.12 – Peaty, 2017 Worlds, mixed medley
- 57.13 – Peaty, 2020 Euros (in 2021), mixed medley finals
- 57.20 – Peaty, 2019 Worlds, men’s medley
- 57.27 – Peaty, 2018 Euros, mixed medley
- 57.38 – Peaty, 2020 Euros (in 2021), men’s medley
- 57.60 – Peaty, 2018 Euros, men’s medley
- 57.63 – Peaty, 2020 Euros (in 2021), mixed medley prelims
In addition to the European Record, the relay’s final time was just over three tenths shy of the world record, set by China at 3:38.41 in September 2020, to mark the third-fastest mixed 400 medley relay in history.
All-Time Performances, Mixed 400 Medley Relay (LCM)
- China, 3:38.41 – 2020 Chinese Championships
- United States, 3:38.56 – 2017 World Championships
- Great Britain, 3:38.75 – 2021 Olympic Games
- Great Britain, 3:38.82 – 2021 European Championships
- Australia, 3:38.91 – 2018 Pan Pacific Championships
- Australia, 3:39.08 – 2019 World Championships
- United States, 3:39.10 – 2019 World Championships
- China, 3:39.40 – 2020
- Great Britain, 3:40.18 – 2018 European Championships
- China, 3:40.26 – 2020
The United States qualified second out of the heats, more than two seconds back of Great Britain in 3:41.02, but will potentially bring an entirely new roster of swimmers into the final, which won’t be contested until Saturday morning (Day 7 finals).
The world record holders from China actually used the same four swimmers from that WR team in the prelims, but were almost four seconds off that pace in 3:42.29, still good to qualify third for the final.