Budapest 2022: Men’s 4×200 Free Relay Analysis


The United States won the men’s 4×200 freestyle relay at the 2022 World Championships, clocking a time of 7:00.24. Their victory today marked the first time since 2013 that the stars and stripes took gold in this event at Worlds. Fighting for the minor medals were Australia, who came from making the finals by just 0.2 seconds to taking silver, and Great Britain, a team fueled by a charging Tom Dean in the final 200.


World silver medalist Hwang Sunwoo had the fastest leadoff time in 1:45.30, just under a second slower than the 1:44.47 he swam individually. Another good swim came from Fernando Scheffer, who led off in a time of 1:45.32. This was a bounce-back swim for the Brazillian, as he had just missed out on the 200 free final by placing ninth in the semifinal with a 1:46.11 that was 0.79 seconds slower than what he went today.

Drew Kibler and Elijah Winnington both recorded 1:45-point times to keep the United States and Australia in the race for the first 200 meters. Winnington was just 0.01 seconds slower than what he went to finish eighth in the 200 free final.

Country Swimmer Time
South Korea Hwang Sunwoo 1:45.30
Brazil Fernando Scheffer 1:45.32
United States Drew Kibler 1:45.54
Australia Elijah Winnington 1:45.83
Great Britain James Guy 1:46.31
China Hong Jinquan 1:47.74
Hungary Richard Marton 1:48.12
France Jordan Pothain 1:48.41

Rolling Splits:

Great Britain’s Tom Dean had the fastest rolling split of the field by 0.82 seconds, throwing down a 1:43.53 to push the Brits from fifth place at the 600-meter mark into bronze medal position. His time was the fourth-fastest 200 free ever swum off of a relay start, and the just the sixth-ever sub-1:44 split (not including leadoff legs). This means that British men now make up half of the sub-1:44 relay splits, as Duncan Scott and James Guy have both been under that mark as well.

Top Men’s 200 Free Relay Splits (No Leadoffs Included):

  1. Sun Yang, China – 1:43.16 (2013)
  2. Yannick Agnel, France – 1:43.24 (2012)
  3. Duncan Scott, Great Britain – 1:43.45 (2021)
  4. Tom Dean, Great Britain – 1:43.53 (2022)
  5. Townley Haas, United States – 1:43.78 (2018)
  6. James Guy, Great Britain – 1:43.80 (2017)

Kieran Smith swam the fastest he’s been on a relay with a 1:44.35 anchor leg to widen the lead that the United States had on Australia in the final portion of the race. His teammates, Carson Foster (1:45.04) and Trenton Julian (1:45.31), both threw down formidable times as well. The Aussies, on the other hand, were boosted by 1:45-points from Zac Incerti and Mack Horton, and a 1:46.44 from Samuel Short. Five days ago, Incerti had recorded a disappointing 1:49.12 to finish 32nd in the 200 free, just coming off of illness. He was much faster today at 1:45.51, showing that he is in much better shape now.

Kristof Milak‘s 1:44.68 anchor leg was the third-fastest rolling start split, which only goes to show how great his range he is. What makes his split even more impressive was the fact that he had just come off swimming a 50.14 in the 100 fly semi-final before this relay. 17-year old Pan Zhanle also had an impressive 1:45.71 anchor, which is a good indicator that he has endurance to match his 47.65 100 freestyle speed.

Country Swimmer Time
Great Britain Tom Dean 1:43.53
United States Kieran Smith 1:44.35
Hungary Kristof Milak 1:44.68
United States Carson Foster 1:45.04
United States Trenton Julian 1:45.31
Australia Zac Incerti 1:45.51
China Pan Zhanle 1:45.71
Australia Mack Horton 1:45.72
Hungary Nandor Nemeth 1:45.73
France Roman Fuchs 1:46.29
Brazil Murilo Sartori 1:46.34
South Korea Woomin Kim 1:46.37
Brazil Breno Correia 1:46.39
Australia Samuel Short 1:46.44
Brazil Vinicius Assuncao 1:46.44
France Hadrien Salvan 1:46.51
South Korea Lee Hojoon 1:46.78
Great Britain Jacob Whittle 1:46.80
Great Britain Joe Litchfield 1:47.36
France Leon Marchand 1:47.59
China Zhang Ziyang 1:47.95
Hungary Richard Marton 1:48.12
South Korea Lee Yooyeon 1:48.28
China Chen Juner 1:49.53

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12 days ago

Milak started with a mind-boggling 23,20 on the relay. How is he even finished that swim that fast in overall. After swimming 400 meters already today.

12 days ago

Dear Ms Yanyan Li,

“What makes his split even more impressive was the fact that he had just come off swimming a 50.14 in the 100 fly final before this relay.”
We know it from the time, too. 😉

Reply to  Brownish
12 days ago

Bro she said “even more”

12 days ago

Dang, Townley busted in back in ‘18

Reply to  Dang
12 days ago

Back in the pre-500 days.

Reply to  Dang
12 days ago

that 1:43.84 was amazing

12 days ago

You listed scheffer instead of breno on flying

Clown Show
12 days ago

Slow af for Marchand

Reply to  Clown Show
12 days ago

He may be worn out at this point, and after watching his leadoff guy go a 1:48.4 he might have figured that there was no reason to bust out his best split. I wonder if he is going to swim on either of the two remaining relays for France. I’m guessing not, since they are both 100 meter swims.

Last edited 12 days ago by JVW
12 days ago

Where is Hwang’s split?

12 days ago

Top 10 men’s 200 free relay splits.

1.43.16 – Sun
1.43.24 – Agnel
1.43.45 – Scott
1.43.53 – Dean
1.43.78 – Haas
1.43.80 – Guy
1.44.05 – Phelps
1.44.12 – Magnini (ss)
1.44.13 – Berens (ss)
1.44.14 – Thorpe

Reply to  boknows34
12 days ago

That 1.44.14 just missing out to Keller was filthy, he went out insanely fast the first 50 and somehow held it.

Weird I remember it as a “failed” swim because of the relay result and the 100 in Sydney as God like even though he actually split slower than Hall.

Reply to  Togger
12 days ago

I agree it wasn’t a “failed”swim but I think Thorpe would have done better if he had used the full 200 metres rather than trying to retrieve it in the first 50. It was a bit reminiscent of what Gross did in Los Angeles 1984.

12 days ago

i don’t think thorpe faded i think he closed in like a 26 flat

Reply to  dddddddd
12 days ago

50.78 (26.75)
1:17.95 (27.17)
1:44.18 (26.23)

Compared to Keller:
51.86 (26.85)
1:18.89 (27.03)
1:45.53 (26.64)

He really didn’t go out that fast at all, if anything he split that race perfectly. It’s interesting though because the perception at the time of the swim and the narrative afterwards was that he overswam the first 50. Both Thorpe and Keller were around .6 faster than their flat starts and both of them had most of that difference right on the flying start, otherwise they split their races pretty similarly to the individual. Thorpe closed .5 faster than his individual and Keller .1 faster.

I don’t think either of them did… Read more »

Reply to  boknows34
12 days ago

By the way for the ties:

Townley Haas: 1:44.14 (2016)
Phelps: 1:43.31 (2008)
Biedermann: 1:42.81 (2009)

Reply to  boknows34
12 days ago

interesting that Thorpe and Phelps had faster flat starts yet couldn’t improve in relays. Agnel too (only just). Not sure how that happens.

Reply to  Jason
12 days ago

Phelps had a low 1:43 split in 2008

About Yanyan Li

Yanyan Li

Although Yanyan wasn't the greatest competitive swimmer, she learned more about the sport of swimming through scoring countless dual meets, being a timer, and keeping track of her teammates' best times for three years as a team manager. She eventually ventured into the realm of writing and joined SwimSwam in …

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