Candian Men Lower 4×100 Freestyle National Record, Hayden Opens With a 47.99


The Canadian men got within inches of the podium during the 4×100 freestyle relay at the Tokyo Games, hitting a 3:10.82 Canadian record for 4th overall. The team of Brent Hayden, Josh Liendo, Yuri Kisil, and Markus Thormeyer lowered the record from a 3:12.26 which the country swim at the 2008 Olympics.

Notably, Canadian vet Brent Hayden was a part of both the 2008 and 2021 swims and swam the opening leg at both meets. Hayden was a bit faster back in 2008, having hit a 47.56 in Beijing compared to the 47.99 he swam in Tokyo.

Splits Comparison

Tokyo 2020 Beijing 2008
1 Brent Hayden – 47.99 Brent Hayden – 47.56
2 Josh Liendo – 47.51 Joel Greenshields – 47.77
3 Yuri Kisil – 47.15 Colin Russell – 48.49
4 Markus Thormeyer – 48.17 Rick Say – 48.44
3:10.82 3:12.26

Canada’s 3:12.26 in 2008 was good enough to earn them a 6th place finish overall at the Games which was one of the nation’s few top 8 finishes in the event in history. Prior to that, Canada finished 7th in the event in 1984, 5th in 1972, and 7th in 1968. Considering that their best performance prior to Tokyo 2020 was 5th place in 1972, this marks Canada’s most successful men’s 4×100 freestyle relay performance at an Olympic Games in history.

Their most recent Olympic performance in the event came in 2016 when Kisil, Thormeyer, Santo Condorelli, and Evan van Moerkerke posted a 3:14.35 for 7th in Rio.

Both Thormeyer and Condorelli were faster here than what they swam in Rio as Kisil got down from a 47.76 split to a 47.15 and Thormeyer a 48.30 to a 48.17. Adding in Josh Liendo‘s blistering 47.51 and the aforementioned 47.99 opening leg by Hayden and you get Canada’s best 4×100 freestyle in history.

Hayden’s opening time of 47.99 is a solid time as it stands but is made even more impressive by the fact he is less than 2 years into a comeback to the sport following a 7-year hiatus. The Canadian sprinter won Olympic bronze in 2012 with a 47.80 and subsequently hung up his cap and goggles. Then in 2019 Hayden announced that he would be diving back into the water and quickly got back into the swing of things. Within months of his comeback Hayden qualified for Canadian Olympic Trials and after a COVID-19 induced year-long delay, finally got his chance at a 4th Olympic Games.

At Trials, Hayden managed to get himself onto the team with a 21.82 but actually opted out of the 100 freestyle, citing back pain. That means that despite his 47.99 swim from a flat start, Brent Hayden won’t be racing the event individually in Tokyo. We will, however, be treated to an individual freestyle from Hayden in which he holds the 15th seed at a 21.82.

Even without a relay medal from the men, Canada is having a stellar meet so far, having collected a silver in women’s 4×100 freestyle and gold via Maggie MacNeil’s 55.59 100 butterfly.

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5 months ago

At Beijing08 there were the “so-called” supersuits and Hayden was in his prime. Now noboby talks abot the textile suits (yet, everybody thinks they are worse than the 2008 supersuits) and Hayden, northeless 13 years older, has been capable to swim only 4 tenths slower. Obviously Hayden is a fantastic swimmer with a great technique, but it’s also obvious that Swimming training and knowledge are way better than 13 years ago, and that’s explains why the swimming times continue to improve (but not in the 400 IM lol..)

Reply to  nuotofan
5 months ago

True in general. But Hayden has kept himself in tremendous general physical shape the past 1/2 dozen years once he took time to care for and help his back heal. There are very few individuals who could have done what he did in terms of that length of layoff and yet performing at this level at his age. So I would give the man himself more props for his performance than just a general sport progression reason…

Reply to  njones
5 months ago

I agree. Hayden’s performance has been memorable indeed.

5 months ago

Amazing! If they would have one more swimmer who could swim 47s low., they could have been in the hunt for the silver or bronze medal. Congrats!

Reply to  tnp101
5 months ago

Yeah like say Santo Condarelli who ended up not swimming in the final for Italy and was on the Canadian team 4 years ago.

Reply to  Ecoach
5 months ago

Replacing Thormeyer with the 47.90 that Condorelli swam in prelims wouldn’t have been enough to get bronze for Canada. The way things played out Santo is walking away with a silver metal, so say what you will about the dude but he got himself some hardware and the big Italian payout that comes with it.

5 months ago

Brent Hayden is just so awesome. Such a talented athlete it’s amazing how fast he’s going

5 months ago

Where was Acevedo? They brought him to be alternate for this relay and didn’t use him in prelims or finals! They brought in Thormeyer for fiinals but not Acevedo! Where will they use him? How did they get around the rule?

Reply to  Ghost
5 months ago

Probably medley relay

5 months ago

There are performances that miss the medals that are simply outstanding. This is one of them.

5 months ago

In 10 years, this relay is going to be on CBC as one of the Heritage Minutes vignettes on TV (or whatever we’re watching media on in 10 years)

Li Shu
5 months ago

That’s so impressive.