China Cracks Asian Record In Mixed 400 Medley Relay – 3:40.45


Shortly after their men set a new National Record in the 400 free relay, losing a close race with Japan, the Chinese mixed 400 medley relay got redemption with a win and a new Asian Record in 3:40.45. Their swim breaks the 3:40.98 set by Japan at the Pan Pacs, and is also a Games Record lowering Japan’s 3:48.89 from the heats (this is the first time this event has ever been contested at the Asian Games).

Both China and Japan had exceptional splits, with Xu Jiayu (52.30) and Ryosuke Irie (52.55) setting the early pace on backstroke and Yan Zibei (58.45) and Yasuhiro Koseki (58.95) throwing down some quick breaststroke legs. Rikako Ikee erased Japan’s three-quarter of a second lead with a 55.68 fly leg, just off her 55.53 from the mixed relay at Pan Pacs, as they went into the free with two-tenths on China.

However, Zhu Menghui (53.09) was too much on the anchor for Tomomi Aoki (54.03) as she overtook the lead and gave China the gold and new record in 3:40.45 over Japan’s 3:41.21.

China’s previous National Record in this event was 3:41.25 from the 2017 World Championships where they tied for bronze with the Canadians (using the same four swimmers they did here). With this swim, they are now the 3rd-fastest nation in the world this year trailing only Pan Pac champions Australia (3:38.91) and European gold medalists Great Britain (3:40.18).

Asian Record Split Comparison

Japan, 2018 Pan Pacs China, 2018 Asian Games
Ryosuke Irie – 52.83 Xu Jiayu – 52.30
Yasuhiro Koseki – 58.57 Yan Zibei – 58.45
Rikako Ikee – 55.53 Zhang Yufei – 56.61
Tomomi Aoki – 54.05 Zhu Menghui – 53.09
3:40.98 3:40.45

In comparing the old and new record splits, China’s men were the difference makers, as they gained 0.65 on Japan on the opening two legs while their women only relinquished 0.12 on the back-half. Ikee’s butterfly dominance was balanced out by Zhu’s freestyle split.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

1 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
1 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Love to Swim

Video of the race:

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

Read More »