China Takes Down Mixed Medley World Record (Updated With Video)

2020 CHINESE SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS

  • September 26th – October 2nd
  • Qingdao, China
  • LCM (50m)
  • Results via Asian Media

While competing on the final day of the 2020 Chinese Swimming Championships, China blasted a new World Record in the mixed medley relay.

The combination of Xu Jiayu, Yan Zibei, Zhang Yufei, and Yang Junxuan crushed a collective effort of 3:38.41 in the heats to narrowly get under the previous WR mark of 3:38.56 set by the United States at the 2017 World Championships.

The former record was held by the squad of Matt Grevers, Lilly King, Caeleb Dressel, and Simone Manuel, which speaks to the caliber of talent it took to take down this standard.

Splits for the Chinese team versus the former U.S. world record holders are below. China front-ended their relay with men, while the Americans alternated gender by stroke.

New Record – 3:38.41

Old Record – 3:38.56

  • Matt Grevers – 52.32
  • Lilly King – 1:04.15
  • Caeleb Dressel – 49.92
  • Simone Manuel – 52.17

China was hungry for some vindication after seeing their squad disqualified at the 2019 FINA World Aquatic Championships. They were eager to improve upon their co-bronze medal finish at the 2017 World Championships behind the Americans and runner-up Australia.

The team members on this heats relay that just broke the WR have been doing major damage on the individual level here at these Championships. Xu clocked a prelims 100m back time of 52.37, Yan Zibei crushed a time of 58.73 in the 100m breast, Zhang posted both a 52.90 100m free and 55.62 100m fly while Yang Junxuan won the women’s 200m free.

At an unofficial test meet in Shandong Province this past July, the same mixed medley relay combination of produced a collective effort of 3:40.56 as a preview. Xu opened in a speedy 52.78 backstroke leg, while Yan took over with a sub-59 clocking of 58.57 to carry the momentum into breaststroke.

Zhang Yufei came in with a solid fly split of 56.11, while Yang anchored in a stellar 53.10.

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RenéDescartes
1 year ago

Chinese domination is coming.

Virtus
1 year ago

Chinese women got upgraded so much at this meet. Zibei’s stroke is awesome

TxSwimDad
1 year ago

this emphasizes how sub-optimal this US order is for the mixed relay. The idea that the combination of King and Dressel would get solidly beat on their two legs seems crazy

PhillyMark
1 year ago

57.5
104.5
49.5
46.8
3:38.30

swimfan210_
1 year ago

Wow, this is amazing. Congratulations to the swimmers. Everyone was on, and they killed it.
It’s like a redemption story. 2020 was front-loaded (pun intended) with all kinds of tensions for them, but in the end, they came back and did what they would do. They broke the world record, which we were expecting to see a few this year. This makes it feel like 2020 isn’t all bad, it’s a glimmer of hope in a world filled with darkness.

DC in NOVA
Reply to  swimfan210_
1 year ago

Seems to me a US relay as follows gets this record back (easy):

Back — Murphy or Casis
Breast — Andrew or Dressel or ….
Fly — Dahlia or Huske
Free — Manuel (the GOAT)

PhillyMark
Reply to  DC in NOVA
1 year ago

Regan 57.5, King 1:04.5, Dressel 49.5, Apple 47.0 gets it done in 3:38.3 WR.
2 girls then 2 boys is not conventional, however.

frogking
Reply to  PhillyMark
1 year ago

This relay may be faster in a meet like this where there is no competition in sight and very little wake or a time trial. It is just such an advantage to go MMWW in meets like worlds where clean water becomes so important. Its not like dressel/zapple will get a draft off the women in the field- they will be 5 secs back and running a train from waay behind the field.
It is possible, but hard to see this being a successful relay at a worlds or games.

Last edited 1 year ago by frogking
Rafael
Reply to  DC in NOVA
1 year ago

You know that xu is as fast as Murphy, zibei is faster than Andrew zhang is faster than dahlia right? And Manuel does not have relay splits as fast as c1

DC in NOVA
Reply to  Rafael
1 year ago

I guess that depends on whether Murphy can do a 51.94 again. If he does, the US team wins by a nose (at least comparing flat start times).

Eisenhiem
1 year ago

Hate to say it but the U.S won’t get this back

Last edited 1 year ago by Eisenhiem
Rafael
Reply to  Eisenhiem
1 year ago

One of them will go 3:37 or even both..

TINY HANDS
Reply to  Eisenhiem
1 year ago

If Murphy is back in form, sure they will.

Willswim
Reply to  TINY HANDS
1 year ago

I think the US has a shot to get it back. China has the advantage of using the preferred M/M/F/F order that doesn’t line up as well with the American’s best talent. The US would be fools not to use King and Dressel so the question is will it be Murphy/Manuel or Smith/Held (or whoever beats Held at trials) for the other spots.

Tyson
Reply to  Willswim
1 year ago

This race is between China, the USA and Australia next year. Australia were 3:39.08 at last years worlds, all of them had good splits apart from Larkin who went 53.47 which is well outside his pb of 52.1 that there shows they can potentially drop more then a second plus the improvements the other relay swimmers may have

Torchbearer
Reply to  Tyson
1 year ago

People forget Australia, but they managed to beat the US lst year without a top breaststroker (M or F)!

Wanna Sprite?
Reply to  Eisenhiem
1 year ago

Prediction
Ryan Murphy 51.9
Lily king 1:03.8
Caeleb dressel 49.4
Simone Manuel 51.8

3:36.9

Admin
Reply to  Wanna Sprite?
1 year ago

You think they’re going to drop 2.2 seconds from what they went at Worlds last year? That’s a big call.

That being said, it would be my guess as well that this is the relay order based on information we have now, and everyone’s capable of those times. Biggest quibble I have on that list is the Lilly split. Her relay swims have not been as good as her individual swims historically. She’s been pretty consistently around a 1:04.8/1:04.9 on medley relays.

But, if you’ve gotta have a swimmer who knows that most of the field is just going to sprint away from her no matter how well she swims (and that Adam Peaty is coming for her from behind),… Read more »

Wanna Sprite?
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

Based on what I’ve seen from minimal clips from Ray Looze talking about lily, I have a strong suspicion that she is on a 4 year Phelps-type training plan. Yulia has already split 1:03 so it’s definitely possible and lily has split as fast as 1:04.1 in 2017. And I wouldn’t doubt lily is going for a 1:03 individually so she hopefully will carry that firepower into the relay. Ryan Murphy also probably has a chip on his shoulder and should definitely be under 52 consistently if he’s on his taper. The other two split were relatively safe bets, barring another motorcycle class from dressel and hoping that Manuel doesn’t choke another relay anchor 🙂

SAMUEL HUNTINGTON
Reply to  Wanna Sprite?
1 year ago

No one has ever been under 52 consistently.

Sky
Reply to  SAMUEL HUNTINGTON
1 year ago

World record holders have a knack for doing things no one has ever done

Jim
Reply to  Wanna Sprite?
1 year ago

Dressel must have a goal to split 48. He split 49.1 or 49.2 last year. Lily going 1:03 may be tough, but you hope Murphy can get back to 51 and Manuel 51 is fair.

PhillyMark
Reply to  Eisenhiem
1 year ago

The USA swimmers from this WR swim have each been faster than their 2017 relay splits from a flat start. To say they couldn’t break this WR is quite the over-statement.

Push up contest
1 year ago

How many push-ups and how fast was the run before hand? I call BS! I want to see those push-up count cards Bahahaha

Dan
1 year ago

Will this record be ratified by FINA?

Admin
Reply to  Dan
1 year ago

While FINA has made some odd decisions before (ala ISL), there’s no reason directly related to the circumstance that it shouldn’t, presuming all 4 athletes were drug tested afterward.

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Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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