Day 7 Relay Analysis: Jack’s 52.38 Split Still Not Enough to Topple China’s Mixed FR Relay


Day 7 Finals Recap

The mixed 4×100 free relay was an electric final, as China’s female anchors actively held off Australia’s charging female anchors, marking a new Asian record at 3:21.18. Australia settled for silver at 3:21.78 while the US held on for bronze at 3:22.28.


  • World Record: 3:18.83 — Australia (2023)
  • Championship Record: 3:18.83 — Australia (2023)
  • World Junior Record: 3:24.29 — Australia (2023)
  • 2023 World Champion: 3:18.83 — Australia


  1. China (CHN) Pan, Wang, Li, Yu — 3:21.18
  2. Australia (AUS) Taylor, Cartwright, Jack, Throssell — 3:21.78
  3. United States (USA) Armstrong, King, Curzan, Douglass — 3:22.28
  4. Canada (CAN) Knox, Acevedo, Ruck, Smith — 3:23.79
  5. Italy (ITA) Miressi, Frigo, Morini, Tarantino — 3:24.40
  6. Netherlands (NED) Pijnenburg, Corbeau, Toussaint, Steenbergen — 3:25.14
  7. Slovakia (SVK) Dusa, Tistan, Slusna, Ivan — 3:29.88
  8. Hong Kong (HKG) Lau, Ho, Cheng, Tam — 3:31.13

Newly-minted World record holder and event champion Pan Zhanle led things off for China at 47.29, with teammate Wang Haoyu keeping their lead with 47.41. Entering the third leg, a charging Shayna Jack moved Australia from third to second, crawling at China’s Li Bingjie (53.11) with a blistering 52.38. As Australia’s Brianna Throssell (53.49) made an effort passing China’s Yu Yiting (53.37), it wasn’t enough to topple the dominant Chinese relay. Australia settled for silver six-tenths behind China at 3:21.78.

Out of lane two, Hunter Armstrong put Team USA into an early second-place position with a personal best of 47.83. Matt King kept the ball rolling with a solid 47.78 split before handing it off to Claire Curzan. She put in her best efforts at 53.82, but it wasn’t enough to inch on Jack’s quicker acceleration speed. Kate Douglass also did her best to take an aim at Throssell, and held on for bronze for the US, swimming the third-fastest female sub-53 split at 52.85.

Here’s a breakdown of all mixed 4×100 freestyle relay splits from the penultimate finals session in Doha.

A reminder that every team went by MMFF relay order, that’s two males followed by two females.

Leadoff Legs

Pan Zhanle CHN 47.29 (1)
Hunter Armstrong USA 47.83 (2)
Kai Taylor AUS 48.01 (3)
Alessandro Miressi ITA 48.06 (4)
Finlax Knox CAN 48.79 (5)
Stan Pijnenburg NED 48.84 (6)
Matej Dusa SVK 49.37 (7)
Shiu Lau HKG 52.24 (8)

As aforementioned, Pan Zhanle led off the Chinese relay in 47.29, three-tenths faster than his individual event winning time (47.53). Meanwhile, Hunter Armstrong put the American relay into a second-place position with a personal best of 47.83, which would have placed fifth in the individual final. Armstrong closed his 100 in 24.47, which is 0.18s faster than what Pan closed in (24.65)

Both Australia’s Kai Taylor (48.01) and Alessandro Miressi (48.06) were at the 48-second barrier, with Taylor swimming 0.49s faster than his 13th-place semi-finals time. Miressi, however, was the event runner-up at 47.72, which could have given the Italian relay an early second-place lead.

2nd Legs

Wang Haoyu CHN 47.41 (1)
Javier Acevedo CAN 47.58 (5)
Matt King USA 47.78 (2)
Jack Cartwright AUS 47.90 (3)
Manuel Frigo ITA 48.06 (4)
Ian Ho HKG 48.66 (8)
Caspar Corbeau NED 49.05 (6)
Tibor Tistan SVK  50.32 (7)

Wang Haoyu maintained the lead for China at 47.41, but a mere 0.17s ahead of Canada’s Javier Acevedo (47.58), who kept his relay in fifth place. After swimming 48.06 to place seventh in the individual event final, USA’s Matt King popped 47.78 to keep the American relay in second place.

Meanwhile, Australia’s Jack Cartwright (47.90) and Italy’s Manuel Frigo (48.06) were right at the 48-second barrier to hold their relays’ previous positions.

As Hong Kong’s Ian Ho swam three seconds faster than his underwhelming 51.77 from the individual event prelims at 51.77, Dutch breaststroker Caspar Corbeau split 49.05, more than six-tenths under his fastest flat-start time (49.71).

In total, there were six men who split under 48 seconds, two of them from a flat start.

All Male Sub-48 Legs

3rd Legs

Shayna Jack AUS 52.38 (2)
Li Bingjie CHN 53.11 (1)
Taylor Ruck CAN 53.28 (4)
Claire Curzan USA 53.82 (3)
Sofia Morini ITA 54.23 (5)
Kira Toussaint NED 54.51 (6)
Camille Cheng HKG 54.71 (8)
Lillian Slusna SVK 55.17 (7)

As China held a 1.21s lead entering the female legs, 100 free indvidual bronze medalist Shayna Jack of Australia dove in ready to hit the accelerate gearshift. Jack opened her leg in 24.96, the only female to open sub-25, as well as four-tenths faster than China’s Li Bingjie 25.36 opener. She then pushed her acceleration at the 75-meter mark to slowly close in on Li, out-splitting her again 27.42 to 27.75. Jack wound up shaving down Li’s original lead down by seven-tenths down to a mere 0.48s deficit before the anchor legs.

Jack’s flying split of 52.38 was the fastest female split among all 16 female relay finals swimmer.

Multi-stroke sprinter Claire Curzan was neck-and-neck with Jack on the first 50, splitting 25.30, right with Li and Canada’s Taylor Ruck (25.26). Curzan then fell to third as Jack passed her, but was able to hold off Ruck’s 28.02 closer to her 28.52 second 50. Ruck’s efforts aided Team Canada moving up from fifth to fourth.

Anchor Legs

Marrit Steenbergen NED 52.74 (6)
Kate Douglass  USA 52.85 (3)
Yu Yiting CHN 53.37 (1)
Brianna Throssell AUS 53.49 (2)
Chiara Tarantino ITA 54.05 (5)
Rebecca Smith CAN 54.14 (4)
Teresa Ivan SVK 55.02 (7)
Hoi Tam HKG 55.52 (8)

Individual event champion Marrit Steenbergen had the fastest anchor leg at 52.74, but was only enough to maintain the Nethlerlands’ sixth-place position. Meanwhile, Kate Douglass dug into the water with a 52.85, strategically bidding to take a shot at Australia’s Brianna Throssell. As the top anchors flipped between 25.1-25.4 at the first 50, it seemed there was enough distance for all relays to only keep their current positions.

Yu Yiting closed in 28.13, which was enough to split a reputable 53.37 and give China a fourth overall relay title in Doha. Steenbergen closed in a frightening 27.56, still not enough to move up positions and was 0.14s off Jack’s closing 50. Douglass closed in a comparable 27.54, but like Steenbergen, could only at best maintain her relay’s existing position. Throssell was right in the mix of closing splits at 27.76, enough to both scare China but secure silver.

There were a total of eight women that had a flying relay split under 54 seconds, with three (Jack, Steenbergen, Douglass) hitting 52-point.

All Female Sub-54 Legs (Flying Start)

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

About Nick Pecoraro

Nick Pecoraro

Nick has had the passion for swimming since his first dive in the water in middle school, immediately falling for breaststroke. Nick had expanded to IM events in his late teens, helping foster a short, but memorable NCAA Div III swim experience at Calvin University. While working on his B.A. …

Read More »