Efimova Splits 1:03.9 As Russia Breaks Meet Record In 400 Medley Relay


Yuliya Efimova recorded the fastest breaststroke split in history and the Russian women won gold in the 4×100 medley relay in European Championship Record time to close out the competition in Glasgow.

After breaking the European Record and winning silver at last summer’s World Championships, Russia came in as the favorites for gold in the women’s medley relay, and they lived up to the hype as they won in a time of 3:54.22, wiping Denmark’s 2014 meet record of 3:55.62 off the books.

Anastasiia Fesikova led them off with the 2nd fastest split in the field (59.56), and then Efimova produced a massive lead for the team with the fastest breaststroke split in history. She split 1:03.95, the first ever sub-1:04, as they opened up a nearly three-second advantage over the Italians. Svetlana Chimrova (57.34) had the top fly split in the field, and Mariia Kameneva brought them home in 53.37 for the victory.

When Denmark set that Championship Record in 2014, it was also the European Record at the time. Check out a split comparison of the two new and old meet records below:

Split Comparison, Women’s Medley Relay Championship Record

Denmark, 2014 Euros Russia, 2018 Euros
Mie Nielsen – 1:00.37 Anastasiia Fesikova – 59.56
Rikke Moeller-Pedersen – 1:06.07 Yuliya Efimova – 1:03.95
Jeanette Ottesen- 56.15 Svetlana Chimrova – 57.34
Pernille Blume – 53.03 Mariia Kameneva – 53.37
3:55.62 3:54.22

Efimova’s split surpasses her 1:04.03 from the 2017 World Championships, done on the relay where Russia broke the European Record in 3:53.38. Prior to that, the fastest split ever belonged to China’s Chen Huijia, who went 1:04.12 at the 2009 World Championships.

Fastest Breaststroke Splits In History

Note: includes mixed medley relays

  1. Yuliya Efimova, 1:03.95 (2018)
  2. Yuliya Efimova, 1:04.03 (2017)
  3. Chen Huijia, 1:04.12 (2009)
  4. Lilly King, 1:04.15 (2017)
  5. Lilly King, 1:04.48 (2017)
  6. Leisel Jones, 1:04.58 (2008)
  7. Sarah Katsoulis, 1:04.65 (2009)
  8. Rebecca Soni, 1:04.71 (2011)
  9. Yuliya Efimova (2013) / Rebecca Soni (2012), 1:04.82

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4 years ago

Efi and Sun living the high life and still reaping the rewards of a fraudulent system. Always look for 2nd place when these two swim.

Peter Davis
4 years ago

She’s a cheetah

4 years ago

If I Efimova wins something, I always look for the 2nd place in the ranking who is the real winner for me.

4 years ago


Reply to  SwimSwamCommentator
4 years ago

Once a cheater always a cheater that’s how

Reply to  Hswimmer
4 years ago

then by that logic down with Madyson Cox AND Ryan Lochte!!!!!!!!!!!

Reply to  SwimSwamCommentator
4 years ago

If you’re not cheating, you’re not trying lol

Reply to  SwimSwamCommentator
4 years ago


Scott Morgan
Reply to  SwimSwamCommentator
4 years ago

Agreed. I swam in the 80s when there were lifetime bans and one strike. I dislike all these dopers and cheaters.

Reply to  Scott Morgan
4 years ago

Things they gave one-strike lifetime bans for: doping (I guess? I’m taking your word for it)
Things they didn’t give one-strike lifetime bans for: having sex with your swimmers

In fact, the latter frequently got you employed, and promoted. Sometimes marrying your swimmers got you set up with cushy 6-figure jobs at USA Swimming for decades.

Lest we do that thing where we pretend like the past was actually better than the present: I’ll take dopers over child rapists.

Reply to  Scott Morgan
4 years ago

Scott – I think maybe you’re misremembering. Ben Johnson, the most famous doper of the 1980s, was given a two-year ban after his first positive test. Then his coach told a committee that he had been doping since 1981, so they took away all of his world records. It took a 2nd test, on top of the coach testimony of a decade of doping, for him to receive a lifetime ban.

In fact, a look through this page indicates that lifetime bans were quite rare in the 1980s for first strikes:


I couldn’t find a list this extensive for swimming. I wasn’t aware in the 1980s, but it seems to me… Read more »

Caeleb Dressel Will Win 9 Gold Medals in Tokyo
Reply to  SwimSwamCommentator
4 years ago

Lochte wasnever accused of doping. He violated a rule, but was never accused of doping.

Justin Thompson
4 years ago

Wow, she really came through for her team with that split.

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 …

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