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The Egyptian men’s 200 medley relay broke the African Record in the 200 medley relay on Monday en route to a 5th place finish at the Short Course World Championships.
This marks a shift in power on the continent, with every other relay record being held by the South Africans.
The Egyptians swam a time of 1:32.56, which broke their prelims record of 1:33.19, which in turn broke the old record of 1:34.30 that was set by South Africa at the 2014 World Short Course Championships.
That previous South African relay included Olympic gold medalists Cameron van der Burgh and Chad le Clos when they were in their primes.
|SPLIT||EGYPT 2021 SC WORLD CHAMPS||EGYPT 2021 SC WORLD CHAMPS||SOUTH AFRICA 2014 SC WORLD CHAMPS|
|Finals African Record||Prelims African Record||Old African Record|
|Backstroke||Mohamed Samy (23.68)||Mohamed Samy (23.69)||Charl Crous (24.42)|
|Breaststroke||Youssed Elkamash (26.32)||Youssef Elkamash (26.40)||Cameron Van der Burgh (26.20)|
|Butterfly||Youssef Ramadan (22.12)||Youssef Ramadan (22.37)||Chad le Clos (22.12)|
|Freestyle||Abdelrahman Sameh (20.44)||Abdelrahman Sameh (20.73)||Luke Pendock (21.56)|
The relay included four swimmers who train in the United States. Egypt got a 22.12 butterfly split by Youssef Ramadan, who trains in the United States as a sophomore at Virginia Tech. Last year, he became the fastest NCAA freshman in history in the 100 yard fly, though he was ultimately disqualified at the NCAA Championships. Mohamed Samy, who swam the backstroke leg, trained at Indiana University previously, but has been unable to return since the summer, while Youssef El Kamash trained at Grand Canyon as an undergrad and is now in the post-grad group at Indiana. Abdelrahman Sameh trains at Louisville.
While swimmers like Zimbabwe’s Kirsty Coventry, Tunisia’s Ous Mellouli and Egypt’s Farida Osman held individual records in Africa, breaking a continental record in a relay is a different level. Relay records are a representation of depth and versatility within a nation, as compared to one outlier athlete who can break many individual records.
After this breaking, South Africa still holds over 75% of the recognized African Records across short course and long course competition. That number is shrinking, though – five years ago, it was almost 80%.