Great Britain Breaks World Record in Mixed 400 Medley Relay in Berlin

The Great Britain swim team has been little shy of pure gold during this summer’s championship meets, so it should come as no surprise that putting their four best together, they broke the World Record in the 400 meter mixed medley relay quite handily.

The team of Chris Walker-HebbornAdam PeatyJemma Lowe, and Fran Halsall combined for a 3:44.02 in finals, beating the Dutch team by almost two seconds and breaking the old FINA World Record of 3:46.52 done by the Australians on January 31st of this year.

The runner-up Dutch relay, with a 3:45.93, was also under the old World Record.

The comparative splits:

Australia (old WR) Great Britain (new WR) Netherlands (also under old WR)
Ash Delaney – 54.67 Chris Walker-Hebborn – 53.68 Bastiaan Lijesen – 55.19
Daniel Tranter – 1:01.48 Adam Peaty – 59.30 Bram Dekker – 1:01.66
Alicia Coutts – 57.40 Jemma Lowe – 57.51 Inge Dekker – 56.81
Emma McKeon – 52.97 Fran Halsall – 53.53 Femke Heemskerk – 52.27

A clear pattern is developing in these mixed medley. It’s almost not about who has the best combination of two men and two women as much as it’s about who has the best combination of male backstroker/breaststroker and female butterflier/freestyler. In some instances, for example if Ruta Meilutyte is your breaststroker, that trend can be bucked. The 3rd and 4th place relays at Euros both had different patterns (Russia was M-F-M-F, Germany was F-M-F-M), but for those nations with the depth to go after world records in this race, the prevailing strategy based on current trends of spreads between men and women is M-M-F-F.

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9 years ago

As always in a medley relay the key is to minimize the amount of time your team is swimming breaststroke while other teams are swimming fly, so you must have a man swimming the second leg! Even if you had a female breaststroker who could break 1:05 (and they’re not easy to come by), she couldn’t do it in the midst of that kind of turbulance! The worst would be if a female breaststroker was fading at the end, because when fatigued even a fast woman like Jessica Hardy can easily fall from a 1:06 to a 1:08!

9 years ago

Australia can go faster than that with Seebohm-Sprenger (in form)-McKeon-Magnussen for example, or using Campbell. Not to mention USA of course….

This WR is still not very meaningful.

For the 4×100 mixed freen I think that they should fix the order of the competitors (MMFF or FMFM or FFMM) because from a spectator poitn of view, the race would be much more enjoyable to watch. With various orders possible, strategy is more important and this is great for a swimmer/coach point of view, but it”s very hard to understand what is happenning in the race until the last 50 meters.

9 years ago

For the 4×100 FREE, I’m surprised most teams don’t go F-F-M-M. A lot of international races the past few years have shown that it’s better to be chasing/drafting off of someone at the end than trying to hold onto a lead.*

Obviously women don’t leave as MUCH of a wake to draft on, but conversely, if you put your fastest men up front, you’re giving the competition a chance to draft off of them.

*I’m thinking:
USA Men in 08 (Lezak’s Legendary Leg)
Netherlands W in 11 (Kromo passed Vollmer)
Netherlands W in 12 (Kromo surged past Schmitt to win silver)
France Men in 12 (Agnel passed Lochte)
France Men in 13 (Stravius’ good split… Read more »

Reply to  floppy
9 years ago

Can’t really draft from 30m behind the leaders… you’d just get a hell of a lot of choppy water, not good 😉

9 years ago

Interestingly, based on the world records the fastest would be MFMF but based on the textile bests it would indeed be MMFF. Phelps’ 49.8 breaks everything.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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