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-Hebborn, Adam Peaty, Jemma 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.