Great Britain Shatters History With Men’s 800 Free Relay Gold

2020 TOKYO SUMMER OLYMPIC GAMES

The men’s 4x200m freestyle relay final here in Tokyo broke new ground on a number of historic fronts, as the nation of Great Britain took home the gold in a near-world record mark of 6:58.58.

The combination of Tom Dean, James Guy, Matt Richards and Duncan Scott powered their way to the wall first to beat out runners-up Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) and the Australians who took silver and bronze in time s of 7:01.81 and 7:01.84, respectively.

The Britons’ collective 6:58.58 time here in Tokyoultimately fell only .03 shy of the current WR standard of 6:58.55, a result USA put on the books at the supersuited 2009 World Championships.

Here in Tokyo, the newly-minted individual 200m free gold medalist Dean led-off in a solid 1:45.72 with all of the splits as follows for the winners:

Dean – 1:45.72
Guy – 1:44.40
Richards – 1:45.01
Scott – 1:43.45

Of note, Richards dropped out of the men’s individual 100m freestyle event heats last night in order to preserve energy for this relay and it appears that was the correct decision for what it took to put up this kind of team time.

Going back to Scott, his scorcher of an anchor not only further distanced GBR from the field to sure gold by over 3 seconds, but his final leg now registers as the 5th fastest relay split in history.

  1. Paul Biedermann, Germany, 2009 Worlds – 1:42.81
  2. Sun Yang, China, 2013 Worlds – 1:43.16
  3. Yannick Agnel, France, 2012 Olympics – 1:43.24
  4. Michael Phelps, United States, 2008 Olympics – 1:43.31
  5. Duncan Scott, GB, Tokyo 2020 Olympics – 1:43.45

For comparison, the existing world record splits include:

1:44.49 for Michael Phelps
1:44.13 for Ricky Berens,
1:45.47 for David Walters
1:44.46 for Ryan Lochte

In terms of history, Great Britain took silver in this event at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and followed that up with gold at the 2017 FINA World Championships, so they had the resume credentials to make a run at the gold and WR.

However, it has not been since 1908 that an Olympic gold was brought home to GBR in this men’s 800m free relay, so these men accomplished knocking down an over-century-old barrier. On the other side of the spectrum, the United States has never gone medal-less in this men’s 4×2 at an Olympic Games, save for the 1980 boycotted Games in Moscow, Russia.

En route to grabbing gold here, the British foursome brought down their own national record in a big way, hacking more than 3 seconds off of the 7:01.70 they put on the books in Budapest. The squad there at those World Championships looked halfway different, with only Scott and Guy carrying over.

Splits for the previous GBR national record of 7:01.70 included 1:47.25 for Stephen Milne, 1:46.05 for Nick Grainger, 1:44.60 for Scott and 1:43.80 for Guy.

The Dean/Guy/Richards/Scott combination also overwrote the European Record of 6:59.15 Russia logged at the supersuited 2009 World Championships when they placed 2nd behind the aforementioned Phelps-led American squad.

Splits for the previous Europan Record included the following:

Nikita Lobintsev – 1:45.10
Mikhail Polischuk – 1:45.42
Danila Izotov – 1:44.48
Alexander Sukhorukov – 1:44.15

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brewdawg2021
1 month ago

a lot of words just to say USA is still #1

Jake
Reply to  brewdawg2021
1 month ago

naw, USA is too busy taking mental health breaks and woke protesting.

brewdawg2021
Reply to  Jake
1 month ago

ratio

brewdawg2021
Reply to  Jake
1 month ago

but seriously this is an awful take.

simone biles is a victim of larry nassar and a champion. she is a bigger and stronger person than you will ever be.

Last edited 1 month ago by brewdawg2021
jim
Reply to  brewdawg2021
1 month ago

Look, you can take either side. The compassionate side is that Biles made the right decision, the only decision, to avoid catastrophe. If her mental state wasn’t there, her physical response could have caused herself injury, and could have caused the Americans to lose out on a medal. For that, there is nothing else to do but applaud her decision.

However, that is not the only valid take. Consider for a moment another other take – Simone blames the gravity of the situation…the pressure. But she had choices leading up to these games. She didn’t have to accept that million dollar Visa contract and responsibility and obligations that came with it, or the million dollar Athleta contract. She didn’t have… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by jim
Relay Enthusiast
Reply to  brewdawg2021
1 month ago

Lol wearing supersuits. Could you imagine what James Guy and Tom Dean would do without supersuits.

You guys didn’t even get a medal haha

nuotofan
Reply to  Relay Enthusiast
1 month ago

This story is becoming reaaallyy annoying. 1) Suits, even if “textile”, are continuing to progress, even if it looks that nobody cares any more 2) 13 years in Swimming are a great amount of time.

Dressel will come 3rd in 100 free
Reply to  brewdawg2021
1 month ago

Except for in the 4×200 where they are 4th

david
Reply to  brewdawg2021
1 month ago

USA are number 4 lol.

USA was number 1 in 2009, with a time 0.3 faster, and a suit worth 4-8 second over non polyurethane suits.

Swammer
1 month ago

Did anyone keep a live cam on Dressel during that relay?

DCSwim
1 month ago

Imagine if Dean swam close to his gold medal-winning time…. Jeezzzz

renz
Reply to  DCSwim
1 month ago

Lazy opening swim from Tom Dean

Eyeballer
Reply to  DCSwim
1 month ago

Imagine if Phelps swam close to his best time of 1:42 during the record-setting relay. GB wouldn’t have came close to the WR….Jeeezzzz

Chad
Reply to  Eyeballer
1 month ago

Actually they still would have come close if not beaten it

There's no doubt that he's tightening up
Reply to  Eyeballer
1 month ago

Both MP and Dean swam lead offs about +1.5 from their bests, so the point is invalid…

100Free
1 month ago

1:45:7, so slow for Dean compared to 1:44 low in the individual final.

swamswim
1 month ago

results say australia had a flyover of -.03🤭

Riccardo
Reply to  swamswim
1 month ago

Within the threshold if the official doesn’t make the call.

Officials shouldn’t miss that at this level though. It’s easy to overturn if the pad shows it to be a fair start. Make the call.

Texas Tap Water
Reply to  Riccardo
1 month ago

-0.03s is the maximum allowed tolerance. So it was God level change over

Riccardo
Reply to  Texas Tap Water
1 month ago

I understand, which is why I said “within the threshold.” I’ve personally been on the winning side of this rule before.

You misunderstand though, if the official makes the DQ and its -.03 the DQ stands. Up to -.03 is a rule that is meant to cover impossibly rare but technically “possible” machine errors.

Joel
Reply to  swamswim
1 month ago

No they don’t. Where did you see that?

Troyy
Reply to  Joel
1 month ago
Ecoach
Reply to  swamswim
1 month ago

Yeah USA touched first yet AUS was first off the block. Significantly. Good takeover. As they say better lucky than good.

Tyson
Reply to  swamswim
1 month ago

Results show Americans will find any excuse to defend their swimmers poor performances

Craig
Reply to  swamswim
1 month ago
Riccardo
Reply to  Craig
1 month ago

Follow your own link and go to the PDF results report. They had a -.03 exchange.

PFA
1 month ago

It was very close but just missed it .03 off the world record and .02 off the Olympic record, but that’s a new textile world record, European record, and a British record. I’m not even British but I loved seeing James guy’s reaction.

Shadia
1 month ago

Calum Tom Duncan Matty James absolute heroes phenomenal swim inches off the World Record couldn’t be more proud of you all!!!!

Daeleb Creseel
Reply to  Shadia
1 month ago

not Tom

Kudos to GB
1 month ago

Matt Richards deserves an additional gold medal for being a HUGE team player and dropping out of his individual event to prepare for this. Amazing swim from the 18 year old, wise beyond his years. Lookout for him in 2024!

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Swim analyst, businesswoman.

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