2020 TOKYO SUMMER OLYMPIC GAMES
- When: Pool swimming: Saturday, July 24 – Sunday, August 1, 2021
- Open Water swimming: Wednesday, August 4 – Thursday, August 5, 2021
- Where: Olympic Aquatics Centre / Tokyo, Japan
- Heats: 7 PM / Semifinals & Finals: 10:30 AM (Local time)
- Full aquatics schedule
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- Day 4 Finals Heat Sheet
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.
- Paul Biedermann, Germany, 2009 Worlds – 1:42.81
- Sun Yang, China, 2013 Worlds – 1:43.16
- Yannick Agnel, France, 2012 Olympics – 1:43.24
- Michael Phelps, United States, 2008 Olympics – 1:43.31
- 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