Haas Anchors U.S. To Gold In 1:43.78, 3rd-Fastest Split In History


With his back against the wall, Townley Haas produced one of the fastest relay legs of all-time to give the American men the gold in the 800 free relay at the Pan Pacific Championships in Tokyo.

With the Australians holding a 1.4-second lead heading into the anchor leg, Haas ran down Jack Cartwright to give the U.S. the win in a time of 7:04.36, edging out the Aussies who were 7:04.70 for silver. Haas split 1:43.78, the 3rd-fastest flying start in history, to get the job done.

Cartwright (1:45.52) ended up having the 4th-fastest leg in the entire field, with Fernando Scheffer of Brazil (1:44.87) and Katsuhiro Matsumoto of Japan (1:45.31) 2nd and 3rd fastest.

Sun Yang holds the fastest split of all-time in 1:43.16, done at the 2013 World Championships when he anchored the Chinese team to a surprise bronze medal. Yannick Agnel split 1:43.24 at the 2012 Olympic Games during his peak, and James Guy‘s 1:43.80 anchor last summer was the only other sub-1:44 leg prior to Haas’ swim tonight.

Haas had previously produced a 1:44.14 leg at the 2016 Olympic Games which tied for the 5th fastest in history with Aussie great Ian Thorpe at the time. With Guy’s swim last year and now this 1:43.78, that now ranks in a tie for 8th all-time. Check out the top-10 splits of all-time below:

Fastest 4×200 Free Splits In History (No Lead-offs)

  1. Sun Yang, 1:43.16 – 2013 World Championships
  2. Yannick Agnel, 1:43.24 – 2012 Olympic Games
  3. Townley Haas, 1:43.78 – 2018 Pan Pacific Championships
  4. James Guy, 1:43.80 – 2017 World Championships
  5. Michael Phelps, 1:44.05 – 2012 Olympic Games
  6. Filippo Magnini, 1:44.12 – 2008 Olympic Games
  7. Ricky Berens, 1:44.13 – 2009 World Championships
  8. Ian Thorpe – 2001 Worlds / Townley Haas – 2016 Olympics, 1:44.14
  9. Aleksandr Sukhorukov, 1:44.15 – 2009 World Championships

Editor’s Note: There’s no definitive ranking on splits, this list is based on our research.

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Team Rwanda

He will go 1:44 at Worlds next year

ole 99

hopefully individually and not just on the relay.


1:45.00 individually and 1:42.99 relay, piling onto everyone’s frustration.


and shining sun will win in 1:43.9!

One milliliter more

Fernando Sheffer of Brazil (2nd leg) 1:44:87 – 2nd faster leg split.


I know the article says no lead-offs in the list of fastest splits, but the fastest relay split ever is Biedermann’s 1:42.81 lead-off in Rome. Fun fact.


Graced by the suit …


There is amnesia that all those times were set with full bodied tech suits. It’s not comparable to today. Biedermann made good for the hand he was dealt. 1:42,00 will not fall for a few more years. The tech suits were significant advantages.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James is currently a university swimmer for the Laurentian Voyageurs in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. He is studying economics. Along with swimming, he also loves hockey. He's in his 14th season as a competitive swimmer. Best Times - SCM (LCM) 50 FR - 24.56 (25.12) 100 FR - 53.58 (56.70) 200 FR - 1:56.07 (2:04.29) 1500 …

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