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
2 years ago

He will go 1:44 at Worlds next year

ole 99
Reply to  Team Rwanda
2 years ago

hopefully individually and not just on the relay.

Reply to  ole 99
2 years ago

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

Reply to  MTK
2 years ago

and shining sun will win in 1:43.9!

One milliliter more
2 years ago

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

2 years ago

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.

Reply to  N P
2 years ago

Graced by the suit …

Reply to  N P
2 years ago

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 swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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