Improved Back Half Leads to British Record in Men’s 400 Medley Relay

by Robert Gibbs 3

July 30th, 2017 International, News


The British men took just shy of three-tenths of a second off their national record in the 4×100 medley relay en route to a silver medal on the final night of the 2017 World Championships in Budapest.

Sporting the same four men who set the national record at last year’s Olympics, including Adam Peaty and his monster breastroke splits, Great Britain headed into the session as the only team that figured to be anywhere close to the USA, the heavy favorites.

Tonight, Christopher Walker-Hebborn led off with a time of 54.20, and Peaty dove in with the the Brits in 7th place.  Peaty couldn’t quite match his split from last summer, but still passed six men with a 56.91 split that was over 1.5 seconds faster than anyone else in the field.

The big improvement came on the back half of this relay, though.  James Guy has an outstanding meet, including a bronze medal in the 100 fly and one of the fastest 200 free splits of all time, and tonight he swam 0.55 seconds faster than he did in Rio.  Likewise, Duncan Scott flirted with breaking the 47-second mark on the anchor leg, also over half a second faster than in Rio.  The combined efforts of Guy and Scott comfortably gave Great Britain a silver medal, as well as a national record for the third summer in a row.

Comparative Splits:

2017 Swimmer 2017 Time 2016 Time 2016 Swimmer
Back Walker-Hebborn 54.20 53.58 Walker-Hebborn
Breast Peaty 56.91 56.59 Peaty
Fly Guy 50.80 51.35 Guy
Free Scott 47.04 47.62 Scott
Total 3:28.95 3:29.24

For those of who you didn’t feel like doing the math, adding the front half from 2016 to the back half from today comes out to 3:28.01, much closer to the USA, but still not enough to surmount that gap.  If the Brits can find someone who can go 53-low on backstroke in 2019 or 2020, they have a reasonable chance of taking down the USA’s hegemony in this event.

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3 years ago

If only there were a Christoper Sprinter-Hebborn

3 years ago

I want to see Team GB attempt a 4×100m freestyle. They have a great leg on Scott and Guy’s strength in the 100 fly and 200 free probably can translate to a respectable 100 free. Proud has some potential in the 100 free but it would come at a cost to his 50s. Who would make a competitive 4×100 free relay for GBR?

Reply to  NotASwimmer
3 years ago

Barrett is 48.9 flat start. Jarvis has been 48.7 flat start. Bit bare after that… But had a 16yo and a 17yo go 50.0 at Nationals this year so there are a few positives there. Cumberlidge is new to the 100fr but he went a huge 50fr a few days ago (22.0) and is Improving quickly. Was outside 23s a year or so ago.