Japan Breaks Games Record, China Downs National Mark In 400 Free Relay


The Japanese quartet of Shinri ShiouraKatsuhiro MatsumotoKatsumi Nakamura and Juran Mizohata combined to break the Asian Games Record in the men’s 400 free relay, posting a time of 3:12.68 to take out China’s 3:13.47 from 2014.

Shioura gave them the lead on the opening leg in 48.85, and then Matsumoto (47.65) and Nakamura (48.08) really extended the advantage over China heading into the anchor. Yu Hexin made a big push for the Chinese with a 47.38 split, but Mizohata (48.10) held strong to give Japan the win by six-tenths. China’s previous Games Record was also their National Record, and they managed to get under that here in 3:13.29.

The same four Japanese men had set the Asian Record earlier this month at the Pan Pacific Championships in 3:12.54. China’s 3:13.47 was also the Asian Record prior to that swim.

Asian Games Record Split Comparison

China, 2014 Japan, 2018
Yu Hexin – 49.40 Shinri Shioura – 48.85
Lin Yongqing – 48.44 Katsuhiro Matsumoto – 47.65
Sun Yang – 48.55 Katsumi Nakamura – 48.08
Ning Zetao – 47.08 Juran Mizohata – 48.10
3:13.47 3:12.68

Comparing the splits of the two records, Japan was much quicker on the first three legs, with Ning Zetao‘s 47.08 anchor four years ago the only standout split of the Chinese relay.

Chinese Record Split Comparison

China, 2014 China, 2018
Yu Hexin – 49.40 Yang Jintong – 49.24
Lin Yongqing – 48.44 Cao Jijen – 48.29
Sun Yang – 48.55 Sun Yang – 48.38
Ning Zetao – 47.08 Yu Hexin – 47.38
3:13.47 3:13.29

In comparing the Chinese National Records, the 2018 team was marginally faster on the first three legs before Yu was only three-tenths off Ning’s anchor to keep them under the mark by almost two-tenths. Sun Yang was 0.17 faster than he was four years ago.

The Singaporean men won bronze in 3:17.22 over Korea (3:17.92), as both countries set National Records as well. Singapore was led by a 48.27 split from Joseph Schooling swimming second.

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Yu Hexin with a big split

25 free champ

If Japan can find one more big split in the next two years (and improve the other splits slightly) they could be a medal contender in Tokyo.

25 free champ

Is there anyway Santo Condorelli can join Japan?

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Video of the race:


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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