Lewis Clareburt, Brendon Smith Both Under Oceanian 400 IM Record During Prelims


During day 1 prelims at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, Lewis Clareburt and Brendon Smith won the 3rd and 4th heat of the men’s 400 IM heats, respectively. New Zealand’s Clareburt hit a 4:09.49 in the 3rd heat to undercut the 4:09.87 Oceanian record but Smith of Australia didn’t let him hold onto it for very long, coming in with a 4:09.27 to lower the mark again.

That made it 2 back-to-back Oceanian records in the event. Clareburt actually held that previous Oceanian record of 4:09.87 which he delivered at the 2021 New Zeland Championships in April 2021. While he won’t walk away from the prelims session with the Oceanian record, Clareburt’s 4:09.49 stands as a national New Zealand record.

Brendon Smith‘s 4:09.27 Oceanian record also counts for a new Australian record here, improving upon the 4:10.04 that he delivered at the 2021 Australian Olympic Trials. That makes Smith the first man from Australia to have cracked 4:10 in the event.

Smith and Clareburt’s respective heat wins were good enough to make them the top 2 seeds heading into the final. The 2 Oceanian men were the only 2 in the field to get under 4:10 in the event and contributed to the surprising shut out of Daiya Seto from the top 8. Seto was the 2019 World Champion in the event and was among the favourites to win gold but he wound up hitting a 4:10.52 for 5th in his heat and 9th overall.

Tokyo 2020 Men’s 400 IM Prelims – Top 8

  1. Brendon Smith (AUS), 4:09.27
  2. Lewis Clareburt (NZL), 4:09.49
  3. Chase Kalisz (USA), 4:09.65
  4. David Verraszto (HUN), 4:09.80
  5. Alberto Razzetti (ITA) / Jay Litherland (USA), 4:09.91
  6. Leon Marchand (FRA), 4:10.09
  7. Max Litchfield (GBR), 4:10.20

Brendon Smith will go in as the top seed in the 400 IM at his first-ever Olympic Games and will have a chance to make a statement during finals as top seed. Clareburt will also be gunning for the podium as he tried to improve from his bronze medal swim in 2019. Clareburt was a 4:12.07 for 3rd overall in Gwangju, trailing Daiya Seto‘s 4:08.95 and Jay Litherland‘s 4:09.22. This set of heats was considerably faster than what he saw at the 2019 World Championships considering that all of the top 8 finishers in prelims delivered quicker swims than Clareburt’s 3rd place swim.

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1 year ago

Would be cool if either of them medal tomorrow

Reply to  Verram
1 year ago

Or both.

The unoriginal Tim
1 year ago

This is the Funky trunks battle we have all been waiting for.