Mixed Relay Will ‘Add Spice’ To Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Per Adam Peaty

Last week the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced the addition of the men’s 800 freestyle, women’s 1500 freestyle, as well as the mixed 400 medley relay to the Olympic event line-up effective as of the 202 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo.

The decision was met both with excitement and criticism around the world, with the IOC believing the events’ inclusion promotes gender equality. One swimmer vocally in favor of the changes is Olympic gold medalist and world record holder Adam Peaty of Great Britain. He spoke to the BBC just prior to the IOC’s announcement, saying he was “100% in favor” of the new schedule as it would “add spice.”

Speaking from experience, as Peaty helped GBR take mixed medley relay gold at the 2015 World Championships, the breaststroking ace says, “It’s something that would make things [at the Olympics] a little bit more fun.

“Obviously it’s very serious, but it’s great to mix things up from what they’ve been for so long as it adds a little spice and they’re great to watch.”

For Peaty, the relay means another opportunity for additional hardware, as the Loughborough athlete already competes in the men’s 4x100m medley relay and individual breaststroke events. The 22-year-old also would have undoubtedly benefited had the IOC included another proposal involving the addition of 50m events for backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle. Peaty holds the 50m world record and took gold in the race in Kazan.

“Everyone loves the 50s because they’re so close and tight, so the more 50s and more events the better really,” said Peaty.

Only the 50m freestyle will be contested for Tokyo 2020, but with Peaty’s, among others, opinions being heard it’s reasonable to expect this same topic to come up for Paris or LA 2024.

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Years of Plain Suck
4 years ago

Adding the mixed medley to the Olympic program is like giving Puerto Rico statehood. It might make some people feel good, but in the end it’s just gimmicky and shouldn’t be done.

gregor
4 years ago

Do we really need these mickey mouse egg and spoon type races at the Olympics?

Uberfan
4 years ago

Britains 4×100 won’t get anything better than Bronze. USA will dominate

FightingIrish
Reply to  Uberfan
4 years ago

Brits are deluded around this relay. They will suck going forward. No male backstroker, no world class female fly swimmer, no female freestyler whatsoever.

commonwombat
Reply to  Uberfan
4 years ago

Granted I can’t see they beating the US at this point in time but who else is going to finish ahead of them ?

The only suspects that I can see are potentially JAP (who need to find another female 100 freestyler as Ikee needed on fly).
CHN ….. we just never know who will front up from one year to the next.
AUS ….. the male front half will leave them too far behind

Uberfan
Reply to  commonwombat
4 years ago

Australia leads off with a 52 or 58 backstroker. Does Britain even have someone who can go below a 59 in back or 53 consistently? Packard goes a 58 mid breast now with Peaty in water Australia is behind Britain by one second, Australia sends in their flyer who splits a 56 compared to Britains 51 fly from Guy, so Australia is almost 6 whole seconds behind. Then the freestylers come in and Chalmers or Macevoys 46 will be faster than a 53.
Britain has no real depth in the women’s side, and let’s face it without Peaty their medley relays are dead

FightingIrish
Reply to  Uberfan
4 years ago

One option is? *estimate

Davies 59.3
Peaty 56.5
O’Connor 57.0*
Scott 47.0*

commonwombat
Reply to  Uberfan
4 years ago

Firstly, you are assuming Larkin can/will return to his 2015 levels. Post Rio, he hasn’t been in the ball-park of breaking 53sec. All other AUS male backstrokers are 53mid-high men Seebohm may well retire after 2014 CG, she’s certainly hasn’t committed to going through to Tokyo so they need to find another top female backstroker (Wlison’s gone off, Atherton hasn’t yet kicked on). Davies for GBR is a 59lowish. Your assumption of AUS advantage is overstated and quite probably marginal at best

Packard is currently out, as to when/whether he return is as yet unknown. Without him, AUS has NO sub minute male breaststroker. Wilson looks good at 200 but has yet to translate to 100.

McKeon has actually… Read more »

IMs for days
4 years ago

I appreciate Peaty being an ambassador to the sport, but there is no reason for a mixed relay. I’m all for women competing with men in the workforce, or in something involving intellegence, but sport is different. Because of genetics on average a man is stronger then a women, and theirs nothing wrong with that, thats just life, and because of that sports is one thing where men and women should be seperate. And because of this mixed relays don’t work. There are two strategys: Hey lets put our men in front to try to get a big lead before our women are reeled in, or hey lets put our women first and then try to let our men reel… Read more »

Poropat
4 years ago

I wonder if USAS will start tracking and offering this event at all levels, like NAGs or being offered at JRs. Same for USMS…

Coach John
Reply to  Poropat
4 years ago

in canada we have already gone that route on the junior side (eastern/westerns + junior nats) this seaso

Dawgpaddle
4 years ago

Who cares about the gimmick relay? It might be ok IF the guys wore the girls suits and vise versa!

DMacNCheez
4 years ago

I bet you’ll see countries take this summers mixed medley 4×100 a lot more serious now

Coach John
Reply to  DMacNCheez
4 years ago

that is a given… the big question is were else will they’re national squad test out this relay order outside of world champs? will some trials offer a mixed relay someday. will some of the bigger meets like World Cup, Mare Nostrum etc start to let the mixed events creep in?

Horninco
Reply to  Coach John
4 years ago

I think for now everyone sorts out their 4×100 homogenous relays first. Those are still the priorities.

Coach John
Reply to  Horninco
4 years ago

agreed… I was commenting more down the line

swimmingdude
4 years ago

Clearly needs to be an 8×100 with four men doing one stroke each and four women doing one stroke each – the second backstroke leg starts with a dive.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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