Scott’s 46.14 Anchor Leads British Men To Euro Record In Medley Relay


In an absolutely incredible finale to the men’s program here in Gwangju, Duncan Scott threw down the second-fastest freestyle split in history to come from behind and lead the British men to gold and a new European Record in the 400 medley relay.

Sitting third and trailing the Americans by over a second at the final exchange, Scott gained two-tenths on Nathan Adrian with an opening 50 of 21.82, and then came back in a tantalizing 24.32 to claim the win in a time of 3:28.10.

His final split: 46.14.

Only Jason Lezak has been faster when he had the epic comeback over France in the 400 free relay at the 2008 Olympics in 46.06.

It is also the fastest textile split by almost a half a second, moving past Cameron McEvoy‘s 46.60 from 2015. Kyle Chalmers actually tied McEvoy’s split on the anchor of Australia’s relay.


  1. Jason Lezak (USA), 46.06 – 2008
  2. Duncan Scott (GBR), 46.14 – 2019
  3. Cesar Cielo (BRA), 46.22 – 2009
  4. Alain Bernard (FRA), 46.26 – 2009
  5. Alain Bernard (FRA), 46.46 – 2009
  6. Cameron McEvoy (AUS) / Kyle Chalmers, 46.60 – 2015/2019
  7. Fred Bousquet (FRA) / Fred Bousquet (FRA), 46.63 – 2008
  8. Eamon Sullivan (AUS), 46.65 – 2008

Scott’s previous fastest split was 47.04 from the 2017 World Championships. He notably scratched out of the 100 freestyle here in favor of the 200 IM.

Joining him on the relay was Luke GreenbankAdam Peaty and James Guy. Peaty’s breast split of 57.20 was the fastest in the field by almost a second and is the fourth-fastest in history. He now owns the 10 fastest ever.

Their final time breaks the 10-year-old super-suited European Record of 3:28.58 set by the Germans back at the 2009 Championships in Rome. That team was comprised of Helge MeeuwHendrik FeldwehrBenjamin Starke and Paul Biedermann.


Compared to Germany’s swim, they were 1.68 off the pace on backstroke but Peaty’s leg brought it down to just under four-tenths. Guy out split Starke by a tenth, and then Scott was a full three-quarters of a second quicker than Biedermann.

Germany, 2009 Worlds Great Britain, 2019 Worlds
Meeuw – 52.27 Greenbank – 53.95
Feldwehr – 58.51 Peaty – 57.20
Starke – 50.91 Guy – 50.81
Biedermann – 46.89 Scott – 46.14
3:28.58 3:28.10

It also lowers their previous British Record of 3:28.95 from the 2017 Worlds in Budapest. Compared to that, the biggest difference came from Scott, out splitting himself by nine-tenths of a second.

Great Britain, 2017 Worlds Great Britain, 2019 Worlds
Walker-Hebborn – 54.20 Greenbank – 53.95
Peaty – 56.91 Peaty – 57.20
Guy – 50.80 Guy – 50.81
Scott – 47.04 Scott – 46.14
3:28.95 3:28.10

For the Americans, Adrian ended up splitting 47.60 as they won silver in 3:28.45. Diving in with a deficit of 1.11 seconds, Scott was almost twice as far back as Lezak was when he chased down Alain Bernard in Beijing (0.59 seconds). He also ended up winning by a much larger margin (0.35 to 0.08).

This is the second time the U.S. men have lost this relay without a disqualification. They took silver to Australia in Perth back in 1998, and then were DQed in 2001, 2007 and 2013. Great Britain’s previous best finish was silver from 2017.

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Ledeck Change
2 years ago

wasn’t PVDH 46.6 in the 4×100 at 2004 olympics?

2 years ago

@Ledeck Change, PVDH was 46.79 in Athens anchoring his 4×100 free relay to silver.

Reply to  N P
2 years ago

and 46.70 in Barcelona 2003

Reply to  Peter
2 years ago

So Scott had a reaction time of 0.07, went out out in 21.82, and then came back in 24.32!

For refrence Lezaks legendary split has a reaction time of 0 04, went out in 21.50, and came back in 24.56.

So basically Scott was going berserk on that second leg after going what was the fastest first 50 of his life.

As was the case with Lezaks anchor, while this is extremely impressive, I think the feat was accomplished with the benefit of drafting, though I think Scott had less benefit since lezak basically got to ride Bernard’s hip and slingshot off of him while he was dying because he went out to fast.

This meet really needed to… Read more »

Reply to  IM FAN
2 years ago

Did Lezak do it in the 400 free relay or the medley relay? Extremely impressive that Scott did this on the last day. You have to wonder whether he “peaked” too late, given that this swim was way faster than his swim in the 400 free relay and that he was a bit off in the 200 free and the 200 IM.

2 years ago

Chalmers was 46.60 here so adds himself onto the list

2 years ago

Epic split from Duncan Scott. Feel a little bit for Adrian but no shame in losing to that kind of swim.

2 years ago

This makes zero sense to me lmfao. How in the world did he pull off that split?

2 years ago

Also got to ask why Scott scratched the 100 free based on this?

Reply to  Tim
2 years ago

He was stunned by his 100 split, but also felt he could have gone quicker than he did in the IM. It didnt click this week for him at all, mostly the breaststroke. I think he will perservere with it.

2 years ago

I don’t think Adrian should have got that finals spot, I think Blake deserved it

2 years ago

Can’t wait for Scott next year. Now I wish he had swam that 100 free instead of the 200 IM. He probably could have had bronze.

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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