The Female Swimmers With The Fastest Four-Stroke 400 IM Add-Ups

As a follow-up to our breakdown last December on the female swimmers with the fastest 800 IM add-ups (adding up swimmers’ fastest stroke 200 times), we’re now going to dive into the 400 IM add-up, looking at the top performers across the 100 fly, back, breast and free on the women’s side (with the men’s to come in a future article).

It was no surprise to see Katinka Hosszu tower over the field in the 800 IM add-up due to her dominance in the 400 IM on the international stage for the better part of a decade, and although she’s a lock to be a contender in the 400 IM add-up, this one was a bit more up in the air coming in.

Hosszu was a force in the 200 IM during her career, and was the Olympic gold medalist in the 100 back in Rio, but she also rarely raced any of the other stroke 100s individually at major international events (sometimes the 100 fly, but she wasn’t decisively better than other high-level IMers on fly), opening the door for others to challenge her for the top spot.

As it turns out, Hosszu ends up right near the top of the list, but falls just shy of number one.

That distinction goes to Australia’s Kaylee McKeown, who recently logged a best time of 59.45 in the 100 fly to earn her the top spot*.

*Note that Kaylee McKeown‘s 100 fly PB was originally incorrect and has since been updated.

That fly time combines with McKeown’s world record of 57.33 in the 100 back, the third-fastest breast time of 1:06.86 and a solid 54.33 100 free.

Israel’s Anastasia Gorbenko, the swimmer who ended Hosszu’s run of gold medal victories in the 200 IM at the European Championships in 2021, sits second on the list. Gorbenko, who only recently turned 20, was the 2021 SC world champion in the 50 breast and was also an Olympic finalist in Tokyo in the 100 back.

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor, the third-fastest 200 IMer in history and the Olympic silver medalist behind Hosszu in Rio, joined McKeown, Gorbenko and Hosszu as the only four swimmers with a sub-4:00 add-up, while reigning 200 IM world champion Kate Douglass was just shy of the barrier.

Douglass, who probably has time to drop in the 100 breast (1:07.07) given what she’s done in the 200 (going 2:21.22 and taking it out in 1:08.27), gets up to #4 on the list despite having the slowest backstroke time among the top 20 at 1:04.04. She counteracts that with the second-fastest fly time and the fastest free time.

Breaststroke is the most polarizing stroke in swimming—some have it, and some just plain don’t and never will. There are a handful of swimmers who cracked the top 20 with a so-so breaststroke time, six above 1:10 and three slower than 1:12.

Two with one obvious weak stroke were Emily Seebohm and Natalie Coughlin, who both made up for lackluster breaststroke by being elite elsewhere, particularly on backstroke as a former world champion (Seebohm) and Olympic gold medalist and world record holder (Coughlin) in the event.

If you have find a swimmer who is fast enough to have made the top 20 but is missing, let us know in the comments below.

WOMEN’S TOP 20 – 400 IM ADD-UP

Rank Swimmer Fly Back Breast Free Total
1 Kaylee McKeown (AUS) 59.45 57.33 1:06.86 54.29 3:57.93
2 Anastasia Gorbenko (ISR) 58.23 59.30 1:06.69 54.35 3:58.57
3 Katinka Hosszu (HUN) 57.80 58.45 1:09.06 53.64 3:58.95
4 Siobhan-Marie O’Connor (GBR) 57.45 1:02.35 1:06.34 53.81 3:59.95
5 Kate Douglass (USA) 56.43 1:04.04 1:07.07 52.57 4:00.11
6 Kathleen Baker (USA) 59.69 58.00 1:07.90 55.58 4:01.17
7 Emily Seebohm (AUS) 58.52 58.23 1:11.32 53.92 4:01.99
8 Alicia Coutts (AUS) 56.85 1:02.63 1:08.95 53.78 4:02.21
9 Natalie Coughlin (USA) 57.34 58.94 1:12.56 53.39 4:02.23
10 Charlotte Bonnet (FRA) 58.63 1:04.02 1:07.54 52.74 4:02.93
11 Summer McIntosh (CAN) 57.92 1:00.25 1:10.39 54.39 4:02.95
12 Alex Walsh (USA) 59.58 1:00.23 1:07.59 55.61 4:03.01
13 Femke Heemskerk (NED) 58.99 1:00.03 1:11.70 52.69 4:03.41
14 Mary-Sophie Harvey (CAN) 59.45 1:00.16 1:09.27 54.77 4:03.65
15 Marrit Steenbergen (NED) 58.55 1:00.50 1:12.05 52.71 4:03.81
16 Katie Hoff (USA) 59.45 1:01.86 1:08.60 54.28 4:04.19
17 Rika Omoto (JPN) 58.92 1:02.32 1:09.12 54.21 4:04.57
18 Ariana Kukors (USA) 1:00.06 1:01.28 1:08.12 55.59 4:05.05
19 Isabel Ivey (USA) 59.29 1:00.85 1:10.60 54.60 4:05.34
20 Maria Ugolkova (SUI) 58.22 1:01.55 1:11.35 54.54 4:05.66

Swimmers Who Narrowly Missed Out:

  • Based on our findings, American Torri Huske was 21st despite having a 1:13.95 breast time, thanks to the fastest fly time (55.64) and the #2 free time (52.92). Melanie Margalis was next up at 4:06.00.
  • Missy Franklin was 23rd despite a 1:13.75 breaststroke PB, boosted with her Olympic-winning 58.33 100 back time and a 53.36 100 free.
  • Among active swimmers, Kayla Sanchez (4:06.16), Maggie MacNeil (4:06.18), Alicia Wilson (4:07.21), Teagan O’Dell (4:07.73) and Beryl Gastaldello (4:07.86) were sub-4:08 to go along with those in the top 20 (Viktoria Gunes hasn’t raced since the summer of 2022 but was 4:06.72). MacNeil notably earned her time despite a 1:17.50 PB in the 100 breast.
  • Despite a 1:19.64 100 breast time, Gretchen Walsh was still somewhat competitive at 4:08.92.

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BillP
2 months ago

Ok I should have read farther

BillP
2 months ago

I would think Summer Macintosh would be in the mix. Also Maggie McNeil.

Guy
2 months ago

Almost got in the top 20 – Israeli Olympian Amit Ivri – 58.21 fly, 1:03.13 Back, 1:07.74 Breast and 56.62 free – combiuned to 4:05.70

hambone
2 months ago

This is close to worthless. If I add up all my 25 times I’m right in the mix.

Pieter H
Reply to  hambone
2 months ago

No one prevent you from making your own list where you top the list.

Joshua Liendo-Edwards-Smith
Reply to  hambone
2 months ago

If you add up all of your 25 times then you are close to the women’s 100 add ups? How slow are your 25s? Lol

flicker
2 months ago

lists like these are always so fun but obviously the times used have to be taken from variety of different points in a season and even points of their careers, so with Kaylee being entered in all four at QLD champs (if she doesn’t scratch anything) it’ll be interesting to see what that add up will be

Joshua Liendo-Edwards-Smith
Reply to  flicker
2 months ago

I don’t think she’ll swim them all

Skip
2 months ago

Well, i’m not surprised kaylee is first. For those looking to convert SCY to make their favs higher up the list, keep it up, my ribs hurt from laughing

Pieter H
Reply to  Skip
2 months ago

B-b-b-but

Kate Douglas’ 2:01 200 breast SCY should translate to 2:15 LCM!

Gretchen Walsh’ 48.26 100 back SCY should translate to 55 LCM!

Kevin Cordes’ 1:48 200 breast SCY should translate to 2:04 LCM!

According to Swimswam’s SCY-LCM conversion, Gretchen is 100 back world record holder.

Move aside, Kaylee!

Last edited 2 months ago by Pieter H
Brad
Reply to  Pieter H
2 months ago

Yeah I’m fast on paper too…

Splash
2 months ago

Surely Louise Hansson is up there. 59.8 Bk, 56.2 fly, 54.2 free. Not sure her breast but given she was formally a 2IMer (raced it at Rio, European bronze medalist) it can’t be horrid????

Admin
Reply to  Splash
2 months ago

1:19.71.

RMS
2 months ago

What about Siobhan Haughey??

snailSpace
Reply to  RMS
2 months ago

She has no 100 backstroke.

Admin
Reply to  RMS
2 months ago

Yeah good name but no backstroke. She would probably be up here if she had one.

RMS
Reply to  Braden Keith
2 months ago

I think she could throw down a 1:01 or better 100 back.

RMS
Reply to  RMS
2 months ago

Not sure about the downvotes. Super weird considering she’s a very talented and versatile swimmer.

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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