Tokyo Relay Splits: Chelsea Hodges Brings The Heat With 1:05.57 Breast Leg

2020 TOKYO SUMMER OLYMPIC GAMES

MEN’S 400 MEDLEY RELAY

The Australian women capped off their Tokyo tour with one final gold medal performance in the 4×100 medley relay. The contingent of Kaylee McKeown, Chelsea Hodges, Emma McKeon, and Cate Campbell produced a new Olympic record in the event of 3:51.60. That was enough to out-touch the Americans who came in with a 3:51.73 for silver and the Canadians who has a 3:52.60 for bronze.

Canada got off to a quick start as Kylie Masse hit a 57.90 in the prelims, making her the only sub-58 woman in the field. That time for Masse was her second-fastest time in history behind her 57.70 Canadian record from Olympic Trials and the 57.72 she posted to take Olympic silver. The leading trio was rounded out by Kaylee McKeown and Regan Smith who swam a 58.01 and 58.05, respectively. Both have been roughly a half-second faster and hold PBs of 57.45 and 57.57, respectively.

Smith left a wide margin between herself and 4th fastest backstroker Peng Xuwei of China. That swim for Xuwei was her quickest swim of the meet, improving upon the 59.78 she swam in the heats and the 59.98 she swam in semis for 12th place overall.

100 Backstroke Splits

Swimmer Country Back Split
Kylie Masse Canada 57.90
Kaylee McKeown Australia 58.01
Regan Smith USA 58.05
Peng Xuwei China 59.63
Michelle Coleman Sweden 59.75
Anna Konishi Japan 59.92
Mariia Kameneva ROC 59.95
Margherita Panziera Italy 1:00.03

Lydia Jacoby was a touch faster here than the 1:05.09 she swam without goggles during the mixed medley relay earlier on in Tokyo. Her 1:05.03 was notably slower, however than the 1:04.95 she produced to win Olympic gold. The big performer here, however, was Australia’s Chelsea Hodges who threw down a 1:05.57 split which was actually more than a second faster than both the 1:06.70 she swam in the prelims of the individual race and her 1:06.60 in semis. She beat 3 swimmers here who qualified for the individual final in Carraro, Chikunova, and Hansson.

This was Canada’s weakest leg and the only one that didn’t place within the top 2. Sydney Pickrem was a 1:07.17 here which was a bit slower than the 1:06.42 she hit during the 2019 World Championships medley relay. She was also slightly faster during the prelims of the event where she hit a 1:07.03.

100 Breaststroke Splits

Swimmer Country Breast Split
Lydia Jacoby USA 1:05.03
Chelsea Hodges Australia 1:05.57
Martina Carraro Italy 1:05.88
Evgenia Chikunova ROC 1:05.99
Tang Qianting China 1:06.09
Kanako Watanabe Japan 1:06.61
Sophie Hansson Sweden 1:06.67
Sydney Pickrem Canada 1:07.17

The top 3 splits on the butterfly leg reflect the same order that these 3 women finished in the individual 100 fly. Maggie MacNeil and Zhang Yufei swam a 55.27 and 55.39 which was quicker than their respective finals times in the individual event of 55.59 and 55.64, while Emma McKeon‘s 55.91 was a bit slower than the 55.72 she produced for bronze in the 100 fly. This was the weak leg for the American team and the only one to not place top 3 as Torri Huske hit a 56.16 to trail her individual performance of 55.73 which got her 4th place in the 100 butterfly.

100 Butterfly Splits

Swimmer Country Fly Split
Maggie MacNeil Canada 55.27
Zhang Yufei China 55.39
Emma McKeon Australia 55.91
Louise Hansson Sweden 56.12
Torri Huske USA 56.16
Svetlana Chimrova ROC 56.7
Elena di Liddo Italy 56.96
Rikako Ikee Japan 57.92

En route to her 4th Olympic gold medal, Cate Campbell anchored for the Australians and managed to lay down a 52.11 which would rank as her 3rd fastest time from a flat start in history while sitting a little bit above the 51.97 freestyle leg she contributed to Australia’s gold medal-winning swim in 2016.

Penny Oleksiak did what was needed for Canada with a 52.26 to get her hand on the wall for 3rd place, marking her 7th Olympic medal which makes her the most decorated Olympian in Canadian history. Abbey Weiteil was 3rd here with a 52.49 and while it was enough for Olympic silver, wasn’t quick enough to catch an on-fire Campbell. Sarah Sjostrom also got under 53 seconds with a 52.73 to get Sweden 5th overall in national record-time of 3:54.27.

100 freestyle Splits

Swimmer Country Free Split
Cate Campbell Australia 52.11
Penny Oleksiak Canada 52.26
Abbey Weitzeil USA 52.49
Sarah Sjostrom Sweden 52.73
Yang Junxuan China 53.02
Chihiro Igarashi Japan 53.67
Federica Pellegrini Italy 53.81
Arina Surkova ROC 54.29

In addition to their overall victory in the event, Australia also had the best aggregate reaction time of 0.49 seconds. The USA notably had the weakest showing in this field and produced a reaction time add-up which was more than double that of the Australians with a 1.09. They were 1 of 2 teams with an add-up of over 1 second as China’s team had a 1.05. Japan’s squad (0.64) were 2nd to the Australians reaction time-wise despite their 8th place finish in the heat, closely followed by Canada who had the 3rd quickest average turnovers at 0.66.

Reaction Time Aggregates

Country
Aggregate Exchanges
Australia 0.49
USA 1.09
Canada 0.66
China 1.05
Sweden 0.94
Italy 0.87
Russia 0.80
Japan 0.64

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Prettykitten
1 month ago

Canada should have went with Wog

NJones
Reply to  Prettykitten
1 month ago

Maybe. Probably a very tough call. Sydney have them consistency, you knew she’d drop a6 high, 7 low. Kelsey being slightly off this week with a7 high earlier in the individual 100, not sure if she’d light up with a6 low or 7 high or slightly worse. The ceiling is high with her though with a 106.4 best time. Great job Sydney stepping in though not just on this one but also the 4×2 prelims. Sydney coming into the year was on form to challenge for 2im gold, so for her to get her first Olympic medal with girls certainly had all the feels.

Prettykitten
Reply to  NJones
1 month ago

I get what you’re saying here but Sydney didn’t race 400IM for a non related medical reason then added 2 seconds in here 200IM and scratched the 200br and swam the 4×200 in like a 1:59high. Nothing she had done over the weekend would suggest that she was the best choice to do the relay. Wog had a bad meet but the Canadians always step up on relays and they didn’t give her a chance.

Sean C.
Reply to  Prettykitten
1 month ago

Getting disqualified from the 200 m doomed any chance the federation would trust her with this.

Last edited 1 month ago by Sean C.
Bill G
Reply to  Prettykitten
1 month ago

Really gutted for Kelsey Wog as her times in Tokyo were well off her June Trials times and her PBs. She had some decent ISL results in the fall of 2020 too.

There was speculation in the Swimswam forums that she might be ill or injured. Supporting this … i) she immediately withdrew from the 200 IM after Trials (she finished second with a FINA-A time, but Bailey Anison was nominated to the Olympic team instead); ii) Canada sent Kierra Smith, who swims the 100m breaststroke, to the Olympics despite not meeting the automatic criteria (i.e, top 2 a trials with a FINA-A time). This could indicate that the team knew something was up with Kelsey’s health and wanted… Read more »

Corn Pop
Reply to  Bill G
1 month ago

Penny has some impressive shoulders. .im in awe.

Old school swim
1 month ago

Some editing needed! Kylie Masse…prelims? Second fastest time? Both incorrect….

Swimminggg
Reply to  Old school swim
1 month ago

Men’s medley relay title

Sub13
1 month ago

Chelsea Hodges MVP! Kaylee and Cate both slower than expected but Hodges pulled a bloody PB out of nowhere.

No medals prior, and a gold in her last event. Fairytale ending.

And so glad this gave Emily and Mollie another gold for the heats, and Throssel gets her first gold as well!

Last edited 1 month ago by Sub13
Boomer
Reply to  Sub13
1 month ago

If they didn’t try to get Throssel another medal on the 4×200, they could’ve won the gold there

commonwombat
Reply to  Boomer
1 month ago

More like had they not backed themselves into a corner with relay nominations in the first place. The rules openly state that a relay only swimmer can be used on ANY relay but must be used on at least one. By being specific, they backed themselves into a corner by specifically nominating Neale for 4×200 only THEN making mistakes with heats and finals line-ups.

TBH, whilst w4x200 can be seen as one that got away; w4xmed has to be seen as one that they didn’t budget for. The reality is that you’re never going to have all the cards fall your way and, in reality, this was one of those extremely rare ones when an overwhelming number DID fall AUS… Read more »

Robbos
Reply to  commonwombat
1 month ago

However, one was due to the swimmers swimming, while Chelsea swam her heart out, the other 3 Aussie girls were slower then individual event. The other was due to very poor coaches, many punters, including yourself was screaming as to why both Neal & Wilson, did not have to swim for their place in the final? Did this then give the top 4 Aussie girls a sense of inevitably & hence did not feel the competition.

commonwombat
Reply to  Robbos
1 month ago

Very valid point; was there a touch of hubris with the AUS coaches re W4X200 ? My view was that Neale at least had to swim the heats and earn a finals berth. Wilson would’ve been in the same boat; perhaps arguable once she was given the individual swim.

This one was always going to be in the bonus column; always a possibility but never one to take for granted. All due cudos to Hodges for performing significantly above expectations. She was certainly the freshest; her team-mates were most likely running on fumes. That’s generally the way it goes with this relay being placed where it is.

Sub13
Reply to  commonwombat
1 month ago

Commonwombat, I can’t find the comment now but we had a disagreement a few days ago. You said we would be lucky to get to 15 medals and I insisted that we would beat it.

It’s never felt so good to say I told you so! 😜

Bill G
Reply to  Robbos
1 month ago

With the schedule McKeown and McKeon had it’s tough to see best times in the last swim of an Olympics. The 200m backstroke was last night and McKeown was also in the mixed medley relay, McKeon had a scorching schedule right from day one (and a final / medal ceremony this session) and even Campbell had the 50m free to deal with this session.

SBOmega
1 month ago

This race was won because Hodges was only 0.5s slower than the Olympic champion.

Huske finished awfully and that meant Weitzel couldn’t have a quick changeover in case she caused a DQ. In contrast McKeon came home like a steam train which is what allowed Cate to have a reaction time of 0.04s

Sub13
Reply to  SBOmega
1 month ago

Hodges pulling an amazing split certainly was a huge factor, but I think there are a few things:

1. Regan and Kaylee both more than half a second off their PBs. If Regan swam the time she did in the MMR heat, USA wins.
2. Hodges amazing.
3. Huske swam slightly below her best, but so did Emma.
4. Cate swam nowhere near her best ever split, but still pulled out a solid effort. Yes, your point about the RT being different because Huske slowed at the end is correct.

It seemed like a few factors played into the final result, but Hodges pulling an amazing split was part of it.

BairnOwl
1 month ago

Maybe change the photo to the medley relay instead of the 4×100, since that’s the topic of this article?

CanSwim13
Reply to  BairnOwl
1 month ago

Author- Give Hodges the respect she deserves with that fire split

Swammerstein
1 month ago

I didnt like NBCs coverage of the ending to this relay here in the US. Weitzel was the only swimmer to swim faster than her best time for the US women. that shouldve been mentioned as they zoomed in on her in tears saying “i lost it for us.” Felt terrible for her

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Swammerstein
1 month ago

Weitzel was the only one for the U.S. who did what she was supposed to do — drop 0.5 sec on a flying start, or in Regan’s case, match your flat start. And she did it coming off a disappointing 50 free final. She had a breakthrough meet time-wise, breaking 53 for the first time, finally getting to the 24.1 territory, and stud relay anchor swims.

Sub13
1 month ago

Introducing the winning women’s medley team:
1. Kaylee “Backstroke Double” McKeown
2. Chelsea “Where did that PB come from” Hodges
3. Emma “Seven Medals” McKeon
4. Cate “0.04 RT” Campbell

Legends

Old Man Chalmers
Reply to  Sub13
1 month ago

cate “we either won an olympic gold medal or got disqualified” campbell

Joel
Reply to  Old Man Chalmers
1 month ago

That made me laugh. She seemed very very relaxed. But that relay practice came in handy and I just could not be happier for her and the team.

Sub13
Reply to  Old Man Chalmers
1 month ago

How about we compromise with Cate “Daredevil” Campbell?

commonwombat
Reply to  Sub13
1 month ago

Its probably been the case that the extra year has seen C1’s peak years run out but she’s still had enough to drag out that intangible extra in the team format where she has shone for so long. One of the greatest female relay swimmers for ANY country.

SBOmega
Reply to  commonwombat
1 month ago

She’s the greatest relay swimmer period! The amount of times she’s pulled out clutch 51 low legs or even a 50 when she hasn’t performed individually just shows how much she lifts when the pressure is on the team and not her

commonwombat
Reply to  SBOmega
1 month ago

Sorry but I shy away from all GOAT talk; no matter who they are or their nationality. All one can ever be is the best of one’s era; in some cases that can be quite a long one. Differing equipment, different suits, better pools, better training/professionalism make it impossible to judge.

She is most certainly the greatest female freestyle relays swimmer of her era (2013-21). She will undeniably be a key part of all-time great discussions. Anything beyond that is purely subjective judgement.

Robbos
Reply to  commonwombat
1 month ago

4 Olympic relay golds, one of the greats.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Old Man Chalmers
1 month ago

Cate “Choke on THAT” Campbell.

Robbos
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
1 month ago

Cate ‘4 gold medals’ Campbell, OL zero Longhorn zero.

Sub13
Reply to  Sub13
1 month ago

Actually I’m making two adjustments:

Kaylee “Backstroke Double F*** yeah” McKeown
Cate “Daredevil” Campbell

Last edited 1 month ago by Sub13
Boomer
1 month ago

I think Sophie Hansson went 1:05.67, not 1:06.67