Tom Dean Anchors 4×200 FR In 1:43.53, Fourth-Fastest Rolling Split Of All Time

2022 FINA WORLD AQUATICS CHAMPIONSHIPS

At the 600-meter mark of the men’s 4×200 free relay, Great Britain was sitting in fifth place, 2.17 seconds behind Brazil, the country in third at that point of the race. Then, Tom Dean dove in the water, ripping a massive split time of 1:43.53 to help the Brits earn bronze and put them 0.69 seconds ahead of Brazil at the final touch.

Read our full 4×200 free relay analysis here.

Dean’s split was the fourth-fastest 200 free ever swum off of a relay start, and the just the sixth-ever sub-1:44 split (not including leadoff legs). This means that British men now make up half of the sub-1:44 relay splits, as Dean’s teammates Duncan Scott and James Guy have both been under that mark as well.

Top Men’s 200 Free Relay Splits (No Leadoffs Included):

  1. Sun Yang, China – 1:43.16 (2013)
  2. Yannick Agnel, France – 1:43.24 (2012)
  3. Duncan Scott, Great Britain – 1:43.45 (2021)
  4. Tom Dean, Great Britain – 1:43.53 (2022)
  5. Townley Haas, United States – 1:43.78 (2018)
  6. James Guy, Great Britain – 1:43.80 (2017)

For the Brits, Dean’s leg was a crucial one. Their hopes of gold were thwarted when key Tokyo relay member Scott withdrew from World Championships due to post COVID-19 training struggles, and then their chances even of medaling seemed unlikely when they finished sixth in the heats even with a near full-strength team.  The push that Dean gave his team to earn bronze helped them maintain the British tradition of success in the 4×200 free relay following Olympic gold last year, even if they weren’t the ones at the top of the podium this time around.

Earlier in the meet, Dean anchored Great Britain’s 4×100 free relay in 46.95, clocking one out of the four sub-47 splits in the field. After leading off Great Britain’s 4×200 Olympic relay last year, he is now slowly transitioning himself into a relay anchoring stud. In the individual 200 free, Dean finished third with a time of 1:44.98.

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Ofrog
10 days ago

This really helps highlight the absurdity of Biedermann’s supersuited 1:42.00 world record. Here we are 13 years later, and the fastest relay-start aided split is 1.16 seconds slower than the flat start world record.

Robbos
10 days ago

Awesome swim by Dean, he was motoring.

25Backstroke
10 days ago

If Dean was anywhere near his PB leading off the relay in Tokyo, that WR would be untouchable. 1:45.0/1:45.0/1:44.5/1:43.5 would be 6:58.0 which even a prime Phelps/Lochte 4×2 in super suits couldn’t touch. Scott, Richards, and Guy all stepped up with legs over half a second faster than their PBs.

Dave
Reply to  25Backstroke
10 days ago

Quite amazing that the fastest textile 4×200 swim is only 3 hundredths off the best super-suit time. Mean while no one gets within 2 whole seconds of Biedermann’s WR in the individual event! Looking forward to seeing these lads having a few more goes at Phelps and Lochte’s record in the next year or two – great times for British Swimming fans!

25Backstroke
Reply to  25Backstroke
10 days ago

fyi: I loved Tom Dean’s performance at this WC, even if he didn’t win gold in the 200. He proved his clutch ability to perform for team GB with his relay anchors (46.xx and 1:43.xx), his ability to go for the win instead of conservative (opening the 200 in 49.xx even if he got run down; reminded me of Le Clos in 2016 – my favorite 200 swim of all time), and his versatility with a 1:56 200 IM. Not hating on Dean at all.

eye guy
Reply to  25Backstroke
10 days ago

You realize Phelps was about 1.5 seconds off his PB when he swam in the WR relay, right? If we are making assumptions, you have to do it for both parties.

Jacob Whittle 46.90 in Paris
Reply to  eye guy
10 days ago

Can you phelps fanboys just let people have 1 thing

eye guy
Reply to  Jacob Whittle 46.90 in Paris
10 days ago

Not a “Phelps fanboy.” I’m just presenting a parallel scenario to yours because you were directly comparing it to that relay. If you’re making hypotheticals, they should be comparable, you make it seem like that WR relay was perfectly swum. Phelps added 1.5 seconds and it wasn’t Lochte’s fastest split either.

eye guy
Reply to  eye guy
10 days ago

Also if we are playing the “If” game, the American women’s 2013-2014 4×200 Free Relay could have easily been 7:38 if Allison Schmitt, Missy Franklin, Katie Ledecky, and Shannon Vreeland all performed to their ability on the same relay, but they could never put together good swims at the same time, but that’s part of swimming and relays. It’s tough to have everyone hitting peak performance at the right time in every race.

25Backstroke
Reply to  eye guy
10 days ago

I actually didn’t realize that the record was from 2009 WC; I thought it was from Beijing where he went 1:42.8 (I think?) then led off the relay in 1:43.3

Horninco
Reply to  25Backstroke
10 days ago

They set the record in China and then broke by 0.01 in Rome

Problem for Phelps at Olympics is that relay was alway after 200 Fly and in worlds after 100 fly semis so he could never have a rested lead off

1.1 slower in Athens (had 200 fly finals)
0.3 slower in Montreal (had 100 fly semis)
1.5 Slower in Melbourne (had 100 fly semis)
0.4 slower in Beijing (had 200 fly finals)
1.2 slower in Rome (had 100 fly semis)
0.8 slower in Shanghai (had 100 fly semis!

Phichael Melps
Reply to  eye guy
10 days ago

You realise the Americans were all wearing supersets and the GB boys weren’t right?

Dee
Reply to  eye guy
10 days ago

Phelps and Dean were both 1.5s off their PBs leading off 6.58.5s, but obviously GBR was textile and US supersuited.

Last edited 10 days ago by Dee
oxyswim
Reply to  eye guy
10 days ago

Phelps had a massive schedule every major championship though. Deano was relatively fresh going into that relay. Just didn’t come down off the high of individual gold all that well.

4606
Reply to  25Backstroke
10 days ago

If Phelps had gone his PB on that 2009 relay, the WR would be 6:57.0

Dee
Reply to  25Backstroke
10 days ago

Phelps/Lochte led supersuit team would beat them imo. But put the 2021 Brits in supersuits and they’d crush them. 6.58.5 textile was obscene.

KeithM
Reply to  Dee
10 days ago

I think it was an amazing time for then. But overall depth quality in this relay has improved since then. I think both GB & the US are capable of matching or surpassing that by Paris.

About Yanyan Li

Yanyan Li

Yanyan is from Madison, New Jersey and spent the majority of her life there. Although she wasn't the greatest competitive swimmer, she learned more about the sport of swimming through scoring countless dual meets, being a timer, and keeping track of her teammates' best times for three years as a …

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