2022 FINA WORLD AQUATICS CHAMPIONSHIPS
- June 18-25, 2022 (pool swimming)
- Budapest, Hungary
- Duna Arena
- LCM (50-meter format)
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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.
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):
- Sun Yang, China – 1:43.16 (2013)
- Yannick Agnel, France – 1:43.24 (2012)
- Duncan Scott, Great Britain – 1:43.45 (2021)
- Tom Dean, Great Britain – 1:43.53 (2022)
- Townley Haas, United States – 1:43.78 (2018)
- 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.