USA Men Dip Under 3:09 to Swim Fastest Textile 4×100 Free Relay Ever

2020 TOKYO SUMMER OLYMPIC GAMES

The USA men wrapped up the second finals session on an emphatic note, throwing down a 3:08.97 in the 4×100 free relay that marks only the third time a team has ever broken 3:09. The other two instances occurred in the same race 13 years ago — the epic battle between the USA and France at the 2008 Olympics, where Jason Lezak delivered a memorable anchor leg to touch out the French 3:08.24 to 3:08.32. Thus, the USA’s time tonight stands as the unofficial “textile world record,” in reference to how the full body “super-suits” of 2008 and 2008 were eventually banned.

The previous “textile world record” came from the USA team at the 2019 Worlds Championships. Here’s a quick look at how those splits compare:

2019:

2021:

Dressel’s leadoff time today was almost four-tenths faster than it was in 2019, when he’d eventually win individual 100 free gold in 46.96. Pieroni was just a bit slower today than in 2019, while Apple was a little faster, and Becker put up a solid time in his first senior international team debut.

One of the things that stands out, though, is how the USA depth really came through here, given who all didn’t make the team. Veteran Nathan Adrian, who’s split sub-47 several times, Dean Farris, who split 47.08 at the 2019 World University Games, and 2016 Olympian and former 100 free U.S. Open Record holder Ryan Held, among other favorites to be on this relay, all missed the team at last month’s Olympic Trials.

However, the US didn’t miss a beat here, and while the legendary 2008 world record remains elusive, the US men who produced at Trials backed it up with what was needed to win gold tonight, topping Italy by over a second for the US’s 2nd-straight Olympic title in this event.

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Jackson Humphries
2 months ago

Bowe mf Becker
Zapple 46.6!!

Notanyswimmer
2 months ago

Zach Apple should anchor the medley relay(s). I don’t think putting Dressel on the anchor will make them any faster.

612
Reply to  Notanyswimmer
2 months ago

No doubt. Dressel will be doing Fly.

Mark Worth
2 months ago

Chalmers 46.44 flying start!

612
2 months ago

I’ll leave these takes before 100 Free begins-

Chalmers looked great as expected and makes it seem so easy running down 3 teams within 60M

If you think Dressel tied up at end of his leg, go rewatch the race. Very controlled and did exactly what he had to for the team to win.

VA Steve
2 months ago

I was soooo worried about Pieroni/Apple transition (.05). Next to Smith’s 15m escape… one less dolphin kick tonight please.

DCSwim
2 months ago

If you told someone 10 years ago that the third fastest time in history was Florida-Indiana-Minnesota-Indiana, I think they’d look at you funny

TheSwimCritic
1 month ago

#BringBackTextileBodysuits