Watch Dressel Make Up 2+ Second Deficit With 20.0 Anchor


  • Tuesday, December 11th – Sunday, December 16th
  • Hangzhou, China
  • Tennis Centre, Hangzhou Olympic & International Expo Center
  • Live Results (Omega)

The Americans have been unstoppable in relays at these Short Course World Championships and tonight rendered yet another World Record for the stars n’ stripes. Attacking the 4x50m mixed medley relay on night 3, the foursome of Olivia Smoliga, Michael Andrew, Kelsi Dahlia and Caeleb Dressel threw down a massive time of 1:36.40 to come from behind, win gold and smash a new WR mark.

Splits for the Americans included 25.85 for the 100m backstroke champ here in Hangzhou Smoliga, 51.60 from Michael Andrew who raced the 100m IM and 50m free earlier in the session, 24.71 for multiple medalist already here, Dahlia and finally a 20.09 (!!) for Dressel.

Dressel’s split checks-in as one of the fastest relay splits in history. Our research shows that the only splits ever sub-20 were done in the same relay, where Fred Bousquet (19.87) and Amaury Leveaux (19.93) did so for France at the 2008 European Championships.

Catch how the race unfolded in the video below, courtesy of Alex Muni. You can read our original World Record post here.


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tea rex

More relevant for the free relay, but I never understood the “men swim the first 2 legs” strategy. Riding behind the wave always seems easier than creating the wave. On the turn, I’d rather use everyone’s momentum to “surf into” and “bounce off” the wall than be ahead and hit the incoming wave as I push off.

I think there’s still a lot of work to be done on applying the principles of drafting to swimming in their best manner, especially as you mentioned in these mixed relays.


I think the point has to do with riding the wave vs being stuck behind it. It’s ok to employ the strategy to be somewhat behind, with the idea of ‘riding the wave’, but if you are on the other side of the wave, doesn’t that actually push you back (perhaps more turbulence in your way)? Vs, by having ‘clean water’ from being in the lead, you don’t have to fight through someone else’s wave. It’s basic strategy, but my coach always believed in getting out in ‘clean water’ with less turbulence to allow perhaps the less experienced swimmer, or perhaps a slower swimmer the opportunity to step up and be more than they realized they could be anchoring the… Read more »


Imagine being one of the girls swimming freestyle and America is nowhere in sight and then next thing you know you have Caeleb Dressel passing you on the first lap LOL

Dressel Of The Wall

And doing it underwater none the less, they all just watched him kick out pass them and they couldn’t do anything to stop it

Stan Crump

Thought he might have been underwater past the mark, but side view shows it about as perfect as it could have been!

Steve Nolan

Heemskerk did a pretty good job tho! I didn’t notice her way over in lane 2 until it switched to the side shot, a lot closer than it looked from the turn angle.


she was doing a great job to close the gap

Daniel Watters

I’m loving the mixed relays. We get to see all our stars male and female AND strategy is essential. Cool addition to International Swimming.


Well, for me, I think that can only really apply for mixed medley. For mixed freestyle countries tend to do MMWW which is why I don’t really like them imo

About Loretta Race

Loretta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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