Watch The Furious Asian Games Medley Relay Battle


The 2018 Asian Games concluded with a memorable men’s 4 x 100m medley relay race between powerhouse teams Japan and China. The race came down to the touch, with China capturing the gold in 3:29.99 to Japan’s 3:30.03, a separation of just .03. In total, 6 of the 8 squads in this final broke their nation’s record, making the race a symbolic finish to a historic Games.

After the Pan Pacific Championships, European Championships, Commonwealth Games and all other competitions in 2018 up to this point, China and Japan now rank 1st and 2nd in the world in the men’s 4 x 100m medley relay.

Video courtesy of Ye Zhu.

As originally reported:

While competing in the final event on the final day of the 2018 Asian Games, the Chinese men’s 4 x 100m medley relay scorched a new Games Record, Chinese National and Asian Record to cap off a historic meet in Jakarta. The foursome of Xu Jiayu, Yan Zibei, Li Zhuhao and Yu Hexin combined for a speedy effort of 3:29.99 to overtake the previous Games Record of 3:31.37 held by China, as well as the 3:30.19 Asian continental record held by Japan.

Below are the comparative splits between the previous Asian Record and this new sub-3:30 swim by China.

Old Asian Record 3:30.19:

  • Ryosuke Irie – 52.80
  • Yasuhiro Koseki – 58.54
  • Yuki Kobori – 51.21
  • Shinri Shioura – 47.64

New Asian Record 3:29.99:

  • Xu Jiayu – 52.60
  • Yan Zibei – 58.86
  • Li Zhuhao – 50.61
  • Yu Hexin – 47.92

The backstroke legs were fairly similar between the old and new mark, separated by just .20, but the disparities grow from there. Yan’s breast was actually slower than Koseki’s, but Li’s fly split dipped well under the 51-second barrier.

For the old Asian Record holders of Japan, they, too, cracked off  a new National Record with their silver medal-garnering effort of 3:30.03. The combination of Ryosuke Irie (52.53), Yasuhiro Koseki (58.45), Yuki Kobori (51.06) and Shinri Shioura (47.99), too, dipped under the old Asian mark while also clocking a shiny new Japanese National Record. This was the same foursome of swimmers who originally notched the previous Asian Record at the 2017 World Championships and tonight, they lost to China by just .04.

Only Japan and China have won this event at the Asian Games, with tonight marking China’s 3rd victory since the competition’s inception. Japan has won on the 13 other occasions.

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2 years ago

Holyy cow thats the best MR race ive seen for a while

Reply to  12beatkick
2 years ago

I don’t think i’ve ever seen two teams match each other that closely through each of the 4 legs! Fantastic race.

Reply to  12beatkick
2 years ago

Shall invite Australian and Kiwis to Join the Asian Games…more competitive!

Reply to  12beatkick
2 years ago

This would be even better if they could grab each other’s leg and pull them back. #ContactSwimming

2 years ago

Off the lane line!

2 years ago

Japan touched first

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Swim analyst, businesswoman.

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