The women’s 4×100-meter medley relay event is a staple at the FINA World Championships and first appeared in 1973. In the event, each member of the four-person team uses a different stroke, testing the depth of skill within the team. the 19th fin world championships in budapest kicks off next week, with the women’s 4x100m event taking place on june 25. With this in mind, we look back at the progression of the world record for this event over the years.
german democratic republic | part i
1973 was the first time the event was held, at the first Fina World Championships in Belgrade. This event predates the fall of the Berlin Wall, so Ulrike Richter, Renate Vogel, Rosemarie Kother, and Kornelia Ender represented East Germany. The East German team performed spectacularly during the championships, but the highlight was the world record time of 4:16.84 in the medley relay, where each swimmer swam the equivalent of a world record.
Reading: Women’s 4x100m medley relay
german democratic republic | part ii
almost a decade later, in 1982, at the fourth fin world championship in ecuador, after that iconic 1973 team disbanded, a new team from east germany managed to break the record in guayaquil, ecuador. Kristin Otto, Ute Geweniger, Ines Geißler and Birgit Meineke managed to cut the 1973 time by more than 10 seconds to set a new world record of 4:05.88. This achievement was in line with East Germany’s performances at the time, with the country enjoying a period of swimming dominance and breaking records at the FINA World Championships and Olympic Games during the 1970s and 1980s.
in 1994, much of the debate at the 13th world fina championships in rome centered on whether the usa. uu. or China, the new swimming superpower, would do better. china broke several records during the event, but he cihong, dai guohong, liu limin and le jingyi broke the world record in the women’s 4×100 medley relay with a time of 4:01.57.
Shortly after China’s battle with the United States during the 1990s, Australia began to dominate the women’s mixed relay event. After strong performances at the 2004 Athens Olympics and the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Emily Seebohm, Leisel Jones, Jessicah Schipper and Libby Lenten set a new world record of 3:55.74 in front of a roaring home crowd at the 12th world aquatic championships final in melbourne. this marked the first time the record had been taken below the four minute mark in a world championship fin.
in 2009, after losing to the australians at the beijing 2008 olympics, at their home olympics in beijing, the china team returned to rome, the site of their 1994 triumph, when china set a record for first time at the event. this time, the result was no different like zhao jing, chen huijia. Jiao Liuyang and Li Zhesi set a new record of 3:52.19, shaving half a second off the record set the previous summer during the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
united states | part i
2012 marked a turning point for the usa women’s medley relay team. USA, with the team winning gold and setting a new world record at the London 2012 Olympics. But the 2017 team managed to break the record yet again at the 17th FINA World Championships in Budapest, the site of the award. of this year. After years of failing to claim the world record at the world championships, finishing so often too close to Australia and China, the United States Women’s Medley Relay Team (Kathleen Baker, Lilly King, Kelsi Dahlia and Simone Manuel) succeeded finally achieve a world record in the test with a time of 3:51:55.
united states | part ii
At the 18th FINA World Championships 2019 in Gwangju, the United States Women’s Mixed Relay team won again. The team, consisting of Regan Smith, Kelsi Dahlia, Simone Manuel and a returning Lilly King, were able to set a new world record of 3:50.40.
The record still stands today and, having broken the previous record by more than a second, it marks the biggest improvement on a world record since 2007!
With just over two weeks to go before the women’s 4x100m mixed relay returns at the 19th world fin championships in budapest, will we see a new world record for the third event in a row?