Women’s 4×100 Free Relay Analysis


Women's 4x100 Free Relay Analysis


Women’s 4×100 Freestyle Relay

  • World record: 3:29.69, Australia – Olympic Games 2021
  • Championship record: 3:30.21, Australia – World Championships 2019
  • 2021 Olympic champions: Australia, 3:29.69
  • World Champions 2019: Australia, 3:30.21
  1. Australia, 3:30.95
  2. Canada, 3:32.15
  3. United States, 3:32.58
  4. China, 3:35.25
  5. UK, 3:35.43
  6. Brazil, 3:38.10
  7. Netherlands, 3:38.18
  8. Hungary, 3:38.20

The Aussie women proved they could dominate without Emma McKeon and Cate Campbell by winning the women’s 4×100 free relay by over a second. However, Canada and the United States heavily attacked many of their swimmers to make this race much closer than we thought.

Leadoff Splits, Ranking:

country swimmer time
Australia Mollie O’Callaghan 52.70
United States Torri Huske 52.96
Netherlands Marrit Steenbergen 53.41
Canada Kayla Sanchez 53.45
Great Britain Anna Hopkins 53.70
Brazil Ana Carolina Viera 54.78
China Zhang Yufei 54.81
Hungary Nicholas Padar 55.16

As the world’s fastest woman that year, most expected Mollie O’Callaghan to have a body length lead over the rest of the field on her start. She set a time of 52.70, which was the fastest start time in the field but was off her best time of 52.49. This could possibly be attributed to the fact that this time she was focusing on her front half and not her stronger back half, separating 25.67/27.03. When she set her PB she was 25.92/26.57, nearly half a second faster in her second 50 than today.

The American was only 0.26 seconds behind O’Callaghan Torri Huske, who set a new personal best of 52.96. This makes her the third fastest US woman of all time in the 100 Free Behind Simon Manuel (52.04) and Mallory Comerford (52.59) and fourth US woman under 53 seconds. Huske’s performance calms a bit the fears of many Americans who feared the US women would not have decent sprinters in the absence of Manuel. If Huske continues to improve, she could be the future of American women’s sprinting.

Zhang Yufei led China’s relay away in 54.81, significantly slower than their personal best of 52.90. After being far from their fastest in the 100 fly, we could make a very “off” meeting for Zhang and many other Chinese swimmers (such as Li Bingjie, who missed the final of the 400 Free after winning Olympic bronze last year). Their poor performance is yet another sign that Chinese swimmers’ training has been severely disrupted by the recent COVID-19 restrictions.

Rolling Splits Ranking:

country swimmer time
Canada Penny Oleksiak 52.51
Australia Madi Wilson 52.60
Australia Shayna Jack 52.65
Great Britain Freya Anderson 52.70
United States of America Claire Curzan 52.71
China Yang Junxuan 52.79
Canada taylor jerk 52.92
Australia meg harris 53.00
China Chen Yujie 53.18
Canada Maggie McNeil 53.27
United States of America Erica Brown 53.30
United States of America Kate Douglas 53.61
Brazil Stephanie Balduccini 53.97
Great Britain Lucie hope 54.00
Hungary Dora Molnar 54.01
Brazil Giovanni Diamante 54.09
Hungary Fanni Gyruinovics 54.15
China Zhu Menghui 54.47
Netherlands Tessa Giele 54.49
Netherlands Valerie van Roon 54.81
Hungary Petra Senanszky 54.88
Great Britain Abbie Wood 55.03
Brazil Giovana Medeiros 55.26
Netherlands Kim Bush 55.47

The Aussies had two of the top three splits with Madi Wilson and Shayna Jack They were at their best, but it was Canada’s Penny Oleksiak who drove the fastest time. Her 52.51 anchor stretch was fast enough to put her country in the Silver medal position behind the Australians and bodes well for her individual 100 Free.

Aside from the top three, there were many other swimmers who rose up and went under 53. One of them was taylor jerk, who managed her fastest split in many years. Her 52.92 wasn’t on par with her 51.72 from 2018, but she was a lot faster than the 54.16 she ran at last year’s Olympics. Aside from that, Ruck spent the past season recovering from an eating disorder that has negatively impacted her performances in recent years. Her improvements this year are a step forward in her journey of redemption.

Claire CurzanThe anchor leg of 52.71 puts her alongside Huske in the conversation about the “future of the US women’s sprint”. Yang Junxuan‘s 52.79 was a small ray of hope for China’s otherwise stunning performance at Worlds. Great Britain Freya Anderson anchored in 52.70, the fourth fastest of all rolling splits, which shouldn’t be worth anything either.

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