2022 FINA WORLD AQUATIC CHAMPIONSHIPS
Women’s 4×100 freestyle relay
- World record: 3:29.69, Australia – 2021 Olympics
- Championship record: 3:30.21, Australia – 2019 World Championships
- 2021 Olympic Champion: Australia, 3:29.69
- 2019 World Champion: Australia, 3:30.21
- Australia, 3:30.95
- Canada, 3:32.15
- United States, 3:32.58
- China, 3:35.25
- Great Britain, 3:35.43
- Brazil, 3:38.10
- Netherlands, 3:38.18
- Hungary, 3:38.20
The Aussies proved they could still dominate in the absence of Emma McKeon and Cate Campbell, winning the women’s 4×100 freestyle relay by over a second. However, Canada and the United States had many of their swimmers going above and beyond to make this race a lot closer than we thought.
Leadoff Splits, ranked:
|United States||Torri Huske||52.96|
|Brazil||Ana Caroline Viera||54.78|
As the fastest woman in the world this year, most expected Mollie O’Callaghan to be ahead of the rest of the field when she started. She clocked a time of 52.70 which was the fastest start in the field, but was nowhere near her best time of 52.49. This could perhaps be attributed to the fact that she focused on her front half this time around rather than her stronger back half, splitting 25.67/27.03. When she set her PB she was clocking 25.92/26.57, almost half a second faster on her second 50 than she was today.
Arriving just 0.26 seconds behind O’Callaghan, the American Torri Huske, which set a new best time of 52.96. With that time, she becomes the third fastest American woman of all time in the 100 freestyle behind Simone Manuel (52.04) and Mallory Comerford (52.59) and the fourth American in less than 53 seconds. Huske’s performances slightly ease the fears of many Americans, who feared the Americans would not have decent sprinters following Manuel’s absence. If Huske continues to improve, she could be the future of American women’s sprinting.
Zhang Yufei led the China relay in 54.81, significantly slower than her best time of 52.90. After falling well short of his fastest in the 100m butterfly, we could see a very “off” encounter for Zhang and many other Chinese swimmers (such as Li Bingjie, who missed the 400m freestyle final after winning Olympic bronze last year). His underperformance is yet another sign that the training of Chinese swimmers has been heavily disrupted by recent COVID-19 restrictions.
Rolling Splits, Ranked:
|UNITED STATES||Claire Curzan||52.71|
|UNITED STATES||Erika Brown||53.30|
|UNITED STATES||kate douglas||53.61|
|Netherlands||Valerie van Roon||54.81|
The Australians made two of the fastest three splits with Madi Wilson and Shayna Jack to be at their best, but that was Canada Penny Oleksiak who had the best time. Her anchor leg of 52.51 was fast enough to propel her country into silver medal position behind Australia, and bodes well for her 100 individual freestyle.
Aside from the top three, many other swimmers went below the 53 mark. One of them was Taylor Ruck, who pulled off his fastest split in many years. Her 52.92 was not on par with her 51.72 from 2018, but it was much faster than the 54.16 she achieved at the Olympics last year. That being said, Ruck has spent the past season recovering from an eating disorder that has hampered his performance for the past few years. His improvements this year are a step forward in his journey of redemption.
Claire CurzanThe 52.71 anchor leg puts her in the conversation about “the future of America’s women’s sprint” alongside Huske, while Yang JunxuanThe 52.79 was a minor sign of hope in China’s otherwise disappointing performance at the world championships so far. Great Britain Freya Anderson anchored in 52.70, the fourth fastest of all split times, which shouldn’t be worth anything either.
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