Swimming at the 2008 Summer Olympics – Men's 4 × 100 metre freestyle relay

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Men's 4×100 metre freestyle relay
at the Games of the XXIX Olympiad
Podium4x100mBeijing.jpg
The medal ceremony of the event.
Venue Beijing National Aquatics Center
Dates August 10, 2008 (heats)
August 11, 2008 (final)
Competitors 72 from 16 nations
Winning time 3:08.24 WR
Medalists
Gold medal 
Silver medal 
Bronze medal 
«2004 2012»
Swimming events at the
2008 Summer Olympics
Sample picture of the event (unofficial)
Freestyle
50 m   men   women
100 m men women
200 m men women
400 m men women
800 m women
1500 m men
Backstroke
100 m men women
200 m men women
Breaststroke
100 m men women
200 m men women
Butterfly
100 m men women
200 m men women
Individual medley
200 m men women
400 m men women
Freestyle relay
4×100 m men women
4×200 m men women
Medley relay
4×100 m men women
Marathon
10 km men women

The men's 4×100 metre freestyle relay event at the 2008 Olympic Games took place on 10–11 August at the Beijing National Aquatics Center in Beijing, China.[1]

The U.S. men's team dominated the race from the start but fell behind in the 3rd leg, and came from behind to set a new world record and most importantly, to capture the elusive freestyle relay title after 12 years. Diving into the pool at the final exchange, Jason Lezak chased down world record-holder Frenchman Alain Bernard on the 50-metre final length and touched the wall first with a scintillating anchor time of 46.06, the fastest ever split in the event's history, to deliver the foursome of Michael Phelps (47.51, an American record), Garrett Weber-Gale (47.02), and Cullen Jones (47.65) a gold-medal time in 3:08.24.[2][3]

France's Amaury Leveaux (47.91), Fabien Gilot (47.05), and Frédérick Bousquet (46.63) delivered Bernard a lead on the anchor by more than a half-second advantage (0.50), but Bernard's split of 46.73 was almost a full second behind Lezak, leaving them with silver in a European record of 3:08.32.[4] Meanwhile, Eamon Sullivan smashed the world record split of 47.24 to hand the Aussies an early lead, but his teammates Andrew Lauterstein (47.87), Ashley Callus (47.55), and Matt Targett (47.25) could not maintain the pace in the succeeding laps to end the race with a bronze-medal time of 3:09.91.[5][6]

Italy's Alessandro Calvi (48.49), Christian Galenda (47.49), Marco Belotti (48.23), and Filippo Magnini (47.27) finished fourth in 3:11.65, while the Swedish foursome of Petter Stymne (49.17), five-time Olympian Lars Frölander (48.02), Stefan Nystrand (47.25), and Jonas Persson (47.48) cracked a 3:12-barrier to earn a fifth spot in 3:11.92. Outside the club, Canada's Brent Hayden (47.56, a national record), Joel Greenshields (47.77), Colin Russell (48.49), and three-time Olympian Rick Say (48.44) posted a sixth-place time of 3:12.26, while defending Olympic champions and South African quartet of Lyndon Ferns (48.15), Darian Townsend (48.11), Roland Mark Schoeman (48.32), and Ryk Neethling (48.08) produced a seventh-place effort and an African record of 3:12.66 to lower their standard by more than half a second.[4] Great Britain's Simon Burnett (48.34), Adam Brown (47.75), Benjamin Hockin (48.50), and Ross Davenport (48.28) rounded out the field in eighth place at 3:12.87. Due to the presence of technology suits in the pool, all eight teams completed a historic relay finish under a 3:13-barrier.[6]

Earlier in the prelims, the U.S. men's team of Nathan Adrian (48.82), Cullen Jones (47.61), Ben Wildman-Tobriner (48.03), and Matt Grevers (47.77) took down the world record of 3:12.23 to cut off their own standard by 23-hundredths of a second.[7][8]

Records[edit]

Prior to this competition, the existing world and Olympic records were as follows.

World record  United States (USA)
Michael Phelps (48.83)
Neil Walker (47.89)
Cullen Jones (47.96)
Jason Lezak (47.78)
3:12.46 Victoria, Canada 19 August 2006 [9]
Olympic record  South Africa (RSA)
Roland Mark Schoeman (48.17)
Lyndon Ferns (48.13)
Darian Townsend (48.96)
Ryk Neethling (47.91)
3:13.17 Athens, Greece 15 August 2004 -

The following new world and Olympic records were set during this competition.

Date Event Name Nationality Time Record
August 10 Heat 1 Nathan Adrian (48.82)
Cullen Jones (47.61)
Ben Wildman-Tobriner (48.03)
Matt Grevers (47.77)
United States 3:12.23 WR
August 11 Final Michael Phelps (47.51) AM
Garrett Weber-Gale (47.02)
Cullen Jones (47.65)
Jason Lezak (46.06)
United States 3:08.24 WR

Results[edit]

Heats[edit]

Rank Heat Lane Nationality Names Time Notes
1 1 4 United States Nathan Adrian (48.82)
Cullen Jones (47.61)
Ben Wildman-Tobriner (48.03)
Matt Grevers (47.77)
3:12.23 Q, WR
2 2 4 France Amaury Leveaux (47.76) OR
Grégory Mallet (48.14)
Boris Steimetz (49.83)
Frédérick Bousquet (46.63)
3:12.36 Q, EU
3 1 5 Australia Andrew Lauterstein (48.68)
Leith Brodie (48.42)
Patrick Murphy (48.09)
Matt Targett (47.22)
3:12.41 Q, OC
4 2 5 Italy Alessandro Calvi (48.58)
Christian Galenda (47.67)
Michele Santucci (49.56)
Filippo Magnini (46.84)
3:12.65 Q
5 1 3 Sweden Stefan Nystrand (48.31)
Petter Stymne (48.41)
Lars Frölander (48.35)
Jonas Persson (47.66)
3:12.73 Q
6 2 3 South Africa Lyndon Ferns (48.20)
Roland Mark Schoeman (48.85)
Ryk Neethling (48.51)
Darian Townsend (47.50)
3:13.06 Q, AF
7 1 2 Canada Brent Hayden (48.28)
Joel Greenshields (48.06)
Rick Say (49.11)
Colin Russell (48.23)
3:13.68 Q
8 2 1 Great Britain Simon Burnett (48.20) NR
Adam Brown (48.43)
Ben Hockin (48.55)
Ross Davenport (48.51)
3:13.69 Q, NR
9 2 6 Russia Yevgeny Lagunov (48.45)
Andrey Grechin (48.08)
Andrey Kapralov (49.07)
Sergey Fesikov (48.47)
3:14.07
10 1 6 Netherlands Mitja Zastrow (49.40)
Pieter van den Hoogenband (47.17)
Bas van Velthoven (49.08)
Robert Lijesen (49.25)
3:14.90
11 1 7 New Zealand Mark Herring (49.73)
Cameron Gibson (48.07)
Willy Benson (48.65)
Orinoco Faamausili-Banse (48.96)
3:15.41
12 2 7 China Chen Zuo (49.16)
Huang Shaohua (48.83)
Lü Zhiwu (48.72)
Cai Li (49.45)
3:16.16 AS
13 2 8 Switzerland Dominik Meichtry (48.96)
Karel Novy (48.60)
Flori Lang (49.34)
Adrien Perez (49.90)
3:16.80
14 1 8 Japan Takuro Fujii (49.15)
Hisayoshi Sato (48.92)
Masayuki Kishida (50.00)
Yoshihiro Okumura (49.21)
3:17.28
15 1 1 Germany Steffen Deibler (49.61)
Jens Schreiber (49.58)
Benjamin Starke (49.65)
Paul Biedermann (49.15)
3:17.99
16 2 2 Brazil César Cielo (47.91) AM
Rodrigo Castro (49.23)
Fernando Silva (49.53)
Nicolas Oliveira
DSQ

Final[edit]

Rank Lane Nationality Names Time Time behind Notes
1 4 United States Michael Phelps (47.51) AM
Garrett Weber-Gale (47.02)
Cullen Jones (47.65)
Jason Lezak (46.06)
3:08.24 WR
2 5 France Amaury Leveaux (47.91)
Fabien Gilot (47.05)
Frédérick Bousquet (46.63)
Alain Bernard (46.73)
3:08.32 0.08 EU
3 3 Australia Eamon Sullivan (47.24) WR
Andrew Lauterstein (47.87)
Ashley Callus (47.55)
Matt Targett (47.25)
3:09.91 1.67 OC
4 6 Italy Alessandro Calvi (48.49)
Christian Galenda (47.49)
Marco Belotti (48.23)
Filippo Magnini (47.27)
3:11.48 3.24 NR
5 2 Sweden Petter Stymne (49.17)
Lars Frölander (48.02)
Stefan Nystrand (47.25)
Jonas Persson (47.48)
3:11.92 3.68 NR
6 1 Canada Brent Hayden (47.56) NR
Joel Greenshields (47.77)
Colin Russell (48.49)
Rick Say (48.44)
3:12.26 4.02 NR
7 7 South Africa Lyndon Ferns (48.15)
Darian Townsend (48.11)
Roland Mark Schoeman (48.32)
Ryk Neethling (48.08)
3:12.66 4.42 AF
8 8 Great Britain Simon Burnett (48.34)
Adam Brown (47.75)
Ben Hockin (48.50)
Ross Davenport (48.28)
3:12.87 4.63 NR

New records and feats[edit]

Standing (l to r):Jason Lezak, Garrett Weber-Gale, Cullen Jones behind Michael Phelps at September 3, 2008 taping of season-opening September 8, 2008 Oprah Winfrey Show.

In the heats, the USA team set a world record with a team missing some of America's major stars such as Michael Phelps. France and Australia also went faster than the old record even though they rested Alain Bernard and Eamon Sullivan respectively. During the heats, all five of the continental records were broken.

In the final, the United States, France, Australia, Italy, and Sweden teams all finished within the World Record time set by the American team in the heats, the Canada team finished within what was the World record prior to the 2008 Olympics, and all of the teams finished within what was the Olympic record prior to the 2008 Olympics. The world record time was reduced by over 2% during the course of the heats and the final. Italy and Sweden failed to medal despite besting the previous world record.

The faster times can also be seen in contrast to the 2004 Olympics in Athens, in which the South African squad took home the gold medal in world-record fashion. South Africa returned all four members of that 2004 relay team to these Olympics, and they even bettered their previous world-record time by 0.51 s, yet they finished a distant 7th place in Beijing. In fact, all 8 teams swimming in the 2008 finals swam faster than South Africa's gold medal swim of 2004.

Date Round NOC Names Record Type
August 11, 2008 Final United States Michael Phelps 47.51 AM
Garrett Weber-Gale 47.02
Cullen Jones 47.65
Jason Lezak 46.06
3:08.24 World Record
August 11, 2008 Final France Amaury Leveaux 47.91
Fabien Gilot 47.05
Frédérick Bousquet 46.63
Alain Bernard 46.73
3:08.32 European Record
August 11, 2008 Final Australia Eamon Sullivan 47.24 WR
Andrew Lauterstein 47.87
Ashley Callus 47.55
Matt Targett 47.25
3:09.91 Oceanian Record
Commonwealth Record
August 11, 2008 Final Italy Alessandro Calvi 48.49
Christian Galenda 47.49
Marco Belotti 48.23
Filippo Magnini 47.27
3:11.48 Italian Record
August 11, 2008 Final Sweden Petter Stymne 49.17
Lars Frölander 48.02
Stefan Nystrand 47.25
Jonas Persson 47.48
3:11.92 Swedish Record
August 11, 2008 Final Canada Brent Hayden 47.56 NR
Joel Greenshields 47.77
Colin Russell 48.49
Rick Say 48.44
3:12.26 Canadian Record
August 11, 2008 Final South Africa Lyndon Ferns 48.15
Darian Townsend 48.11
Roland Schoeman 48.32
Ryk Neethling 48.08
3:12.66 African Record
August 11, 2008 Final Great Britain Simon Burnett 48.34
Adam Brown 47.75
Benjamin Hockin 48.50
Ross Davenport 48.28
3:12.87 British Record
August 10, 2008 Heat 1 United States Nathan Adrian 48.82
Cullen Jones 47.61
Ben Wildman-Tobriner 48.03
Matt Grevers 47.77
3:12.23 World Record
August 10, 2008 Heat 1 Australia Andrew Lauterstein 48.68
Leith Brodie 48.42
Patrick Murphy 48.09
Matt Targett 47.22
3:12.41 Oceanian Record
August 10, 2008 Heat 2 France Amaury Leveaux 47.76 OR
Grégory Mallet 48.14
Boris Steimetz 49.83
Frédérick Bousquet 46.6
3:12.36 European Record
August 10, 2008 Heat 2 South Africa Lyndon Ferns 48.20
Roland Schoeman 48.85
Ryk Neethling 48.51
Darian Townsend 47.50
3:13.06 African Record
August 10, 2008 Heat 2 China Zuo Chen 49.16
Shaohua Huang 48.83
Lü Zhiwu 48.72
Li Cai 49.45
3:16.16 Asian Record
August 10, 2008 Heat 2 Great Britain Simon Burnett 48.20 NR
Adam Brown 48.43
Benjamin Hockin 48.55
Ross Davenport 48.51
3:13.69 British Record

It is also possible for the swimmers in the first leg to break records for the 100 m freestyle. In the heats, Amaury Leveaux of France broke the Olympic record, while the world record fell to Australian Eamon Sullivan in the final. Split times for swimmers not swimming the first leg are ineligible because the incoming swimmer can lean over in front of the blocks and be diving as the preceding swimmer is coming in, whereas the leadoff swimmer is timed from a stationary start. Thus, the world record was Sullivan's, even though five swimmers in the finals alone had faster times, including Jason Lezak, whose 46.06 seconds is the fastest individual leg in a 100 m freestyle or medley relay in history. Two days later, Alain Bernard reclaimed the record for France, recording a 47.20 time in the first semifinal of the 100m freestyle, only to have Sullivan break the record again, winning the second semifinal in 47.05 seconds.

The final included a dramatic finish with American Jason Lezak swimming the final 50 meters 0.9 seconds faster than Frenchman Alain Bernard to win the race. He also swam the fastest relay split in history. Dan Hicks and Rowdy Gaines had the call on NBC:

The United States trying to hang on to second; they should get the silver medal; Australia is in Bronze territory right now, but Lezak is closing a little bit on Bernard. Can the veteran chase him down and pull off a shocker here? Well, there's no doubt that he's tightening up! Bernard is losing some ground, here comes Lezak... UNBELIEVABLE AT THE END, HE'S DONE IT! THE U.S. HAS DONE IT! HE DID IT! HE DID IT! A world record! Phelps's hopes [are] alive!
-Dan Hicks and Rowdy Gaines calling the final lap of the 4x100m relay.


That might be the most incredible relay split I've ever seen in my entire life. 46 flat, not only was that the fastest in history, it BLEW AWAY the fastest in history!
-Rowdy Gaines on Jason Lezak's record split of 46.06 seconds.


Date Round Name NOC Record Type
August 11, 2008 Final Eamon Sullivan Australia 47.24 World Record (100 m freestyle)
August 11, 2008 Final Michael Phelps United States 47.51 Americas Record (100 m freestyle)
August 11, 2008 Final Brent Hayden Canada 47.56 National Record (100 m freestyle)
August 10, 2008 Heat 2 Amaury Leveaux France 47.76 Olympic Record (100 m freestyle)
August 10, 2008 Heat 2 César Cielo Brazil 47.91 Americas Record (100 m freestyle)
August 10, 2008 Heat 2 Simon Burnett Great Britain 48.20 National Record (100 m freestyle)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Olympic Swimming Schedule". USA Today. 9 August 2008. Retrieved 14 May 2013. 
  2. ^ Abrahamson, Alan (11 August 2008). "Lezak's classic finish delivers gold". Beijing 2008 (NBC Olympics). Retrieved 3 July 2013. 
  3. ^ Longman, Jere (11 August 2008). "As Swimming Records Fall, Technology Muddies the Water". New York Times. Retrieved 3 July 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "'Fab four' need world record". News24. 10 August 2008. Retrieved 3 July 2013. 
  5. ^ "Record swim came 'quite easily': Sullivan". ABC News Australia. 11 August 2008. Retrieved 3 July 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Lohn, John (10 August 2008). "Olympics, Swimming: United States Crushes World Record in 400 Free Relay, Eamon Sullivan Claims 100 Free Global Standard". Swimming World Magazine. Retrieved 3 July 2013. 
  7. ^ Lohn, John (10 August 2008). "Olympics, Swimming: United States Breaks World Record in 400 Free Relay Prelim". Swimming World Magazine. Retrieved 3 July 2013. 
  8. ^ "U.S. men set world record in 400 free relay". NBC News. 10 August 2008. Retrieved 3 July 2013. 
  9. ^ Shipley, Amy (20 August 2006). "Peirsol sets backstroke record, Phelps fades". The Washington Post. Retrieved 6 August 2008. 

External links[edit]