World record progression 4 × 100 metres medley relay

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The world record in the 4×100 metres medley swimming relay was first recognised in 1953[citation needed] by FINA, a world swimming governing body. Initially world records were only recognised in long course swimming pools which were a minimum of 50 metres in length – some of the early records were achieved in pools measuring 55 yards (50.29 m).[citation needed] Records set in a short course (25 m) pool have been recognised since 3 March 1991.[citation needed]

The medley relay consists of four competitors swimming consecutively with each swimmer performing a different stroke:

  1. Backstroke (this can only be the first stroke, due to the necessity of starting this leg in the pool rather than by diving in)
  2. Breaststroke
  3. Butterfly
  4. Freestyle, (with the limitation that freestyle means any style other than backstroke, breaststroke or butterfly – most swimmers use the front crawl)

It is possible to set a world record in the 100 m backstroke through performance by the first swimmer of the relay team. Performances in the other legs cannot qualify as world records as FINA criteria require a static start – swimming relay takeovers are often dynamic.

The event has been a fixture of the Olympic swimming programme since 1960.

Men[edit]

Long course[edit]

# Time Name Nationality Date Meet Location Ref
1 4:39.2  Sweden 22 Feb 1953 - Helsingborg, Sweden
2 4:32.2  France 22 Mar 1953 - Charleroi, Belgium
3 4:31.5  France 1 Apr 1953 - Troyes, France
4 4:30.8  Sweden 17 Apr 1953 - Lund, Sweden
5 4:27.8  Sweden 24 Apr 1953 - Borås, Sweden
6 4:24.8  Soviet Union 13 May 1953 - Moscow, Soviet Union
7 4:21.3  Soviet Union 26 Jan 1954 - Moscow, Soviet Union
8 4:19.0  Soviet Union 24 Feb 1954 - Stockholm, Sweden [1]
9 4:14.8  Soviet Union 14 Aug 1956 Olympic Trials Moscow, Soviet Union [2]
10 4:17.8  Japan 7 Sep 1957 All-Japan Student Championships Tokyo, Japan [3]
11 4:17.2  Japan 28 May 1958 Asian Games Tokyo, Japan
12 4:16.7  Japan 29 Jun 1958 - Los Angeles, United States
13 4:14.2 (yd)  Australia 25 Jul 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games Cardiff, United Kingdom [4]
14 4:10.4  Australia 22 Aug 1958 - Osaka, Japan [5]
15 4:09.2  United States 24 Jul 1960 - Toledo, Ohio, United States
16 4:08.2 (h)  United States 27 Aug 1960 Olympic Games Rome, Italy
17 4:05.4  United States 1 Sep 1960 Olympic Games Rome, Italy [6]
18 4:03.0  United States 20 Aug 1961 - Los Angeles, United States
19 4:01.6  United States 12 Aug 1962 - Cuyahoga Falls, United States
20 4:00.1  United States 24 Aug 1963 - Osaka, Japan
21 3:58.4
 United States 16 Oct 1964 Olympic Games Tokyo, Japan [7]
22 3:57.2  United States 31 Aug 1967 Universiade Tokyo, Japan
23 3:56.5  East Germany 7 Nov 1967 - Leipzig, East Germany
24 3:54.9  United States 26 Oct 1968 Olympic Games Mexico City, Mexico [8]
25 3:54.4  East Germany 8 Sep 1970 European Championships Barcelona, Spain
26 3:50.4  United States 3 Sep 1971 GDRvUSA Duel Leipzig, East Germany
27 3:48.16
 United States 4 Sep 1972 Olympic Games Munich, West Germany
28 3:47.28  United States 22 Jul 1976 Olympic Games Montreal, Canada
29 3:42.22
 United States 22 Jul 1976 Olympic Games Montreal, Canada
30 3:40.84  United States 7 Aug 1982 World Championships Guayaquil, Ecuador
31 3:40.42  United States 22 Aug 1983 Pan American Games Caracas, Venezuela
32 3:39.30
 United States 4 Aug 1984 Olympic Games Los Angeles, United States
33 3:38.28  United States 18 Aug 1985 Pan Pacific Championships Tokyo, Japan [9]
34 3:36.93
 United States 25 Sep 1988 Olympic Games Seoul, South Korea [10]
34= 3:36.93
 United States 31 Jul 1992 Olympic Games Barcelona, Spain [11]
35 3:34.84
 United States 26 Jul 1996 Olympic Games Atlanta, United States
36 3:33.73
 United States 23 Sep 2000 Olympic Games Sydney, Australia [12]
37 3:33.48
 United States 29 Aug 2002 Pan Pacific Championships Yokohama, Japan
38 3:31.54
 United States 27 Jul 2003 World Championships Barcelona, Spain [13]
39 3:30.68
 United States 21 Aug 2004 Olympic Games Athens, Greece [14]
40 3:29.34
 United States 17 Aug 2008 Olympic Games Beijing, China [15]
41 3:27.28
 United States 2 Aug 2009 World Championships Rome, Italy
Legend: # – Record awaiting ratification by FINA; yd – set in a pool measured in yards;
Records not set in finals: h – heat; sf – semifinal; r – relay 1st leg; rh – relay heat 1st leg; b – B final; – en route to final mark; tt – time trial

Short course[edit]

# Time Name Nationality Date Meet Location Ref
1 3:34.86  Canada 22 Feb 1992 CAN SC Nationals Winnipeg, Canada
2 3:32.57
 United States 2 Dec 1993 World SC Championships Palma de Mallorca, Spain
3 3:30.91
 Australia 23 Dec 1996 AUS SC Nationals Melbourne, Australia
4 3:30.66
 Australia 17 Apr 1997 World SC Championships Gothenburg, Sweden
5 3:29.88
 Australia 4 Apr 1999 World SC Championships Hong Kong, Hong Kong
6 3:29.00
 United States 7 Apr 2002 World SC Championships Moscow, Russia [16]
7 3:28.12 (tt)
 Australia 4 Sep 2002 AUS SC Nationals Melbourne, Australia [17]
8 3:25.38
 United States 25 Mar 2004 NCAA Championships East Meadow, United States
9 3:25.09
 United States 11 Oct 2004 World SC Championships Indianapolis, United States [18]
10 3:24.29  Russia 13 Apr 2008 World SC Championships Manchester, United Kingdom [19]
11 3:23.33
 Canada 9 Aug 2009 British Gas SC Grand Prix Leeds, United Kingdom
12 3:20.71
 United States 18 Dec 2009 Duel in the Pool Manchester, United Kingdom
13 3:19.16
 Russia 20 Dec 2009 Vladimir Salnikov Swimming Cup Saint Petersburg, Russia [20]
Legend: # – Record awaiting ratification by FINA;
Records not set in finals: h – heat; sf – semifinal; r – relay 1st leg; rh – relay heat 1st leg; b – B final; – en route to final mark; tt – time trial

Women[edit]

Long course[edit]

# Time Name Nationality Date Meet Location Ref
1 5:10.8  Hungary 24 Jul 1953 - Budapest, Hungary
2 5:09.2  Hungary 10 Aug 1953 - Bucharest, Romania
3 5:07.8  Hungary 3 Aug 1954 - Budapest, Hungary
4 5:06.2  France 16 Aug 1954 - Marseille, France
5 5:02.1
 Netherlands 27 Nov 1954 - Rotterdam, Netherlands [21]
6 5:00.1  Netherlands 17 Jul 1955 - Paris, France [22]
7 4:57.8  Hungary 3 Sep 1955 - Budapest, Hungary [22]
8 4:54.3  Netherlands 19 Nov 1956 - Hilversum, Netherlands [22]
9 4:53.1  Netherlands 8 Dec 1956 - Zwolle, Netherlands
10 4:57.0 (yd)  Netherlands 18 May 1957 GBRvNED International Blackpool, United Kingdom [23]
11 4:54.0 (yd)
 Great Britain 25 Jul 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games Cardiff, United Kingdom [24]
12 4:52.9  Netherlands 5 Sep 1958 European Championships Budapest, Hungary [25]
13 4:51.5  Netherlands 26 Jul 1959 NEDvGBR International Meet Waalwijk, Netherlands [26]
14 4:44.6  United States 6 Sep 1959 1959 Pan American Games Chicago, United States [27]
15 4:41.1  United States 2 Sep 1960 Olympic Games Rome, Italy
16 4:40.1  East Germany 23 Aug 1962 European Championships Leipzig, East Germany [28]
17 4:39.1
 Netherlands 28 Jun 1964 NEDvGBR International Meet Groningen (city), Netherlands [29]
18 4:38.1  United States 4 Jul 1964 - Los Altos, California, United States
19 4:34.6  United States 28 Sep 1964 Pre Olympic Los Angeles, United States
20 4:33.9  United States 18 Oct 1964 Olympic Games Tokyo, Japan
21 4:30.0  United States 30 Jul 1967 Pan American Games Winnipeg, Canada
22 4:28.1  United States 14 Sep 1968 Pre Olympic Colorado Springs, United States
23 4:27.4  United States 1 Sep 1970 - Tokyo, Japan
24 4:27.3  United States 11 Sep 1971 URSvUSAvGBR meet Minsk, Soviet Union
25 4:25.34  United States 18 Aug 1972 Pre Olympic Knoxville, United States
26 4:20.75  United States 3 Sep 1972 Olympic Games Munich, West Germany
27 4:16.84  East Germany 4 Sep 1973 World Championships Belgrade, Yugoslavia [30]
28 4:13.78  East Germany 24 Aug 1974 European Championships Vienna, Austria
29 4:13.41  East Germany 5 Jun 1976 East German National Championships Berlin, East Germany [31]
30 4:07.95
 East Germany 18 Jul 1976 Olympic Games Montreal, Canada
31 4:06.67
 East Germany 20 Jul 1980 Olympic Games Moscow, Soviet Union
32 4:05.88  East Germany 6 Aug 1982 World Championships Guayaquil, Ecuador
33 4:05.79  East Germany 26 Aug 1983 European Championships Rome, Italy
34 4:03.69
 East Germany 24 Aug 1984 Friendship Games Moscow, Soviet Union [32]
35 4:02.54
 United States 30 Jul 1992 Olympic Games Barcelona, Spain
36 4:01.67
 China 10 Sep 1994 World Championships Rome, Italy [33]
37 3:58.30
 United States 23 Sep 2000 Olympic Games Sydney, Australia [34]
38 3:57.32
 Australia 21 Aug 2004 Olympic Games Athens, Greece [35]
39 3:56.30
 Australia 21 Mar 2006 Commonwealth Games Melbourne, Australia [36]
40 3:55.74
 Australia 31 Mar 2007 World Championships Melbourne, Australia [37]
41 3:52.69
 Australia 17 Aug 2008 Olympic Games Beijing, China [38]
42 3:52.19
 China 1 Aug 2009 World Championships Rome, Italy [39]
43 3:52.05
 United States 4 Aug 2012 Olympic Games London, United Kingdom [40]
Legend: # – Record awaiting ratification by FINA; yd – set in a pool measured in yards;
Records not set in finals: h – heat; sf – semifinal; r – relay 1st leg; rh – relay heat 1st leg; b – B final; – en route to final mark; tt – time trial

Short course[edit]

# Time Name Nationality Date Meet Location Ref
1 3:57.73
 China 5 Dec 1993 World SC Championships Palma de Mallorca, Spain
2 3:57.62  Japan 4 Apr 1999 World SC Championships Hong Kong, Hong Kong
3 3:57.46
 United States 17 Mar 2000 Women's NCAA Championships Indianapolis, United States
4 3:55.78
 Sweden 5 Apr 2002 World SC Championships Moscow, Russia [41]
5 3:54.95
 Australia 9 Oct 2004 World SC Championships Indianapolis, United States [42]
6 3:51.84
 Australia 7 Apr 2006 World SC Championships Shanghai, China [43]
7 3:51.36
 United States 11 Apr 2008 World SC Championships Manchester, United Kingdom [44]
8 3:49.45
 Canada 9 Aug 2009 British Gas swimming Grand Prix Leeds, United Kingdom
9 3:47.97
 United States 18 Dec 2009 Duel in the Pool Manchester, United Kingdom
10 3:45.56
 United States 16 Dec 2011 Duel in the Pool Atlanta, United States [45]
Legend: # – Record awaiting ratification by FINA;
Records not set in finals: h – heat; sf – semifinal; r – relay 1st leg; rh – relay heat 1st leg; b – B final; – en route to final mark; tt – time trial

References[edit]

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  33. ^ Craig Lord (1994-10-11). "Coach remains so inscrutable". The Sunday Times. p. 10. 
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  36. ^ Nikki Dryden (2006-03-21). "Commonwealth Games: Day 6 Finals". SwimNews.com. Retrieved 2009-02-24. 
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