Mixed 4×100 Medley to Make Olympic Swimming Debut at Tokyo Olympics 2020

Published 07/30/2021, 10:45 AM EDT


The Tokyo Olympics 2020 have seen the debut of a few sports in the Olympic programme. These sports include surfing, skateboarding, karate and sport climbing. However, the Games will also see a new category in swimming this week.

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For the first time in the Olympics, fans will witness a mixed 4×100 medley relay. While the heats took place on July 29, the final will see eight teams compete for a gold medal on July 31.

Mixed medley final to appear in the Olympics for the first time at Tokyo Olympics 2020

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The Olympic-size swimming pool comes under the long course category since it’s 50m in length. While the format made its debut in short course championships in 2014, it made its debut in 2015 in the long course championships. This happened during the 2015 World Aquatic Championships held in the Russian city of Kazan.

However, six years later, fans will see the format debut at the Olympics for the first time. The order of strokes in a medley is butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and the freestyle to finish. There’s no limitation stating men cannot race women at any point in time during the race.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Swimming – Mixed 4 x 100m Medley Relay – Heats – Tokyo Aquatics Centre – Tokyo, Japan – July 29, 2021. Team GB, Team USA and Team Canada in action REUTERS/Antonio Bronic

Despite that, there are several permutations that go into the event. This is because there are big time differences between the completion of the breaststroke between men and women, while it’s the opposite in the freestyle leg.

In fact, British swimmer Duncan Scott admitted a range of strengths sees strategies vary among teams. He said“Different nations have different strengths on different legs and that brings in so many different strategies. You can be so far behind and claw it back.”

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China, Great Britain favorites to go for gold

Team Great Britain set the fastest time in the event during the first of two qualifying heats yesterday. The team of Kathleen Dawson, Adam Peaty, James Guy and Freya Anderson set a time of 3:38.75 to finish ahead of Team USA.

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However, China hold the world record of 3:38.41 which they set in October last year. Although their team in Tokyo is the same world record-holding team, Peaty welcomed their challenge ahead of Saturday’s showdown.

He said, “There’s no pressure on us. If China wants to bring it, they can bring it. If America wants to bring it, they can bring it.”

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With just a little over 12 hours to go, expect an interesting battle to unfold in a historic setting on Saturday.

WATCH STORY: Tokyo Olympics 2020: Day Six Medal Tally Update – China and Japan Lead

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Sanket Nair

624 articles

Sanket Nair is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. A Sports Management student, he is a huge fan of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo and hopes to see Red Bull break Mercedes' dominance and win the World Championship soon. Sanket has been hooked to the sport ever since he watched the battle for the 2010 World Championship go down to the wire at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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