British swimmers set world record | Page 2 | Sunday Observer

British swimmers set world record

1 August, 2021
The history-making British mixed relay quartet of Kathleen Dawson, Adam Peaty, James Guy and Anna Hopkin
The history-making British mixed relay quartet of Kathleen Dawson, Adam Peaty, James Guy and Anna Hopkin

TOKYO, July 31. – Great Britain could not ask for a better performance from its team - victory with a new world record - in the debut Olympic mixed 4x100m medley relay final at the Aquatic Centre of the XXX11 Olympic Games continued here today.

The British team, comprising Kate Dawson (backstroke), Adam Peaty (breaststroke), James Guy (butterfly) and Anna Hopkin (front crawl), clocked a super new time of 3:37.58, a full 1.28 seconds ahead of second-placed China.

Opting a swimming order of woman, man, man, woman, Britain were trailing until the third leg when Guy cut down the deficit as he chased down the leading swimmers.

Guy’s impressive leg was followed by a stellar swim from Anna Hopkin, who touched the wall to claim the Olympic title.

Thus, Britain emerged as the event’s first-ever Olympic champions and world record holders. In the swimming mixed 4x100m medley event, teams can choose the order in which their swimmers compete, meaning during some legs women face off directly against men.

The event is one the highlights of the most gender-balanced Olympic Games in history, joining triathlon, judo, athletics, shooting, archery and table tennis in having a new mixed-gender Olympic event.

China were the pre-race world record holders, having set a time of 3:38.41 in September 2020. However, Britain blew that time out of the water, clocking 3:37.58.

Peaty spoke proudly about the performance of the team. “It was very surreal,” he said. “We knew that race was going to be hard, we put down some good times yesterday, I knew I was in form for the relay but really it was just going down there and executing the perfect process.

“It’s just amazing to be part of such an amazing team. Obviously, these women are so strong, I’ve been racing with Jimmy (Guy) for the last 10 years. No other team has got that heritage.”

Hopkin, who anchored the relay team, bringing Great Britain home in first, said: “These guys got me such a good lead. I knew if I was ahead of the girls, I could stay ahead.

“I knew (Caeleb Dressel) was coming behind me, but they got me such a good lead he wasn’t catching me.”

Perhaps, Dawson summed up what makes the new format so exciting best when she remarked: “It’s about going through your own race process and not really focusing on what team’s putting in what gender (on which leg). USA’s Caeleb Dressel put on a dominant display as he swam to the 100m butterfly gold at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

The 24-year-old won in a world record time of 49.45, shaving 0.05 seconds of his previous record. There were no Rio de Janeiro medallists in the final. That meant that there would be a new Olympic champion in the 100m butterfly. The battle for the top slot was expected to be between the American and Hungarian Kristof Milak, who won the 200m butterfly gold, had set an Olympic record to win the first 100m butterfly semi-final.

In the second semi-final, Dressel swam even faster to claim the Olympic record as his own.

The American started the race with the fastest reaction time and was 0.65 seconds ahead of the pack by the halfway stage.

Dressel finished the final 0.23 seconds ahead of Milak to win his third gold medal of the Tokyo Games. Milak clinched the silver in 49.68 seconds, a time that was also lower than the previous world record and is a European record.

“I am finally smiling. It was hard, but I had a good race against such noble rivals,” said the Hungarian swimmer. World Championships silver medallist Andrei Minakov of ROC and Switzerland’s Noe Ponti battled for the bronze medal.