W4x100 Medley Relay: Balanced Attack Paces China To Its First Title Since 2009

Team China celebrates after winning the women's 4x100m Medley Relay Final during the FINA Swimming World Championships at Kazan arena in Kazan, Russia, 9 August 2015. by Patrick B. Kraemer

The top-to-bottom strength of China proved to be the difference in its victory in the women’s 400 medley relay, the final event of the meet.

Want to read more? Our Basic subscription package allows you to access
to all articles barring specific content for Premium and Business
members. Select which service best suits you. Thank you for your
support of independent journalism and quality coverage of world-class swimming.

Log In Register

The top-to-bottom strength of China proved to be the difference in its victory in the women’s 400 medley relay, the final event of the meet.



This is the first time in the history of World Championships AND Olympics that no USA or Australia is in the top 2.

A streak that spans 13 Olympics and 14 World Championships……..


Missy 59.8 on the back leg!


Very slow splits by the Aussies in breast and fly legs… Need mental improvement for Rio.. Those girls are capable of so much faster!


a 15 yo Leisel Jones 15 years ago using older technique, start and underwater still swam faster than Mckeown… yikes….

Bad Anon

Missy was awful! Gosh #sadfordays


And this is why they swim the race instead of deciding a winner on paper. USA Pan Ams squad also beats USA WC squad.


AUS need a breaststroker. Without one they are no chance at winning in Rio. USA were off across the board but all on that relay are capable of better and out together they could still win. Sweden breast and fly were sensational, a better backstroker and Coleman in free would put them even more in contention for gold.

Sabastian Tran

1st 3 Aussie girls very disappointing. Seebohm .6 off her best. With flying starts, mackeown at her best should be 1:06 low-mid and mackeon at her best should be 56mid. That’s about 2 seconds lost.

The Americans well off pace.

I get that you can’t always have top meets and nail taper all the time. Let’s hope all teams are at their peak next year

Personal Best

That’s the thing about relays… it’s not just one swimmer who has to be on.
Seebohm at her best would not have granted Australia gold as the deficit on the middle legs would have still been huge.

Interestingly, this relay outcome does show that it’s going to be tough next year for all teams.
There is hardly any room for error.

The US and Australia have a tough job ahead of them.
Missy may get back to form, but their freestyle and fly legs need some work.
They seem to have a stronger breaststroker waiting in the wings, who should swim into 1:05 territory again.

Australia seem to have neither a stronger breaststroker or butterflyer in the wings. McKeon was… confusing to say the least. Nerves, form, inexperience? Who knows.
Breaststroke? McKeown is more of a 200 swimmer and the younger swimmers coming through are still a fair way behind.

I say let’s bring back Leisel Jones. I’m sure even now she’s faster than them.


a good news for Australia, Georgia Bohl swam 1:07 at USA nationals and she’s young enough to have further improvement


where are the results for the US Nationals?

Robert Traynor

There’s nothing like a medley relay for pinpointing a country’s weaknesses and strengths in the pool. In Australia’s case, its strengths were in the backstroke and the freestyle legs, whereas its weaknesses were in the breaststroke and butterfly legs.


What’s wrong with Missy Franklin in the backstroke? At every one of her starts she has been left way behind. She did have a back injury which seriously affected her performances at the Pan Pacs. Could it be she isn’t fully fit still?


If McKeown and McKeon had replicated their individual swims the gold would have gone to Australia. In fact, they were the slowest in the final in their respective legs. Such a deterioration over just a few days is hard to fathom.


Missy’s freestyle is actually fine and there’s no report that she’s injured.

Could it be that training and focusing for 200-500 free for CAL instead of backstroke for the past two years has made her backstroke regressed?
I think the loss in 200 back sting her the most as it’s her baby. I guess she and Todd will work on rectifying that in the next one year. Just like Ledecky who is deferring Stanford, Missy will focus only on swimming so next year will be different.


Georgia Bohl has swam 1.07s before. interestingly her heat time was 1.08s and whilst they’re fine & dandy in domestic meets; they won’t cut it in the big league. Hopefully she & Jessica Hansen (the other younger swimmer swimming 1.07mids) can make further progress before next year’s Trials.

Re Franklin, her FS was fine in Kazan. However, over 100 she’s international level but has never really shown signs of being elite/breaking 53flat start. Maybe she needs to make this a lower priority/ie 4×100 relay duty only. 200 – she’s very much in the medal mix but this is one very open event which no-one including Ledecky “owns”.

Her backstroke starts at PP were put down to her back injury at the time but whether that’s still carrying full validity now is open to speculation given her NCAA season.

She’s too damned good not to come back and the 200bk has been the one event she’s “owned”. The 100 will be tougher; even at her best she’s going to be only even money at best to match Seebohm. Wilson & Nielsen aren’t likely to go away either.


McKeown swam a PB in 100BRS heats, then her swims throughout the meet got progressively worse …. and she appeared more tense with every post-race interview. She was clearly going to be a shaky proposition for the relay but it was a case of “least worse option” given the alternatives available.

McKeonE’s swim was, however, a shocker and akin to a 58low flat start. Her semi or finals swims in the individual (57mids equating to 56high) would’ve delivered one place higher. The rest of her meet was OK, not stellar but not terrible; maybe she tensed up under pressure and swam accordingly ?

Where do they go for Rio ? Coutts MAY be back in the picture but whether she can return to her peak (sub57 flat start) is uncertain. McKeon seems the most likely, whether she currently has anything more as a flyer has yet to be established. Groves is starting to develop a record of non-performance internationally; not yet tourist class but worrying nonetheless.

BRS is still uncertain. McKeown swam well internationally in 2014 (primarily 200s) & her progress over 100 this year raised hopes. How she responds to the Kazan disappointments will be important. Tonks is a brave trier but her best is not competitive internationally. Can Bohl and/or Hansen step up over the next 8 months ?

Leave a comment

Post a comment with your SwimVortex Account. Don't have a SwimVortex Account, Sign Up?

(*) Fields are required!