Dolphins Destroy 4x200m Free WR – 7:37.50 From O’Callaghan, Jack, Throssell & Titmus

2023-07-27 Reading Time: 2 minutes
Dolphins Mollie O'Callaghan, Shayna Jack, Brianna Throssell and Ariarne Titmus celebrate their world-record victory - photo courtesy of World Aquatics, #AQUAFukuoka23

Dolphins Mollie O’Callaghan, Shayna Jack, Brianna Throssell and Ariarne Titmus, wiped almost two seconds off the world 4x200m freestyle record in a dominant display of force brought day 5 at the 20th World Championships in Fukuoka to a thunderous 7mins 37.50sec conclusion.

For those who wonder what to make of that speed, here’s what we’re looking at: John Kinsella, Fred Tyler, Steve Genter, Mark Spitz, USA, Olympic title, Munich 1972 in 7:35.78, by wiping 6secs off the previous record, with Spitz, he of the seven golds, in the mix of that, too. So, faster that Spitz and Co minus one Olympic final.

It’s 2023 and women are almost as fast half a century on. A year ago in Budapest, it was 7:41.45 gold to USA, 7:43.86 silver for Australia and 7:44.76 bronze for Canada. But that was then and a year after Tokyo, the No1 women’s world swimming team a matter and mix of the new, the vintage and the absent who needed a rest.

The record tumbled four days shy of a year since Australia clocked 7:39.29 for the global standards and Commonwealth crown in Birmingham. That occasion included O’Callaghan, this week the World champion in a world record of 1:52.85, and Titmus, Olympic champion in Tokyo and this week world-record-setting 400m champion and 200m silver medallist behind her teammate in 1:53.01.

Ariarne Titmus, photo by Patrick B. Kraemer

O’Callaghan (1:53.66) drew the Dolphins to a 2.31-second lead over Erin Gemmel (1:55.97) and the USA before Jack (1:55.63) came under pressure from Katie Ledecky (1:54.39) and Bella Sims (1:54.64) gave the Americans a 0.09sec lead ahead of Brianna Throssell (1:55.80). 0.09 – with Titmus about to killer-whale it home? The writing was on the 600m wall as the Olympic champion left Alex Shackell (1:56.38) standing on her way to a 1:52.41 anchor split that set the fastest 200 split in history ahead of Titmus’ last best of 1:52.82 last year.

The sum of parts delivered the 7:37.50 global 4×200 standard, for the Dolphins, Australia and the coach to all four of them, Dean Boxall. Huge. Victory by a whopping 3.88 seconds, the USA taking silver in 7:41.38, China the bronze in 7:44.40, Britain on 7:46.63 on a steep curve of progress for a young quartet swimming a second shy of the national record set by a different generation in different times and suits back in 2009.

Titmus has now featured in three Australian world-record breaking 4x200m lineups, O’Callaghan and Throssell two, while Jack* celebrated her first gold and record in the long relay.

What a long way the Aussie-China battle has come since pre-shiny suit days.

Dolphins dominate World-record Progression:

7:50.09Natalie Coughlin, Dana Vollmer, Lacey Nymeye,r Katie HoffUSA29 Mar 2007
7:44.31Stephanie Rice (1:56.60) Bronte Barratt (1:56.58) Kylie Palmer (1:55.22) Linda Mackenzie (1:55.91)AUS14 August 2008
7:42.08Yang Yu Zhu Qianwei Liu Jing Pang JiayingCHN30 July 2009
7:41.50Ariarne Titmus (1:54.27) Madison Wilson (1:56.73) Brianna Throssell (1:55.60) Emma McKeon (1:54.90)AUS25 July 2019
7:40.33Yang Junxuan (1:54.37) Tang Muhan (1:55.00) Zhang Yufei (1:55.66) Li Bingjie (1:55.30)CHN29 July 2021
7:39.29Madison Wilson (1:56.27) Kiah Melverton (1:55.40) Mollie O’Callaghan (1:54.80) Ariarne Titmus (1:52.82)AUS31 July 2022
7:37.50Mollie O’Callaghan (1:53.66) Shayna Jack (1:55.63) Brianna Throssell (1:55.80) Ariarne Titmus (1:52.41)AUS27 July 2023

That made it four World records for women in Fukuoka, all by Dolphin, Callaghan involved in three (200m, 4×100 and 4×200) Titmus in two (400m free and 4×200) and Jack in both relays, 4×100 with Emma McKeon and Meg Harris.

The Race:

The Result in Full:

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