LAUSANNE, Switzerland, August 29. AT least two world records will be set in October at the FINA World Cup meet in Moscow, as the mixed-gender (two men and two women) freestyle and medley relays will be officially recognized as world-record events.
The FINA Technical Swimming Congress voted on July 25 to allow world records in the short course meters mixed 200-meter relays, and FINA announced this week that record recognition will begin on September 23. That’s 20 days before the start of the Moscow meet, and plenty of time for countries to convince their top swimmers to attend and establish a standard that will be chased in subsequent World Cup competitions. The European short course championships also features mixed relays, and could put up world record times as well.
It’s likely that with the addition of these races into the world record list, the mixed relays will be added to the short course world championships schedule in 2014. FINA is also recognizing long course 400-meter mixed relays for world records, and no word if that means two more events will be put into an already-crowded long course world championships schedule.
As of today, the best time put together by a mixed-gender squad in the 200-meter medley relay is 1:38.74 by France’s foursome of Jeremy Stravius (backstroke), Florent Manaudou (breaststroke), Melanie Henique (butterfly) and Anna Santamans (freestyle) at the 2012 European championships. In the 200-meter freestyle relay, Australia’s Matt Abood, James Magnussen, Brittany Elmslie and Emma McKeon posted a 1:29.31 earlier this month at the Eindhoven stop of the World Cup.
The above times will not be recognized as world records, but could set the standard for what could happen in October in Moscow.
Though the mixed relay world records were the main additions to the FINA Rulebook, it’s not clear if the new backstroke starting platform will also be available for use, as it was also approved by the Technical Congress.