4 Aug 2018

History made at Tollcross as freestyle mixed relay won by Germany

A little bit of swimming history was made at the Tollcross International Swimming Centre on Saturday when, for the first time in an international meet, men and women competed together in a 4x200m freestyle relay.

Mixed relays were first approved by FINA, the world governing body of aquatics, in 2013, and the medley relay was added to the World Championships programme two years later. The mixed medley relay will become an Olympic event for the first time at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Craig McLean (GBR), the Scot who swam the second leg for Britain as they qualified for the Saturday night final won by Germany (GER), said there could be more mixed events in future.

“Mixed relays are growing,” he said. “It can be quite entertaining with everyone going at different speeds and with different tactics.”

None of the British team had raced with the opposite sex before. Asked if he had ever beaten his sisters in the pool as a boy, Cameron Kurle (GBR), an individual silver medallist at this distance at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, said: “No, they’re older than me so they’d always beat me.”

“It was pretty interesting racing with the girls today, good fun,” he added.

In the final Germany’s quartet of Jacob Heidtmann (GER), Henning Muehilleitner (GER), Reva Foos (GER) and Annika Bruhn (GER) won in 7 minutes 28.43 seconds, with Russia nearly a second behind them and Great Britain third.