Coaches for the U.S. men’s team looked at the times of their swimmers before Sunday and knew a world record in the 4×100 men’s medley relay was within reach.
And then Ryan Murphy, Michael Andrew, Caeleb Dressel and Zach Apple delivered, swimming in 3:26.78 at the Tokyo Olympics to break the 12-year-old record by .50 seconds.
The victory continued the Americans’ dominance in the event, having never lost the men’s medley relay at the Olympics. The only time they have not won gold was in 1980 when the entire team boycotted the Moscow Games.
And it also capped a remarkable Games for Dressel who won his fifth gold medal. He won gold in the 50-meter freestyle earlier in the day.
“We had a good spirited discussion amongst the men’s coaching staff yesterday to make sure we were putting the right four out there,” head coach Dave Durden said. “We looked at the splits of the world record and as we stooped for a second and thought about our guys on that relay, we kind of looked at each other said … we can do this.”
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SOURCE: USA Today, Peter Barzilai