Mixed medley relay team bring home bronze

14 Feb 2024

Britain's Mixed 4x100m Medley Relay team delivered World Championship bronze to round out a busy fourth day of swimming in Doha. 

The quartet of Medi Harris, Adam Peaty, Matt Richards and Anna Hopkin combined to great effect, the first three athletes providing a platform from which anchor Hopkin could deliver a fierce freestyle leg, surging the GB team from fifth to third and ensuring that bronze medal. 

Harris and Hopkin - whose two laps in the final provided her second-fastest relay split ever, behind the one she swam on the way to Olympic gold in this event in 2021 - competed in the heats alongside James Wilby and Duncan Scott, who played their part in getting the GB cohort into the final as fastest seeds. 

Peaty and Richards then came in for the final on the breaststroke and butterfly legs, the final foursome bringing in a second GB medal of this unique World Championships, with everyone's preparations building towards April's British Swimming Championships in advance of the Paris Olympic Games.

"It is kudos to the team at how well we can stick together and still be in the medals when we are against some very, very solid teams - not that we aren't one, it's just not our priority right now to be in that peak condition that we'll hopefully be in for Paris. It's always great to be a part of team Great Britain," said Peaty.

Hopkin added: "This is always a fun one. Britain has had a really good mixed medley relay for quite a few years now, so it's always good to be on a podium at the world stage - and hopefully, come Paris, we want to retain our Olympic title, and we all want to be on this relay."

Medley Relay Bronze Doha [GettyImages]

The chaotic mixed medley relay final was Peaty's second swim of the night after he had placed fourth in the Men's 50m Breaststroke finale.

Having returned to the international podium with bronze in the 100m event on Monday, Adam went fourth-fastest into the 50m final and, despite powering down the one length and reeling some of the racers either side of him in with his swimming speed, he could not quite pull enough back to break into the medals.

There was also GB interest across four semi-finals - with all four seeing Brits progress to Thursday finals. 

Among those was Lauren Cox, a pacey showing in the Women's 50m Backstroke securing her a centre lane for the finale as her strong meet continued. Kathleen Dawson picked up another valuable in-season swim by reaching the semis but finishing 12th.

Matt Richards preceded his butterfly leg in the relay bronze by qualifying for the Men's 100m Freestyle final in eighth, while Duncan Scott's eighth swim inside four days was another reminder of his racing quality, the University of Stirling athlete outtouching Japan's Daiya Seto by 0.02s after a strong freestyle closer to win his heat and qualify third-fastest.

The final British swimmer to rubber-stamp themselves a final ticket for Thursday night was Laura Stephens, whose outing in the Women's 200m Butterfly heats and semis brought her first swims of the meet.

She moved things on well from morning to evening, pacing her races consistently to go through third into the final. Echoing the words of her teammates throughout the week so far, Laura reflected on the confidence those swims gave her during an important training phase.

"To be able to put those two swims together in these circumstances, at a World Championships in February, is something we've never done before. It does feel weird being here, everyone is all in different places - some people can qualify for the Olympics here, we are just training through," she said.

Laura Stephens World Champs [GettyImages]
Laura Stephens

"So to be able to put such strong swims together, I'm over the moon with that and I think I'm in a good place. I wanted to be here to just get more major meet swims in, get this kind of atmosphere under my belt, and more experience competing at this level, learning as I go through every single round.

"There aren't many meets where you have to do three swims, so I'll go through the processes tonight and then I'm looking forward to tomorrow night to see what I can do."