Encyclopedia of Sport: Every sport from around the world

Relay Swimming

Relay Swimming is a competitive swimming race in which four athletes compete as a team, rather than as individuals, to complete the distance in the fastest combined time possible.

The three most common codes of race conducted for both men and women are: 4 X 100 freestyle, 4 X 200 freestyle, and 4 X 100 medley. For the medley event, swimmers in each of the four legs have to use, Butterfly, Backstroke, Breaststroke, and Freestyle strokes respectively.

Before the start of the race, all four athletes line up behind the jumping platform. At the start signal, the first swimmer takes to the water to complete the leg individually, followed one after the other individually by the other three swimmers.

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The second, third and the fourth swimmers can only jump into the pool after the pervious swimmer touches the wall. If any swimmer leaves the platform before the pervious athlete touches the wall, it results in the disqualification of the team. The swimmers are however allowed to start their diving motion, when the previous swimmer is close to touching the wall, as long as the foot remains in contact with the platform.

Swimming relay races are a major part of all swimming events and is contested during the Olympics and World Championships.

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Check out our Encyclopedia of Every Sport. Well not every sport, as there is a list of unusual sports, extinct sports and newly created sports. How to get on these lists? See What is a sport?

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