Below is the world record progression for the 4×100 metres freestyle relay swimming event. Long course (50 metres) swimming records were recognised by the International Swimming Federation (FINA) in 1908. In the short course (25 metres) swimming events the world's governing body recognizes world records since March 3, 1991.

The women's event was first contested at 1912 Olympics, but the men's didn't appear until the 1964 Tokyo Games. Prior to this the longer 4×200 metres freestyle event was the only male relay event staged.

Men

Long course

# Time Name Nationality Date Meet Location Ref
1 4:10.2  Hungary 26 Jun 1937 - Budapest, Hungary
2 4:06.6  Hungary 15 Aug 1937 - Budapest, Hungary
3 4:03.6  Germany 5 Mar 1938 - Bremen, Germany
4 4:02.4  Germany 1 Apr 1938 - Copenhagen, Denmark
5 4:02.0  Hungary 14 Jul 1938 - Budapest, Hungary
6 3:59.2  United States 20 Aug 1938 - Berlin, Germany
7 3:54.4  United States 8 Mar 1940 - New Haven, CT, United States
8 3:50.8  United States 18 Mar 1942 - New Haven, CT, United States
9 3:48.6  United States 29 Jun 1948 - New Haven, CT, United States
10 3:47.9  United States 19 Mar 1951 - New Haven, CT, United States
11 3:46.8  Japan 6 Aug 1955 - Tokyo, Japan
12 3:46.3  Australia 3 May 1958 - Brisbane, Australia
13 3:44.4  United States 21 Jul 1959 - Tokyo, Japan
14 3:42.5  France 10 Aug 1962 - Thionville, France
15 3:39.9  United States 4 Jul 1963 - Los Altos, CA, United States
16 3:36.1  United States 18 Aug 1963 - Tokyo, Japan
17 3:33.2  United States 14 Oct 1964 - Tokyo, Japan
18 3:32.6  United States 28 Aug 1967 - Tokyo, Japan
19 3:32.5
 United States 3 Sep 1968 US Olympic Swimming Trials Long Beach, CA, United States
20 3:31.7
 United States 17 Oct 1968 Olympic Games Mexico City, Mexico
21 3:28.8  United States 23 Aug 1970 AAU Nationals Los Angeles, CA, United States
22 3:28.84
 United States 28 Aug 1972 Olympic Games Munich, West Germany
23 3:26.42
 United States 28 Aug 1972 Olympic Games Munich, West Germany
24 3:25.17  United States 1 Sep 1974 USA-GDR Duel Concord, CA, United States
25 3:24.85
 United States 25 Jul 1975 World Championships Cali, Colombia
26 3:21.11
 United States 28 Aug 1977 USA-GDR Duel East Berlin, East Germany
27 3:19.74
 United States 22 Aug 1978 World Championships West Berlin, West Germany
28 3:19.26
 United States 5 Aug 1982 World Championships Guayaquil, Ecuador
29 3:19.03
 United States 2 Aug 1984 Olympic Games Los Angeles, CA, United States
30 3:17.08
 United States 17 Aug 1985 1985 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships Tokyo, Japan
31 3:16.53
 United States 23 Sep 1988 Olympic Games Seoul, South Korea
32 3:15.11
 United States 12 Aug 1995 1995 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships Atlanta, GA, United States
33 3:13.67
 Australia 16 Sep 2000 Olympic Games Sydney, Australia
34 3:13.17
 South Africa 15 Aug 2004 Olympic Games Athens, Greece
35 3:12.46
 United States 19 Aug 2006 Pan Pacific Championships Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
36 3:12.23 (h)
 United States 10 Aug 2008 Olympic Games Beijing, China
37 3:08.24
 United States 11 Aug 2008 Olympic Games Beijing, China [1]
Legend: # – Record awaiting ratification by FINA; yd – set in a pool measured in yards;
Records not set in finals: h – heat; sf – semifinal; r – relay 1st leg; rh – relay heat 1st leg; b – B final; – en route to final mark; tt – time trial

Short course

Time Swimmer Date Place
3:14.00  Sweden
Tommy Werner (48.33)
Anders Holmertz (49.07)
Michael Söderlund (49.10)
Joakim Holmqvist (47.50)
March 19, 1989 Malmö, Sweden
3:13.97  Brazil
Fernando Scherer (-)
Teófilo Ferreira (-)
Gustavo Borges (-)
José Carlos Souza (-)
July 7, 1993 Santos, Brazil
3:12.11  Brazil
Fernando Scherer (48.27)
Teófilo Ferreira (48.28)
José Carlos Souza (48.90)
Gustavo Borges (46.66)
December 5, 1993 Palma de Mallorca, Spain
3:10.45  Brazil
Fernando Scherer (47.27)
Carlos Jayme (48.49)
Alexandre Massura (47.93)
Gustavo Borges (46.76)
December 20, 1998 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
3:09.57  Sweden
Johan Nyström (49.04)
Lars Frölander (45.69)
Mattias Ohlin (47.87)
Stefan Nystrand (46.97)
March 16, 2000 Athens, Greece
3:08.44  United States
Ryan Lochte (47.09)
Bryan Lundquist (46.64)
Nathan Adrian (46.57)
Doug Van Wie (48.14)
April 9, 2008 Manchester, United Kingdom
3:04.98 CN Marseille
Grégory Mallet (47.41)
Fabien Gilot (44.92)
William Meynard (47.65)
Frédérick Bousquet (45.00)
December 20, 2008 Istres, France
3:03.30  United States
Nathan Adrian (45.08)
Matt Grevers (44.68)
Garrett Weber-Gale (47.43)
Michael Phelps (46.11)
December 19, 2009 Manchester, United Kingdom

Women

Long course

Time Swimmer Date Place
5:52.8  United Kingdom
Belle Moore (?)
Jennie Fletcher (?)
Annie Speirs (?)
Irene Steer (?)
July 15, 1912 Stockholm, Sweden
5:11.6  United States
Margaret Woodbridge (?)
Frances Schroth (?)
Irene Guest (?)
Ethelda Bleibtrey (?)
August 29, 1920 Antwerp, Belgium
4:58.8  United States
Gertrude Ederle (?)
Euphrasia Donnelly (?)
Ethel Lackie (?)
Mariechen Wehselau (?)
July 20, 1924 Paris, France
4:55.6  United States
Adelaide Lambert (?)
Josephine McKim (?)
Susan Laird (?)
Albina Osipowich (?)
August 9, 1928 Amsterdam, Netherlands
4:47.6  United States
Adelaide Lambert (?)
Eleanor Garatti (?)
Albina Osipowich (?)
Martha Norelius (?)
August 9, 1928 Amsterdam, Netherlands
4:38.0  United States
Josephine McKim (?)
Helen Johns (?)
Eleanor Garatti (?)
Helene Madison (?)
August 12, 1932 Los Angeles, United States
4:33.3  Netherlands
Jopie Selbach (?)
Annie Timmermans (?)
Rie Mastenbroek (?)
Willy den Ouden (?)
April 14, 1934 Rotterdam, Netherlands
4:32.8  Netherlands
Jopie Selbach (?)
Rie Mastenbroek (?)
Catherina Wagner (?)
Willy den Ouden (?)
May 24, 1936 Rotterdam, Netherlands
4:29.7  Denmark
Elvi Svendsen (?)
Gunvor Kraft (?)
Birte Ove-Petersen (?)
Ragnhild Hveger (?)
February 8, 1938 Copenhagen, Denmark
4:27.6  Denmark
Eva Arndt (?)
Gunvor Kraft (?)
Birte Ove-Petersen (?)
Ragnhild Hveger (?)
August 7, 1938 Copenhagen, Denmark
4:27.2  Hungary
Mária Littomericzky (?)
Éva Novák (?)
Éva Székely (?)
Katalin Szőke (?)
April 27, 1952 Moscow, Soviet Union
4:24.4  Hungary
Ilona Novák (1:07.8)
Judit Temes (1:05.8)
Éva Novák (1:05.1)
Katalin Szőke (1:05.7)
August 1, 1952 Helsinki, Finland
4:22.3  Australia
Lorraine Crapp (?)
Dawn Fraser (?)
Margaret Gibson (?)
Barbara Jackson (?)
October 20, 1956 Sydney, Australia
4:19.7  Australia
Lorraine Crapp (?)
Dawn Fraser (?)
Faith Leech (?)
Margaret Gibson (?)
October 25, 1956 Melbourne, Australia
4:17.1  Australia
Dawn Fraser (?)
Faith Leech (?)
Sandra Morgan (?)
Lorraine Crapp (1:03.1)
December 6, 1956 Melbourne, Australia
4:16.2  Australia
Dawn Fraser (?)
Alva Colquhoun (?)
Ilsa Konrads (?)
Lorraine Crapp (?)
August 6, 1960 Townsville, Australia
4:08.9  United States
Joan Spillane (?)
Shirley Stobs (?)
Carolyn Wood (?)
Chris von Saltza (?)
September 3, 1960 Rome, Italy
4:08.5 Santa Clara Swim Club
Terri Stickles (?)
Donna de Varona (?)
Pokey Watson (?)
Judy Haroun (?)
July 31, 1964 Los Altos, United States
4:07.6  United States
Lynne Allsup (?)
Terri Stickles (?)
Kathy Seidel (?)
Eleanor Bricker (?)
September 28, 1964 Los Angeles, United States
4:03.8  United States
Sharon Stouder (?)
Donna de Varona (?)
Pokey Watson (?)
Kathy Ellis (?)
October 15, 1964 Tokyo, Japan
4:03.5 Santa Clara Swim Club
Linda Gustavson (?)
Nancy Ryan (?)
Laura Fritz (?)
Pokey Watson (?)
August 19, 1967 Philadelphia, United States
4:01.1 Santa Clara Swim Club
Linda Gustavson (?)
Pokey Watson (?)
Pam Carpinelli (?)
Jan Henne (?)
July 6, 1968 Santa Clara, United States
4:00.8  East Germany
Gabriele Wetzko
Iris Komar
Elke Sehmisch
Sabine Schulze
September 11, 1970 Barcelona, Spain
4:00.7  United States
Shirley Babashoff (?)
Kim Peyton (?)
Linda Johnson (?)
Deena Deardurff (?)
September 9, 1971 Minsk, Soviet Union
3:58.11  United States
Kim Peyton (?)
Sandy Neilson (?)
Jane Barkman (?)
Shirley Babashoff (?)
August 18, 1972 Knoxville, United States
3:58.11  East Germany
Sylvia Eichner (?)
Elke Sehmisch (?)
Andrea Eife (?)
Kornelia Ender (?)
August 30, 1972 Munich, West Germany
3:55.19  United States
Sandy Neilson (?)
Jenny Kemp (?)
Jane Barkman (?)
Shirley Babashoff (?)
August 30, 1972 Munich, West Germany
3:52.45  East Germany
Andrea Eife (?)
Andrea Hubner (?)
Sylvia Eichner (?)
Kornelia Ender (?)
September 8, 1973 Belgrade, SFR Yugoslavia
3:51.99  United States
Ann Marshall (?)
Kim Peyton (?)
Kathy Heddy (?)
Shirley Babashoff (?)
August 31, 1974 Concord, United States
3:49.37  East Germany
Kornelia Ender (56.22 WR)
Barbara Krause (57.41)
Claudia Hempel (57.97)
Ute Bruckner (57.77)
July 26, 1975 Cali, Colombia
3:48.80 SC Dynamo Berlin
Rosemarie Kother (?)
Andrea Pollack (?)
Monika Seltmann (?)
Barbara Krause (?)
June 2, 1976 East Berlin, East Germany
3:44.82  United States
Kim Peyton (56.95)
Wendy Boglioli (55.81)
Jill Sterkel (55.78)
Shirley Babashoff (56.28)
July 25, 1976 Montreal, Canada
3:43.43  United States
Tracy Caulkins (56.57)
Stephanie Elkins (55.92)
Jill Sterkel (55.70)
Cynthia Woodhead (55.24)
August 26, 1978 West Berlin
3:42.71  East Germany
Barbara Krause (54.90)
Caren Metschuck (55.61)
Ines Diers (55.90)
Sarina Hülsenbeck (56.30)
July 27, 1980 Moscow, Soviet Union
3:42.41  East Germany
Birgit Meineke (?)
Kristin Otto (?)
Karen König (?)
Heike Friedrich (?)
August 21, 1984 Moscow, Soviet Union
3:40.57  East Germany
Kristin Otto (54.73 WR)
Manuela Stellmach (54.96)
Sabina Schulze (55.52)
Heike Friedrich (55.36)
August 19, 1986 Madrid, Spain
3:39.46  United States
Nicole Haislett (55.33)
Dara Torres (55.33)
Angel Martino (54.79)
Jenny Thompson (54.01)
July 28, 1992 Barcelona, Spain
3:37.91  China
Le Jingyi (54.31)
Shan Ying (54.38)
Le Ying (55.09)
Lü Bin (54.13)
September 7, 1994 Rome, Italy
3:36.61  United States
Amy van Dyken (55.08)
Dara Torres (53.51)
Courtney Shealy (54.40)
Jenny Thompson (53.62)
September 16, 2000 Sydney, Australia
3:36.00  Germany
Katrin Meißner (54.82)
Petra Dallmann (53.95)
Sandra Völker (53.59)
Franziska van Almsick (53.64)
July 29, 2002 Berlin, Germany
3:35.94  Australia
Alice Mills (54.75)
Libby Lenton (53.57)
Petria Thomas (54.67)
Jodie Henry (52.95)
August 14, 2004 Athens, Greece
3:35.22  Germany
Petra Dallmann (54.53)
Daniela Götz (53.87)
Britta Steffen (52.66)
Annika Liebs (54.16)
July 31, 2006 Budapest, Hungary
3:33.62  Netherlands
Inge Dekker (53.77)
Ranomi Kromowidjojo (53.61)
Femke Heemskerk (53.62)
Marleen Veldhuis (52.62)
March 18, 2008 Eindhoven, Netherlands
3:31.72  Netherlands
Inge Dekker (53.61)
Ranomi Kromowidjojo (52.30)
Femke Heemskerk (53.03)
Marleen Veldhuis (52.78)
July 26, 2009 Rome, Italy
3:30.98  Australia
Bronte Campbell (53.15)
Melanie Schlanger (52.76)
Emma McKeon (52.91)
Cate Campbell (52.16)
July 24, 2014 Glasgow, Scotland

Short course

Time Swimmer Date Place
3:35.97  China
Lü Bin (-)
Shan Ying (-)
Jia Yuanyuan (-)
Le Jingyi (-)
December 4, 1993 Palma de Mallorca, Spain
3:34.55  China
Le Jingyi (53.32)
Chao Na (54.33)
Shan Ying (53.55)
Nian Yin (52.55)
April 19, 1997 Gothenburg, Sweden
3:33.32  Netherlands
Inge Dekker (53.52)
Hinkelien Schreuder (53.63)
Chantal Groot (54.00)
Marleen Veldhuis (52.17)
April 8, 2006 Shanghai, People's Republic of China
3:31.66  Australia
Libby Lenton (51.91)
Melanie Schlanger (53.23)
Shayne Reese (53.27)
Alice Mills (53.25)
September 2, 2007 Melbourne, Australia
3:30.85  Netherlands
Hinkelien Schreuder (53.40)
Femke Heemskerk (52.95)
Ranomi Kromowidjojo (52.97)
Marleen Veldhuis (51.53)
September 9, 2007 Eindhoven, Netherlands
3:29.42  Netherlands
Hinkelien Schreuder (53.62)
Femke Heemskerk (52.61)
Inge Dekker (51.76)
Marleen Veldhuis (51.43)
April 12, 2008 Manchester, United Kingdom
3:28.22  Netherlands
Hinkelien Schreuder (52.88)
Inge Dekker (52.24)
Ranomi Kromowidjojo (52.12)
Marleen Veldhuis (50.98)
December 19, 2008 Amsterdam, Netherlands

References

  • Men's Event (long course) world progression at www.olympic.org
  • Women's Event (long course) world progression at www.olympic.org
  1. ^ Crouse, Karen (2008-08-10). "Lezak, Not Phelps, puts on a show".