The Britain 4x200m freestyle quartet, Caitlin McClatchey, Jazmin Carlin, Hannah Miley and Rebecca Adlington, powered to a 7:49.04 European record in Rome this morning to take lane four for the world-title final tonight. The time on the clock is relative to the suit on the body but Britain has long had potential to do damage in the long relay.
The national record had stood at 7:56.42 but the Brits never got to try out their best form in LZRs last year after a disaster of an Olympic heat kept them out of a final in which they would have been medal contenders.
The splits: CM: 1:57.54; JC: 1:56.45; HM 1:58.15; RA 1:56.90. The fastest split of the morning came from Femke Heemskerk (NED) in 1:55.49, but the Dutch national record of 7:53.84, good enough for bronze 0.02sec from silver in Melbourne 2007, placed the quartet 10th.
The relay record was one of only 7 from 40 national records that had survived the non-textile onslaught. Five standards remain.
Next through in Rome: USA, on 7:49.51; France on 7:50.18, with Canada, Australia and China all on 7:50s. Eight of the top 12 teams set national records, as you would expect in heats at the sliding and gliding shampionships.
The 7:50.09 world record set by the USA in Melbourne would have scraped a bronze in Rome heats, while the silver in 7:53.82 from Germany would have missed the cut for the final, for a 10th place finish in heats.