German swimmer Britta Steffen led her team to victory
this month in the first-ever mixed relay at a World Cup
The mixed relays feature two men and two women on each
team and the format is scheduled at all eight World Cup
meets this season. It’s FINA’s effort to
move the sport forward and retain interest, post London
Olympics, according to a Sports Illustrated
Other sports have mixed relays, and in swimming women
can swim any of the four legs. Steffen beat men from
Hungary and Ukraine in her 4X50 meter medley relay.
Although critics say there are already enough races and
stars to make swimming interesting, SI reports that FINA
executive director Cornel Marculescu said the mixed relays
could be part of the short-course world championship in
December, if they prove successful.