German swimmer Britta Steffen led her team to victory this month in the first-ever mixed relay at a World Cup swim meet.
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 report.
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.