The Individual Medley races are a combination of all four strokes. To start the race swimmers dive from the starting blocks and use butterfly, followed by backstroke, then breaststroke, finishing with freestyle.
In the 200m Individual Medley, swimmers use each stroke for one length of the pool.
All races start with heats. In the 200m Individual Medley, the top 16 swimmers from the heats progress to the semi-finals, and the top eight then advance to the final. The swimmers’ seedings are used to decide which heat/semi-final they swim in, and which lane they are allocated.