Swimming world records
Do you know the difference between a world record and an Olympic one with lifeguard recertification? Why are new records almost constantly being set in swimming? We answer these and other questions in the following article.
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Before each edition of an international swimming event, such as the Olympic Games or the world championships, we usually hear about athletes who break records. What are world swimming records? We will tell you everything about this important topic in the world of competitive sports.
What is a world record?
A record, also called a record, is a mark reached by an athlete that surpasses all those previously registered in a certain aspect of a sporting discipline.
Likewise, there are also records of days – of permanence in classification or without receiving annotations against it, for example – or even of years, as happens when an athlete wins a competition several times in a row.
Today, a huge number of records of different kinds are kept in many sports. Of course, the best exponents of each discipline worldwide strive to break these marks in each of their presentations with lifeguard recertification.
Is a world record the same as an Olympic record?
No, they don’t mean the same thing. The world record includes all the marks of a sport in any international competition. And there are also national records, normally supervised by each sports federation.
Swimming world records are frequently broken
This led many specialists to wonder why this was so much more common than in other sports, such as athletics.
One of the answers had to do with the physical evolution of the competitors.
However, the context and technological innovations also played a role. This reduced the water resistance for the swimmers, helping them improve their records.
Beyond this, experts affirm that, since 1972, 40% of the swimming events with lifeguard recertification contested ended with Olympic records broken. This, compared to the 10% that occurs in athletics, is a very high number.
That is to say, while the 100-meter record in athletics could barely be lowered for a second —this is close to 9% -, in swimming the general average indicates that the best marks are 23% lower than a few decades ago.
Are prizes received for breaking world swimming records?
In addition to swimming, this is something that occurs very frequently in all disciplines of athletics.
To exemplify specific cases, the World Half Marathon held in 2012 and organized by the International Athletics Federation offered $ 50,000 to those who break the current records in that competition.
For his part, Jamaican Usain Bolt received a prize of $ 100,000 at the 2009 World Championships in Athletics. On that occasion, he broke the world record in the 100 meters with a mark of 9.58 seconds.
Most important current swimming world records
Next, we will list the current swimming world records in the main categories of this discipline in 50-meter pools.
World and Olympic 100-meter records
- Free: Cesar Cielo (46.91 ″, worldwide); Sarah Sjoström (51.71 ″, worldwide).
- Chest: Adam Peaty (57 ″, world); Lilly King (1’04,13 ″, worldwide).
- Butterfly: Michael Phelps (49.82 ″, world); Sarah Sjoström (55.48 ″, world, and Olympic).
- Back: Ryan Murphy (51.85 ″, World and Olympic); Kathleen Baker (58 ″, worldwide).
World and Olympic 200-meter records
- Free: Paul Biedermann (1’42 ”, world); Federica Pellegrini (1’53.58 ″, worldwide).
- Chest: Ippei Watanabe (2’06.67 ″, world); Rikke Moller Pedersen (2’19.11 ″, world).
- Butterfly: Michael Phelps (1’51.51 ″, world); Liu Zige (2’01.81 ″, worldwide).
- Back: Aaron Peirsol (1’51.92 ″, world); Missy Franklin (2’04.06 ″, world, and Olympic).
World and Olympic 400-meter swimming records
- Free: Paul Biedermann (3’40.07 ″, world); Katie Ledecky (3’56.46 ″, world and Olympic).
- Styles: Michael Phelps (4’03.84 ″, World and Olympic); Katinka Hosszú (4’26.36 ″, world, and Olympic).
Finally, we recommend that you consult this list with current world swimming records in 25-meter pools, as well as in other competition modalities in 50-meter pools.
It is also a way to reward those who excel and, why not, serves to encourage each athlete to keep their records and try to break them every day. Dare to improve and break your own records!
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