List of world records in swimming

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Michael Phelps currently holds the most world records in swimming with seven. Note Phelps is wearing a now banned version of the LZR Racer.

The world records in swimming are ratified by the international governing body of swimming FINA. Records can be set in long course (50 metres) or short course (25 metres) swimming pools. FINA recognises world records in the following events for both men and women.[1]

The long course (LCM) records are significantly older than the short course (SCM) records, and are generally viewed as more prestigious of two. LCM records originate as early as the early 1900s (later in the cases of butterfly evolving out of breaststroke). As for SCM, FINA first began the recognition process for these records in March 1991, with the establishment/setting of a standard time in each event (generally tied to the then-known World Best Time (WBT)), which had to be bettered in order for FINA's initially recognized "World Record" in the short course event.

The ratification process is described in FINA Rule SW12,[1] and involves submission of paperwork certifying the accuracy of the timing system and the length of the pool, satisfaction of FINA rules regarding swimwear and a negative doping test by the swimmer(s) involved. Records can be set at intermediate distances in an individual race and for the first leg of a relay race. Records which have not yet been fully ratified are marked with a '#' symbol in these lists.

Most of the records below were established by swimmers wearing bodysuits or suits made of polyurethane or other non-textile materials allowed in the race pool from February 2008 until December 2009.[citation needed] On the eve of the 2009 FINA World Championships in Rome, the international governing body for five Olympic aquatic sports voted to ban the use of bodysuits and all suits made of non-textile materials starting 1 January 2010.[2][3] The suits seemed to improve the performance in those with larger physiques, boosting performance in some athletes more than others, depending on morphology and physiology,[4] and creating an angle of buoyancy that was improved in some more than on others.[citation needed].

On July 25, 2013 FINA Technical Swimming Congress voted to allow world records in the long course mixed 400 free relay and mixed 400 medley relay, as well as in six events in short course meters: the mixed 200 medley and 200 free relays, as well as the men's and women's 200 free relays and the men's and women's 200 medley relays.[5] FINA will establish “standards” before something can be recognized as the first World Record in these events.[6]

Long course[edit]

Men[edit]

Event Time Name Nationality Date Meet Location Ref
50 m freestyle  20.91  Cielo , César César Cielo  Brazil 18 Dec 2009 Brazilian Championships São Paulo, Brazil [7][8]
100 m freestyle  46.91  Cielo , César César Cielo  Brazil 30 Jul 2009 World Championships Rome, Italy [9][10]
200 m freestyle  1:42.00  Biedermann , Paul Paul Biedermann  Germany 28 Jul 2009 World Championships Rome, Italy [11][12]
400 m freestyle  3:40.07  Biedermann , Paul Paul Biedermann  Germany 26 Jul 2009 World Championships Rome, Italy [13][14]
800 m freestyle  7:32.12  Zhang Lin  China 29 Jul 2009 World Championships Rome, Italy [15][16]
1500 m freestyle  14:31.02  Yang , Sun Sun Yang  China 4 Aug 2012 Olympic Games London, United Kingdom [17]
50 m backstroke  24.04  Tancock , Liam Liam Tancock  Great Britain 2 Aug 2009 World Championships Rome, Italy [18][19]
100 m backstroke  51.94  Peirsol , Aaron Aaron Peirsol  United States 8 Jul 2009 US Championships Indianapolis, United States [20][21]
200 m backstroke  1:51.92  Peirsol , Aaron Aaron Peirsol  United States 31 Jul 2009 World Championships Rome, Italy [22][23]
50 m breaststroke  26.67  van der Burgh , Cameron Cameron van der Burgh  South Africa 29 Jul 2009 World Championships Rome, Italy [24][25]
100 m breaststroke  58.46  van der Burgh , Cameron Cameron van der Burgh  South Africa 29 Jul 2012 Olympic Games London, United Kingdom [26][27]
200 m breaststroke  2:07.01  Yamaguchi , Akihiro Akihiro Yamaguchi  Japan 15 Sep 2012 National Games Gifu, Gifu, Japan [28]
50 m butterfly  22.43  (sf)
Muñoz , Rafael Rafael Muñoz  Spain 5 Apr 2009 Spanish Championships Málaga, Spain [29][30]
100 m butterfly  49.82  Phelps , Michael Michael Phelps  United States 1 Aug 2009 World Championships Rome, Italy [31][32]
200 m butterfly  1:51.51  Phelps , Michael Michael Phelps  United States 29 Jul 2009 World Championships Rome, Italy [33][34]
200 m individual medley  1:54.00 (24.89; 28.59; 33.03; 27.49)  Lochte , Ryan Ryan Lochte  United States 28 Jul 2011 World Championships Shanghai, China [35][36]
400 m individual medley  4:03.84 (54.92; 1:01.57; 1:10.56; 56.79)  Phelps , Michael Michael Phelps  United States 10 Aug 2008 Olympic Games Beijing, China [37][38]
4×100 m freestyle relay  3:08.24 
 (47.51)
Michael Phelps
 (47.02)
Garrett Weber-Gale
 (47.65)
Cullen Jones
 (46.06)
Jason Lezak
 United States 11 Aug 2008 Olympic Games China Beijing, China [39][40]
4×200 m freestyle relay  6:58.55 
 (1:44.49)
Michael Phelps
 (1:44.13)
Ricky Berens
 (1:45.47)
David Walters
 (1:44.46)
Ryan Lochte
 United States 31 Jul 2009 World Championships Italy Rome, Italy [41][42]
4×100 m medley relay  3:27.28 
 (52.19)
Aaron Peirsol
 (58.57)
Eric Shanteau
 (49.72)
Michael Phelps
 (46.80)
David Walters
 United States 2 Aug 2009 World Championships Italy Rome, Italy [43][44]

Legend: # – Record awaiting ratification by FINA;
Records not set in finals: h – heat; sf – semifinal; r – relay 1st leg; rh – relay heat 1st leg; b – B final; – en route to final mark; tt – time trial


Women[edit]

Event Time Name Nationality Date Meet Location Ref
50m freestyle  23.73  Steffen , Britta Britta Steffen  Germany 2 Aug 2009 World Championships Rome, Italy [45][46]
100m freestyle  52.07  Steffen , Britta Britta Steffen  Germany 31 Jul 2009 World Championships Rome, Italy [47][48]
200m freestyle  1:52.98  Pellegrini , Federica Federica Pellegrini  Italy 29 Jul 2009 World Championships Rome, Italy [25][49]
400m freestyle  3:59.15  Pellegrini , Federica Federica Pellegrini  Italy 26 Jul 2009 World Championships Rome, Italy [50][51]
800m freestyle  8:11.00  Ledecky , Katie Katie Ledecky  United States 22 June 2014 Woodlands Senior Invitational Meet Shenandoah, United States [52]
1500m freestyle  15:34.23  Ledecky , Katie Katie Ledecky  United States 19 June 2014 Woodlands Senior Invitational Meet Shenandoah, United States [53]
50m backstroke  27.06  Zhao Jing  China 30 Jul 2009 World Championships Rome, Italy [54][55]
100m backstroke  58.12  Spofforth , Gemma Gemma Spofforth  Great Britain 28 Jul 2009 World Championships Rome, Italy [56][57]
200m backstroke  2:04.06  Franklin , Missy Missy Franklin  United States 3 Aug 2012 Olympic Games London, United Kingdom [58]
50m breaststroke  29.48  sf
Meilutytė , Rūta Rūta Meilutytė  Lithuania 3 Aug 2013 World Championships Barcelona, Spain [59]
100m breaststroke  1:04.35  sf
Meilutytė , Rūta Rūta Meilutytė  Lithuania 29 Jul 2013 World Championships Barcelona, Spain [60]
200m breaststroke  2:19.11  sf
Pedersen , Rikke Møller Rikke Møller Pedersen  Denmark 1 Aug 2013 World Championships Barcelona, Spain [61]
50m butterfly  24.43  Sjöström , Sarah Sarah Sjöström  Sweden 5 July 2014 Swedish Championships Borås, Sweden [62]
100m butterfly  55.98  Vollmer , Dana Dana Vollmer  United States 29 Jul 2012 Olympic Games London, United Kingdom [63]
200m butterfly  2:01.81  Liu Zige  China 21 Oct 2009 Chinese National Games Jinan, China [64]
200m individual medley  2:06.15 (27.72; 31.52; 37.07; 29.84)  Kukors , Ariana Ariana Kukors  United States 27 Jul 2009 World Championships Rome, Italy [65][66]
400m individual medley  4:28.43 (1:02.19; 1:09.54; 1:18.02; 58.68)  Shiwen , Ye Ye Shiwen  China 28 Jul 2012 Olympic Games London, United Kingdom [67]
4×100m freestyle relay  3:30.98 
 (53.15)
Bronte Campbell
 (52.76)
Melanie Schlanger
 (52.91)
Emma McKeon
 (52.16)
Cate Campbell
 Australia 24 July 2014 Commonwealth Games United Kingdom Glasgow, Great Britain [68]
4×200m freestyle relay  7:42.08 
 (1:55.47)
Yang Yu
 (1:55.79)
Zhu Qianwei
 (1:56.09)
Liu Jing
 (1:54.73)
Pang Jiaying
 China 30 Jul 2009 World Championships Italy Rome, Italy [69][70]
4×100m medley relay  3:52.05 
 (58.50)
Missy Franklin
 (1:04.82)
Rebecca Soni
 (55.48)
Dana Vollmer
 (53.25)
Allison Schmitt
 United States 4 Aug 2012 Olympic Games United Kingdom London, United Kingdom [71]

Legend: # – Record awaiting ratification by FINA;
Records not set in finals: h – heat; sf – semifinal; r – relay 1st leg; rh – relay heat 1st leg; b – B final; – en route to final mark; tt – time trial


Mixed relay[edit]

Event Time Name Club Date Meet Location Ref
4×100 m mixed freestyle relay  3:28.96  Evgeny Ayzetulov
Daria Ustinova
Alexander Popov (swimmer)
Veronika Popova
St. Petersburg  Russia 14 May 2014 Russian Championships Russia Moscow, Russia [72]
4×100 m mixed medley relay  3:48.74  Andrei Shabasov
Veronika Popova
Andrei Nikolayev
Daria Ustinova
St. Petersburg  Russia 16 May 2014 Russian Championships Russia Moscow, Russia [73]

Legend: # – Record awaiting ratification by FINA;
Records not set in finals: h – heat


Short course[edit]

Men[edit]

Event Time Name Nationality Date Meet Location Ref
50 m freestyle  20.30  sf
Schoeman , Roland Roland Schoeman  South Africa 8 Aug 2009 South African Championships Pietermaritzburg, South Africa [74]
100 m freestyle  44.94  Leveaux , Amaury Amaury Leveaux  France 13 Dec 2008 European Championships Rijeka, Croatia [75][76]
200 m freestyle  1:39.37  Biedermann , Paul Paul Biedermann  Germany 15 Nov 2009 World Cup Berlin, Germany [77][78][79]
400m freestyle  3:32.25  Agnel , Yannick Yannick Agnel  France 15 Nov 2012 French Nationals Angers, France [80]
800 m freestyle  7:23.42  Hackett , Grant Grant Hackett  Australia 20 Jul 2008 Victoria Championships Melbourne, Australia [81]
1500 m freestyle  14:10.10  Hackett , Grant Grant Hackett  Australia 7 Aug 2001 Australian Championships Perth, Australia [82]
50 m backstroke  22.61  Marshall , Peter Peter Marshall  United States 22 Nov 2009 World Cup Singapore [83]
100 m backstroke  48.94  r
Thoman , Nick Nick Thoman  United States 18 Dec 2009 Duel in the Pool Manchester, United Kingdom [84]
200 m backstroke  1:46.11  Vyatchanin , Arkady Arkady Vyatchanin  Russia 15 Nov 2009 World Cup Berlin, Germany [79]
50 m breaststroke  25.25  Burgh , Cameron van der Cameron van der Burgh  South Africa 14 Nov 2009 World Cup Berlin, Germany [79]
100 m breaststroke  55.61  Burgh , Cameron van der Cameron van der Burgh  South Africa 15 Nov 2009 World Cup Berlin, Germany [79]
200 m breaststroke  2:00.67  Gyurta , Dániel Dániel Gyurta  Hungary 13 Dec 2009 European Championships Istanbul, Turkey [85]
50 m butterfly  21.80  Deibler , Steffen Steffen Deibler  Germany 14 Nov 2009 World Cup Berlin, Germany [79]
100 m butterfly  48.48  Korotyshkin , Yevgeny Yevgeny Korotyshkin  Russia 15 Nov 2009 World Cup Berlin, Germany [79]
200m butterfly  1:48.56  le Clos , Chad Chad le Clos  South Africa 5 November 2013 2013 World Cup Singapore, Singapore [86]
100m individual medley  50.71  sf
Lochte , Ryan Ryan Lochte  United States 15 Dec 2012 World Championships Istanbul, Turkey [87]
200m individual medley  1:49.63  Lochte , Ryan Ryan Lochte  United States 14 Dec 2012 World Championships Istanbul, Turkey [88]
400m individual medley  3:55.50  Lochte , Ryan Ryan Lochte  United States 16 Dec 2010 World Championships Dubai, United Arab Emirates [89]
4×50m freestyle relay  1:23.36 
 (20.87)
Vladimir Morozov
 (20.57)
Sergey Fesikov
 (21.03)
Evgeny Lagunov
 (20.89)
Nikita Konovalov
 Russia 15 December 2013 European Championships Denmark Herning, Denmark [90]
4×100m freestyle relay  3:03.30 
 (45.08)
Nathan Adrian
 (44.68)
Matt Grevers
 (47.43)
Garrett Weber-Gale
 (46.11)
Michael Phelps
 United States 19 Dec 2009 Duel in the Pool United Kingdom Manchester, United Kingdom [91]
4×200m freestyle relay  6:49.04 
 (1:42.10)
Nikita Lobintsev
 (1:42.15)
Danila Izotov
 (1:42.32)
Yevgeny Lagunov
 (1:42.47)
Alexander Sukhorukov
 Russia 16 Dec 2010 World Championships United Arab Emirates Dubai, United Arab Emirates [92]
4×50m medley relay  1:32.38 
 (23.71)
Vitaly Melnikov
 (26.18)
Oleg Kostin
 (21.92)
Nikita Konovalov
 (20.56)
Vladimir Morozov
 Russia 12 December 2013 European Championships Denmark Herning, Denmark [93]
4×100m medley relay  3:19.16 
 (49.63)
Stanislav Donets
 (56.43)
Sergey Geybel
 (48.35)
Yevgeny Korotyshkin
 (44.75)
Danila Izotov
 Russia 20 Dec 2009 Vladimir Salnikov Cup Russia Saint Petersburg, Russia [94]

Legend: # – Record awaiting ratification by FINA;
Records not set in finals: h – heat; sf – semifinal; r – relay 1st leg; rh – relay heat 1st leg; b – B final; – en route to final mark; tt – time trial


Women[edit]

Event Time Name Nationality Date Meet Location Ref
50m freestyle  23.24  Kromowidjojo , Ranomi Ranomi Kromowidjojo  Netherlands 7 Aug 2013 World Cup Eindhoven, Netherlands [95]
100m freestyle  51.01  Trickett , Libby Libby Trickett  Australia 10 Aug 2009 Australian Championships Hobart, Australia [96]
200m freestyle  1:51.17  Pellegrini , Federica Federica Pellegrini  Italy 13 Dec 2009 European Championships Istanbul, Turkey [85]
400m freestyle  3:54.52  Belmonte García , Mireia Mireia Belmonte García  Spain 11 Aug 2013 World Cup Berlin, Germany [97]
800m freestyle  7:59.34  Belmonte García , Mireia Mireia Belmonte García  Spain 10 Aug 2013 World Cup Berlin, Germany [98]
1500m freestyle  15:26.95  Belmonte García , Mireia Mireia Belmonte García  Spain 29 Nov 2013 Spanish Championships Castellón de la Plana, Spain [99]
50m backstroke  25.70  Jovanović , Sanja Sanja Jovanović  Croatia 12 Dec 2009 European Championships Istanbul, Turkey [85]
100m backstroke  55.23  Sakai , Shiho Shiho Sakai  Japan 15 Nov 2009 World Cup Berlin, Germany [79]
200m backstroke  2:00.03  Franklin , Missy Missy Franklin  United States 22 Oct 2011 World Cup Berlin, Germany [100][101]
50m breaststroke  28.80  Hardy , Jessica Jessica Hardy  United States 14 Nov 2009 World Cup Berlin, Germany [102]
100m breaststroke  1:02.36  Meilutytė , Rūta Rūta Meilutytė  Lithuania 12 Oct 2013 2013 World Cup Moscow, Russia [103]
200m breaststroke  2:14.57  Soni , Rebecca Rebecca Soni  United States 18 Dec 2009 Duel in the Pool Manchester, United Kingdom
50m butterfly  24.38  Alshammar , Therese Therese Alshammar  Sweden 22 Nov 2009 World Cup Singapore [83]
100m butterfly  55.05  Bui Duyet , Diane Diane Bui Duyet  France 13 Dec 2009 European Championships Istanbul, Turkey [85]
200m butterfly  2:00.78  Liu Zige  China 15 Nov 2009 World Cup Berlin, Germany [79]
100m individual medley  57.45  h
Hosszú , Katinka Katinka Hosszú  Hungary 11 Aug 2013 World Cup Berlin, Germany [104]
200m individual medley  2:03.20  Hosszú , Katinka Katinka Hosszú  Hungary 7 Aug 2013 World Cup Eindhoven, Netherlands [105]
400m individual medley  4:20.85  Hosszú , Katinka Katinka Hosszú  Hungary 11 Aug 2013 World Cup Berlin, Germany [106]
4×50m freestyle relay  1:37.03  Pernille Blume
Jeanette Ottesen
Kelly Riber Rasmussen
Mie Nielsen
 Denmark 12 Dec 2013 European Championships Denmark Herning, Denmark
4×100m freestyle relay  3:28.22  [C2]
 (52.88)
Hinkelien Schreuder
 (52.24)
Inge Dekker
 (52.12)
Ranomi Kromowidjojo
 (50.98)
Marleen Veldhuis
 Netherlands 19 Dec 2008 Dutch Championships Netherlands Amsterdam, Netherlands [107]
4×200m freestyle relay  7:35.94 
 (1:54.73)
Chen Qian
 (1:53.54)
Tang Yi
 (1:53.59)
Liu Jing
 (1:54.08)
Zhu Qianwei
 China 15 Dec 2010 World Championships United Arab Emirates Dubai, United Arab Emirates [108]
4×50m medley relay  1:44.67 [109] 
 (27.57)
Daria Ustinova
 (28.30)
Yuliya Yefimova
 (25.15)
Svetlana Chimrova
 (23.65)
Rozaliya Nasretdinova
 Russia 15 Dec 2013 European Championships Denmark Herning, Denmark [110]
4×100m medley relay  3:45.56 
 (55.97)
Natalie Coughlin
 (1:02.91)
Rebecca Soni
 (55.36)
Dana Vollmer
 (51.32)
Missy Franklin
 United States 16 Dec 2011 Duel in the Pool United States Atlanta, United States [111][112]

Legend: # – Record awaiting ratification by FINA;
Records not set in finals: h – heat; sf – semifinal; r – relay 1st leg; rh – relay heat 1st leg; b – B final; – en route to final mark; tt – time trial

Notes
  • C2^ Record set by Eiffel Swimmers PSV club team.

Mixed relay[edit]

Event Time Name Club Date Meet Location Ref
4×50 m mixed freestyle relay  1:29.53 
 (21.13)
Sergei Fesikov
 (20.72)
Vladimir Morozov
 (23.70)
Rozaliya Nasretdinova
 (23.98)
Veronika Popova
 Russia 14 December 2013 European Championships Denmark Herning, Denmark [113]
4×50 m mixed medley relay  1:37.17 
 (22.88)
Eugene Godsoe
 (25.40)
Kevin Cordes
 (25.28)
Claire Donahue
 (23.61)
Simone Manuel
 United States 21 December 2013 Duel in the Pool United Kingdom Glasgow, Great Britain [114]

Legend: # – Record awaiting ratification by FINA;
Records not set in finals: h – heat


Record holders' rankings[edit]

By nation[edit]

Record
tally
Nation LC SC Total LC SC Total Mixed LC Mixed SC Total
Men Women
26  United States 9 6 15 6 4 10 1 1
8  Russia 5 5 2 1 3
8  China 2 2 4 2 6
6  Germany 2 2 4 2 2
6  South Africa 2 4 6
6  Australia 2 2 1 1 2
4  Hungary 1 1 3 3
4  Spain 1 1 3 3
3  Lithuania 2 1 3
3  France 2 2 1 1
3  Italy 2 1 3
2  Netherlands 2 2
2  Japan 1 1 1 1
2  Brazil 2 2
2  Sweden 1 1 2
2  United Kingdom 1 1 1 1
2  Denmark 1 1 2
1  Croatia 1 1

By athlete (men)[edit]

Record
count
Name Nationality Events
7 Michael Phelps  United States 100m butterfly LC
200m butterfly LC
400m individual medley LC
4×100m freestyle relay LC
4×200m freestyle relay LC
4×100m medley relay LC
4×100m freestyle relay SC
5 Ryan Lochte 200m individual medley LC
4×200m freestyle relay LC
100m individual medley SC
200m individual medley SC
400m individual medley SC
4 Cameron van der Burgh  South Africa 50m breaststroke SC
100m breaststroke SC
50m breaststroke LC
100m breaststroke LC
3 Paul Biedermann  Germany 200m freestyle LC
400m freestyle LC
200m freestyle SC
Aaron Peirsol  United States 100m backstroke LC
200m backstroke LC
4×100m medley relay LC

By athlete (women)[edit]

Record
count
Name Nationality Events
4 Missy Franklin  United States 200m backstroke LC
4×100m medley relay LC
200m backstroke SC
4×100m medley relay SC
3 Federica Pellegrini  Italy 200m freestyle LC
400m freestyle LC
200m freestyle SC
Katinka Hosszú  Hungary 100m individual medley SC
200m individual medley SC
400m individual medley SC
Rūta Meilutytė  Lithuania 50m breaststroke LC
100m breaststroke LC
100m breaststroke SC
Mireia Belmonte Garcia  Spain 400m freestyle SC
800m freestyle SC
1500m freestyle SC

Gallery of record holders[edit]

Some of the current world record holders in swimming in alphabetical order.

References[edit]

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  2. ^ "High-tech records to stand". Times Live. 18 January 2010. Retrieved 27 July 2011. 
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  4. ^ Dampf, Andrew (22 June 2011). "New Suits Mean No More Records in Swimming". ABC News. Retrieved 27 July 2011. 
  5. ^ "FINA Swimming Rules 2013 - 2017 incl. World Record Application Form". FINA. 16 August 2013. Retrieved 27 September 2013. 
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  28. ^ Schoolboy Akihiro Yamaguchi breaks 200m breaststroke world record
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  38. ^ Bishop, Greg (9 August 2008). "Phelps smashes world record to win gold". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 August 2008. 
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  40. ^ Crouse, Karen (10 August 2008). "Lezak, Not Phelps, puts on a show". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 August 2008. 
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External links[edit]