List of world records in swimming

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Katinka Hosszú holds the most world records in women's swimming with seven, all individual (two long course, five short course).
Michael Phelps holds the most world records in men's swimming with seven (three individual and four relays).

The world records in swimming are ratified by FINA, the international governing body of swimming. 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][2] except for the mixed relays, where teams consist of two men and two women, in any order.

History[edit]

The long course (LCM) records are significantly older than the short course (SCM) records, and are generally viewed as the more prestigious of the 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.

Many 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. 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.[3][4] The suits seemed to improve the performance in those with larger physiques, boosting performance in some athletes more than others,[who?] depending on morphology and physiology,[5] and creating an angle of buoyancy that was improved in some more than on others.[citation needed]. Since then, best times set by swimmers wearing textile materials have once again overtaken more than half of the world records recognized by FINA.

On 25 July 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.[6] In October 2013 FINA decided to establish "standards" before something can be recognized as the first World Record in these events.[7] But later on 13 March 2014 FINA has officially ratified the eight world records set by Indiana University swimmers at the IU Relay Rally held on 26 September 2013 in Bloomington.[8]

Long course[edit]

Men[edit]

Event Time Name Nationality Date Meet Location Ref
50 m freestyle 20.91 Cielo, CésarCésar Cielo  Brazil 18 December 2009 Brazilian Championships São Paulo, Brazil [9][10]
100 m freestyle 46.91 Cielo, CésarCésar Cielo  Brazil 30 July 2009 World Championships Rome, Italy [11][12]
200 m freestyle 1:42.00 Biedermann, PaulPaul Biedermann  Germany 28 July 2009 World Championships Rome, Italy [13][14]
400 m freestyle 3:40.07 Biedermann, PaulPaul Biedermann  Germany 26 July 2009 World Championships Rome, Italy [15][16]
800 m freestyle 7:32.12 Zhang Lin  China 29 July 2009 World Championships Rome, Italy [17][18]
1500 m freestyle 14:31.02 Sun Yang  China 4 August 2012 Olympic Games London, United Kingdom [19]
50 m backstroke 24.04 Tancock, LiamLiam Tancock  Great Britain 2 August 2009 World Championships Rome, Italy [20][21]
100 m backstroke 51.85 r Murphy, RyanRyan Murphy  United States 13 August 2016 Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro, Brazil [22]
200 m backstroke 1:51.92 Peirsol, AaronAaron Peirsol  United States 31 July 2009 World Championships Rome, Italy [23][24]
50 m breaststroke 26.42 sf Peaty, AdamAdam Peaty  Great Britain 4 August 2015 World Championships Kazan, Russia [25]
100 m breaststroke 57.13 Peaty, AdamAdam Peaty  Great Britain 7 August 2016 Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro, Brazil [26]
200 m breaststroke 2:07.01 Yamaguchi, AkihiroAkihiro Yamaguchi  Japan 15 September 2012 National Games Gifu, Japan [27]
50 m butterfly 22.43 sf Muñoz, RafaelRafael Muñoz  Spain 5 April 2009 Spanish Championships Málaga, Spain [28][29]
100 m butterfly 49.82 Phelps, MichaelMichael Phelps  United States 1 August 2009 World Championships Rome, Italy [30][31]
200 m butterfly 1:51.51 Phelps, MichaelMichael Phelps  United States 29 July 2009 World Championships Rome, Italy [32][33]
200 m individual medley 1:54.00 Lochte, RyanRyan Lochte  United States 28 July 2011 World Championships Shanghai, China [34][35]
400 m individual medley 4:03.84 Phelps, MichaelMichael Phelps  United States 10 August 2008 Olympic Games Beijing, China [36][37]
4×100 m freestyle relay 3:08.24
 United States 11 August 2008 Olympic Games Beijing, China [38][39]
4×200 m freestyle relay 6:58.55
 United States 31 July 2009 World Championships Rome, Italy [40][41]
4×100 m medley relay 3:27.28
 United States 2 August 2009 World Championships Rome, Italy [42][43]
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
50 m freestyle 23.73 Steffen, BrittaBritta Steffen  Germany 2 August 2009 World Championships Rome, Italy [44][45]
100 m freestyle 52.06 Campbell, CateCate Campbell  Australia 2 July 2016 Australia Grand Prix Brisbane, Australia [46]
200 m freestyle 1:52.98 Pellegrini, FedericaFederica Pellegrini  Italy 29 July 2009 World Championships Rome, Italy [47][48]
400 m freestyle 3:56.46 Ledecky, KatieKatie Ledecky  United States 7 August 2016 Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro, Brazil [49]
800 m freestyle 8:04.79 Ledecky, KatieKatie Ledecky  United States 12 August 2016 Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro, Brazil [50]
1500 m freestyle 15:25.48 Ledecky, KatieKatie Ledecky  United States 4 August 2015 World Championships Kazan, Russia [51]
50 m backstroke 27.06 Zhao Jing  China 30 July 2009 World Championships Rome, Italy [52][53]
100 m backstroke 58.12 Spofforth, GemmaGemma Spofforth  Great Britain 28 July 2009 World Championships Rome, Italy [54][55]
200 m backstroke 2:04.06 Franklin, MissyMissy Franklin  United States 3 August 2012 Olympic Games London, United Kingdom [56]
50 m breaststroke 29.48 sf Meilutytė, RūtaRūta Meilutytė  Lithuania 3 August 2013 World Championships Barcelona, Spain [57]
100 m breaststroke 1:04.35 sf Meilutytė, RūtaRūta Meilutytė  Lithuania 29 July 2013 World Championships Barcelona, Spain [58]
200 m breaststroke 2:19.11 sf Pedersen, Rikke MøllerRikke Møller Pedersen  Denmark 1 August 2013 World Championships Barcelona, Spain [59]
50 m butterfly 24.43 Sjöström, SarahSarah Sjöström  Sweden 5 July 2014 Swedish Championships Borås, Sweden [60]
100 m butterfly 55.48 Sjöström, SarahSarah Sjöström  Sweden 7 August 2016 Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro, Brazil [61]
200 m butterfly 2:01.81 Liu Zige  China 21 October 2009 Chinese National Games Jinan, China [62]
200 m individual medley 2:06.12 Hosszú, KatinkaKatinka Hosszú  Hungary 3 August 2015 World Championships Kazan, Russia [63]
400 m individual medley 4:26.36 Hosszú, KatinkaKatinka Hosszú  Hungary 6 August 2016 Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro, Brazil [64]
4×100 m freestyle relay 3:30.65
 Australia 6 August 2016 Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro, Brazil [65]
4×200 m freestyle relay 7:42.08
 China 30 July 2009 World Championships Rome, Italy [66][67]
4×100 m medley relay 3:52.05
 United States 4 August 2012 Olympic Games London, United Kingdom [68]
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 Nationality Date Meet Location Ref
4×100 m freestyle relay 3:23.05
 United States 8 August 2015 World Championships Kazan, Russia [69]
4×100 m medley relay 3:41.71  Great Britain 5 August 2015 World Championships Kazan, Russia [70]
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 20.26 Manaudou, FlorentFlorent Manaudou  France 5 December 2014 World SC Championships Doha, Qatar [71]
100 m freestyle 44.94 Leveaux, AmauryAmaury Leveaux  France 13 December 2008 European SC Championships Rijeka, Croatia [72][73]
200 m freestyle 1:39.37 Biedermann, PaulPaul Biedermann  Germany 15 November 2009 World Cup Berlin, Germany [74][75][76]
400 m freestyle 3:32.25 Agnel, YannickYannick Agnel  France 15 November 2012 French Nationals Angers, France [77]
800 m freestyle 7:23.42 Hackett, GrantGrant Hackett  Australia 20 July 2008 Victoria SC Championships Melbourne, Australia [78]
1500 m freestyle 14:08.06 Paltrinieri, GregorioGregorio Paltrinieri  Italy 4 December 2015 European Championships Netanya, Israel [79]
50 m backstroke 22.22 Manaudou, FlorentFlorent Manaudou  France 6 December 2014 World SC Championships Doha, Qatar [80]
100 m backstroke 48.92 Grevers, MattMatt Grevers  United States 12 December 2015 Duel in the Pool Indianapolis, United States [81]
200 m backstroke 1:45.63 Larkin, MitchMitch Larkin  Australia 27 November 2015 Australian Championships Sydney, Australia [82]
50 m breaststroke 25.25 van der Burgh, CameronCameron van der Burgh  South Africa 14 November 2009 World Cup Berlin, Germany [76]
100 m breaststroke 55.61 van der Burgh, CameronCameron van der Burgh  South Africa 15 November 2009 World Cup Berlin, Germany [76]
200 m breaststroke 2:00.44 Koch, MarcoMarco Koch  Germany 20 November 2016 German Championships Berlin, Germany [83]
50 m butterfly 21.80 Deibler, SteffenSteffen Deibler  Germany 14 November 2009 World Cup Berlin, Germany [76]
100 m butterfly 48.44 le Clos, ChadChad le Clos  South Africa 4 December 2014 World SC Championships Doha, Qatar [84]
200 m butterfly 1:48.56 le Clos, ChadChad le Clos  South Africa 5 November 2013 World Cup Singapore, Singapore [85]
100 m individual medley 50.30 Morozov, VladimirVladimir Morozov  Russia 30 August 2016 World Cup Berlin, Germany [86]
200 m individual medley 1:49.63 Lochte, RyanRyan Lochte  United States 14 December 2012 World SC Championships Istanbul, Turkey [87]
400 m individual medley 3:55.50 Lochte, RyanRyan Lochte  United States 16 December 2010 World SC Championships Dubai, United Arab Emirates [88]
4×50 m freestyle relay 1:22.60
 Russia 6 December 2014 World SC Championships Doha, Qatar [89]
4×100 m freestyle relay 3:03.30
 United States 19 December 2009 Duel in the Pool Manchester, United Kingdom [90]
4×200 m freestyle relay 6:49.04
 Russia 16 December 2010 World SC Championships Dubai, United Arab Emirates [91]
4×50 m medley relay 1:30.51  Brazil 4 December 2014 World SC Championships Doha, Qatar [92]
4×100 m medley relay 3:19.16
 Russia 20 December 2009 Vladimir Salnikov Cup Saint Petersburg, Russia [93]
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
50 m freestyle 23.24 = Kromowidjojo, RanomiRanomi Kromowidjojo  Netherlands 7 August 2013 World Cup Eindhoven, Netherlands [94]
50 m freestyle 23.24 = Kromowidjojo, RanomiRanomi Kromowidjojo  Netherlands 12 December 2015 Duel in the Pool Indianapolis, United States [81]
100 m freestyle 50.91 Campbell, CateCate Campbell  Australia 28 November 2015 Australian Championships Sydney, Australia [95]
200 m freestyle 1:50.78 Sjöström, SarahSarah Sjöström  Sweden 7 December 2014 World SC Championships Doha, Qatar [96]
400 m freestyle 3:54.52 Belmonte García, MireiaMireia Belmonte García  Spain 11 August 2013 World Cup Berlin, Germany [97]
800 m freestyle 7:59.34 Belmonte García, MireiaMireia Belmonte García  Spain 10 August 2013 World Cup Berlin, Germany [98]
1500 m freestyle 15:19.71 Belmonte García, MireiaMireia Belmonte García  Spain 12 December 2014 Spanish Championships Sabadell, Spain [99]
50 m backstroke 25.67 Medeiros, EtieneEtiene Medeiros  Brazil 7 December 2014 World SC Championships Doha, Qatar [100]
100 m backstroke 55.03 Hosszú, KatinkaKatinka Hosszú  Hungary 4 December 2014 World SC Championships Doha, Qatar [101]
200 m backstroke 1:59.23 Hosszú, KatinkaKatinka Hosszú  Hungary 5 December 2014 World SC Championships Doha, Qatar [102]
50 m breaststroke 28.64 Atkinson, AliaAlia Atkinson  Jamaica 26 October 2016 World Cup Tokyo, Japan [103]
100 m breaststroke 1:02.36 = Meilutytė, RūtaRūta Meilutytė  Lithuania 12 October 2013 World Cup Moscow, Russia [104]
100 m breaststroke 1:02.36 = Atkinson, AliaAlia Atkinson  Jamaica 6 December 2014 World SC Championships Doha, Qatar [105]
100 m breaststroke 1:02.36 = Atkinson, AliaAlia Atkinson  Jamaica 26 August 2016 World Cup Chartres, France [106]
200 m breaststroke 2:14.57 Soni, RebeccaRebecca Soni  United States 18 December 2009 Duel in the Pool Manchester, United Kingdom
50 m butterfly 24.38 Alshammar, ThereseTherese Alshammar  Sweden 22 November 2009 World Cup Singapore, Singapore [107]
100 m butterfly 54.61 Sjöström, SarahSarah Sjöström  Sweden 7 December 2014 World SC Championships Doha, Qatar [108]
200 m butterfly 1:59.61 Belmonte Garcia, MireiaMireia Belmonte Garcia  Spain 3 December 2014 World SC Championships Doha, Qatar [109]
100 m individual medley 56.67 Hosszú, KatinkaKatinka Hosszú  Hungary 4 December 2015 European Championships Netanya, Israel [110]
200 m individual medley 2:01.86 Hosszú, KatinkaKatinka Hosszú  Hungary 6 December 2014 World SC Championships Doha, Qatar [111]
400 m individual medley 4:19.46 h Hosszú, KatinkaKatinka Hosszú  Hungary 2 December 2015 European Championships Netanya, Israel [112]
4×50 m freestyle relay 1:34.24
 Netherlands 7 December 2014 World SC Championships Doha, Qatar [113]
4×100 m freestyle relay 3:26.53
 Netherlands 5 December 2014 World SC Championships Doha, Qatar [114]
4×200 m freestyle relay 7:32.85
 Netherlands 3 December 2014 World SC Championships Doha, Qatar [115]
4×50 m medley relay 1:44.04
 Denmark 5 December 2014 World SC Championships Doha, Qatar [116]
4×100 m medley relay 3:45.20
 United States 11 December 2015 Duel in the Pool Indianapolis, United States [117]
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 Nationality Date Meet Location Ref
4×50 m freestyle relay 1:28.57
 United States 6 December 2014 World SC Championships Doha, Qatar [118][119]
4×50 m medley relay 1:37.17
 United States 21 December 2013 Duel in the Pool Glasgow, United Kingdom [120]
Legend: # – Record awaiting ratification by FINA;
Records not set in finals: h – heat

Record holders' rankings[edit]

By nation[edit]

Nation Record
tally
LC SC Total LC SC Total LC SC Total
Men Women Mixed
 United States 23 9 4 13 5 2 7 1 2 3
 Hungary 7 2 5 7
 Germany 6 2 3 5 1 1
 China 5 2 2 3 3
 Spain 5 1 1 4 4
 Great Britain 5 3 3 1 1 1 1
 Sweden 5 2 3 5
 Australia 5 2 2 2 1 3
 South Africa 4 4 4
 Brazil 4 2 1 3 1 1
 France 4 4 4
 Netherlands 4 4 4
 Russia 4 4 4
 Lithuania 3 2 1 3
 Denmark 2 1 1 2
 Italy 2 1 1 2
 Jamaica 2 2 2
 Japan 1 1 1
Total 91 20 23 43 20 24 44 2 2 4

By athlete (men)[edit]

Record
count
Name Nationality Events
7 Michael Phelps  United States 100 m butterfly LC
200 m butterfly LC
400 m individual medley LC
4 × 100 m freestyle relay LC
4 × 200 m freestyle relay LC
4 × 100 m medley relay LC
4 × 100 m freestyle relay SC
5 Ryan Lochte  United States 200m individual medley LC
4 × 100 m mixed freestyle relay LC
4 × 200 m freestyle relay LC
200 m individual medley SC
400 m individual medley SC
3 Cesar Cielo  Brazil 50 m freestyle LC
100 m freestyle LC
4×50 m medley relay SC
Paul Biedermann  Germany 200 m freestyle LC
400 m freestyle LC
200 m freestyle SC
Adam Peaty  United Kingdom 50 m breaststroke LC
100 m breaststroke LC
4 × 100 m mixed medley relay LC

By athlete (women)[edit]

Record
count
Name Nationality Events
7 Katinka Hosszú  Hungary 200 m individual medley LC
400 m individual medley LC
100 m backstroke SC
200 m backstroke SC
100 m individual medley SC
200 m individual medley SC
400 m individual medley SC
4 Mireia Belmonte  Spain 400 m freestyle SC
800 m freestyle SC
1500 m freestyle SC
200 m butterfly SC
Ranomi Kromowidjojo  Netherlands 50 m freestyle SC
4 × 50 m freestyle relay SC
4 × 100 m freestyle relay SC
4 × 200 m freestyle relay SC
Sarah Sjöström  Sweden 50 m butterfly LC
100 m butterfly LC
200 m freestyle SC
100 m butterfly SC
3 Inge Dekker  Netherlands 4 × 50 m freestyle relay SC
4 × 100 m freestyle relay SC
4 × 200 m freestyle relay SC
Femke Heemskerk  Netherlands 4 × 50 m freestyle relay SC
4 × 100 m freestyle relay SC
4 × 200 m freestyle relay SC
Katie Ledecky  United States 400 m freestyle LC
800 m freestyle LC
1500 m freestyle LC
Rūta Meilutytė  Lithuania 50 m breaststroke LC
100 m breaststroke LC
100 m breaststroke SC
Missy Franklin  United States 200 m backstroke LC
4 × 100 m mixed freestyle relay LC
4 × 100 m medley relay LC
Cate Campbell  Australia 100 m freestyle LC
4 × 100 m freestyle relay LC
100 m freestyle SC

Gallery of record holders[edit]

Some of the current world record holders in swimming.

References[edit]

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