List of world records in swimming

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Sarah Sjöström holds the most world records in women's swimming with six, all individual (four in long course, and two in 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 meters (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
50m freestyle 20.91 César Cielo  Brazil 18 December 2009 Brazilian Championships São Paulo, Brazil [9][10]
100m freestyle 46.91 César Cielo  Brazil 30 July 2009 World Championships Rome, Italy [11][12]
200m freestyle 1:42.00 Paul Biedermann  Germany 28 July 2009 World Championships Rome, Italy [13][14]
400m freestyle 3:40.07 Paul Biedermann  Germany 26 July 2009 World Championships Rome, Italy [15][16]
800m freestyle 7:32.12 Zhang Lin  China 29 July 2009 World Championships Rome, Italy [17][18]
1500m freestyle 14:31.02 Sun Yang  China 4 August 2012 Olympic Games London, United Kingdom [19]
50m backstroke 24.00 Kliment Kolesnikov  Russia 4 August 2018 European Championships Glasgow, United Kingdom [20]
100m backstroke 51.85 r Ryan Murphy  United States 13 August 2016 Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro, Brazil [21]
200m backstroke 1:51.92 Aaron Peirsol  United States 31 July 2009 World Championships Rome, Italy [22][23]
50m breaststroke 25.95 sf Adam Peaty  Great Britain 25 July 2017 World Championships Budapest, Hungary [24]
100m breaststroke 57.10 Adam Peaty  Great Britain 4 August 2018 European Championships Glasgow, United Kingdom [25]
200m breaststroke 2:06.67 Ippei Watanabe  Japan 29 January 2017 Kosuke Kitajima Cup Tokyo, Japan [26]
50m butterfly 22.27 Andriy Govorov  Ukraine 1 July 2018 Sette Colli Trophy Rome, Italy [27]
100m butterfly 49.82 Michael Phelps  United States 1 August 2009 World Championships Rome, Italy [28][29]
200m butterfly 1:51.51 Michael Phelps  United States 29 July 2009 World Championships Rome, Italy [30][31]
200m individual medley 1:54.00 Ryan Lochte  United States 28 July 2011 World Championships Shanghai, China [32][33]
400m individual medley 4:03.84 Michael Phelps  United States 10 August 2008 Olympic Games Beijing, China [34][35]
4×100m freestyle relay 3:08.24  United States 11 August 2008 Olympic Games Beijing, China [36][37]
4×200m freestyle relay 6:58.55
 United States 31 July 2009 World Championships Rome, Italy [38][39]
4×100m medley relay 3:27.28
 United States 2 August 2009 World Championships Rome, Italy [40][41]
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 23.67 sf Sarah Sjöström  Sweden 29 July 2017 World Championships Budapest, Hungary [42]
100m freestyle 51.71 r Sarah Sjöström  Sweden 23 July 2017 World Championships Budapest, Hungary [43]
200m freestyle 1:52.98 Federica Pellegrini  Italy 29 July 2009 World Championships Rome, Italy [44][45]
400m freestyle 3:56.46 Katie Ledecky  United States 7 August 2016 Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro, Brazil [46]
800m freestyle 8:04.79 Katie Ledecky  United States 12 August 2016 Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro, Brazil [47]
1500m freestyle 15:20.48 Katie Ledecky  United States 16 May 2018 TYR Pro Swim Series Indianapolis, United States [48]
50m backstroke 26.98 Liu Xiang  China 21 August 2018 Asian Games Jakarta, Indonesia [49]
100m backstroke 58.00 Kathleen Baker  United States 28 July 2018 USA Championships Irvine, United States [50]
200m backstroke 2:04.06 Missy Franklin  United States 3 August 2012 Olympic Games London, United Kingdom [51]
50m breaststroke 29.40 Lilly King  United States 30 July 2017 World Championships Budapest, Hungary [52]
100m breaststroke 1:04.13 Lilly King  United States 25 July 2017 World Championships Budapest, Hungary [53]
200m breaststroke 2:19.11 sf Rikke Møller Pedersen  Denmark 1 August 2013 World Championships Barcelona, Spain [54]
50m butterfly 24.43 Sarah Sjöström  Sweden 5 July 2014 Swedish Championships Borås, Sweden [55]
100m butterfly 55.48 Sarah Sjöström  Sweden 7 August 2016 Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro, Brazil [56]
200m butterfly 2:01.81 Liu Zige  China 21 October 2009 Chinese National Games Jinan, China [57]
200m individual medley 2:06.12 Katinka Hosszú  Hungary 3 August 2015 World Championships Kazan, Russia [58]
400m individual medley 4:26.36 Katinka Hosszú  Hungary 6 August 2016 Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro, Brazil [59]
4×100m freestyle relay 3:30.05
 Australia 5 April 2018 Commonwealth Games Gold Coast, Australia [60]
4×200m freestyle relay 7:42.08
 China 30 July 2009 World Championships Rome, Italy [61][62]
4×100m medley relay 3:51.55
 United States 30 July 2017 World Championships Budapest, Hungary [63]
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
4×100m freestyle relay 3:19.60  United States 29 July 2017 World Championships Budapest, Hungary [64]
4×100m medley relay 3:38.56
 United States 26 July 2017 World Championships Budapest, Hungary [65]
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
50m freestyle 20.26 Florent Manaudou  France 5 December 2014 World Championships Doha, Qatar [66]
100m freestyle 44.94 Amaury Leveaux  France 13 December 2008 European Championships Rijeka, Croatia [67]
200m freestyle 1:39.37 Paul Biedermann  Germany 15 November 2009 World Cup Berlin, Germany [68]
400m freestyle 3:32.25 Yannick Agnel  France 15 November 2012 French Nationals Angers, France [69]
800m freestyle 7:23.42 Grant Hackett  Australia 20 July 2008 Victoria Championships Melbourne, Australia [70]
1500m freestyle 14:08.06 Gregorio Paltrinieri  Italy 4 December 2015 European Championships Netanya, Israel [71]
50m backstroke 22.22 Florent Manaudou  France 6 December 2014 World Championships Doha, Qatar [72]
100m backstroke 48.88 Xu Jiayu  China 11 November 2018 World Cup Tokyo, Japan [73]
200m backstroke 1:45.63 Mitch Larkin  Australia 27 November 2015 Australian Championships Sydney, Australia [74]
50m breaststroke 25.25 Cameron van der Burgh  South Africa 14 November 2009 World Cup Berlin, Germany [75]
100m breaststroke 55.61 Cameron van der Burgh  South Africa 15 November 2009 World Cup Berlin, Germany [75]
200m breaststroke 2:00.44 Marco Koch  Germany 20 November 2016 German Championships Berlin, Germany [76]
50m butterfly 21.75 Nicholas Santos  Brazil 6 October 2018 World Cup Budapest, Hungary [77]
100m butterfly 48.08 Chad le Clos  South Africa 8 December 2016 World Championships Windsor, Canada [78]
200m butterfly 1:48.56 Chad le Clos  South Africa 5 November 2013 World Cup Singapore, Singapore [79]
100m individual medley 50.26 = Vladimir Morozov  Russia 28 September 2018 World Cup Eindhoven, Netherlands [80]
100m individual medley 50.26 = Vladimir Morozov  Russia 9 November 2018 World Cup Tokyo, Japan [81]
200m individual medley 1:49.63 Ryan Lochte  United States 14 December 2012 World Championships Istanbul, Turkey [82]
400m individual medley 3:55.50 Ryan Lochte  United States 16 December 2010 World Championships Dubai, United Arab Emirates [83]
4×50m freestyle relay 1:22.60  Russia 6 December 2014 World Championships Doha, Qatar [84]
4×50m freestyle relay 1:20.77 [WB]  France 14 December 2008 European Championships Rijeka, Croatia [85]
4×100m freestyle relay 3:03.30  United States 19 December 2009 Duel in the Pool Manchester, United Kingdom [86]
4×200m freestyle relay 6:49.04
 Russia 16 December 2010 World Championships Dubai, United Arab Emirates [87]
4×50m medley relay 1:30.44  Russia 17 December 2017 European Championships Copenhagen, Denmark [88]
4×100m medley relay 3:19.16  Russia 20 December 2009 Vladimir Salnikov Cup Saint Petersburg, Russia [89]
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 22.93 Ranomi Kromowidjojo  Netherlands 7 August 2017 World Cup Berlin, Germany [90]
100m freestyle 50.25 Cate Campbell  Australia 26 October 2017 Australian Championships Adelaide, Australia [91]
200m freestyle 1:50.43 Sarah Sjöström  Sweden 12 August 2017 World Cup Eindhoven, Netherlands [92]
400m freestyle 3:53.97 Wang Jianjiahe  China 4 October 2018 World Cup Budapest, Hungary [93]
800m freestyle 7:59.34 Mireia Belmonte García  Spain 10 August 2013 World Cup Berlin, Germany [94]
1500m freestyle 15:19.71 Mireia Belmonte García  Spain 12 December 2014 Spanish Championships Sabadell, Spain [95]
50m backstroke 25.67 Etiene Medeiros  Brazil 7 December 2014 World Championships Doha, Qatar [96]
100m backstroke 55.03 Katinka Hosszú  Hungary 4 December 2014 World Championships Doha, Qatar [97]
200m backstroke 1:59.23 Katinka Hosszú  Hungary 5 December 2014 World Championships Doha, Qatar [98]
50m breaststroke 28.56 Alia Atkinson  Jamaica 6 October 2018 World Cup Budapest, Hungary [99]
100m breaststroke 1:02.36 = Rūta Meilutytė  Lithuania 12 October 2013 World Cup Moscow, Russia [100]
100m breaststroke 1:02.36 = Alia Atkinson  Jamaica 6 December 2014 World Championships Doha, Qatar [101]
100m breaststroke 1:02.36 = Alia Atkinson  Jamaica 26 August 2016 World Cup Chartres, France [102]
200m breaststroke 2:14.57 Rebecca Soni  United States 18 December 2009 Duel in the Pool Manchester, United Kingdom
50m butterfly 24.38 Therese Alshammar  Sweden 22 November 2009 World Cup Singapore, Singapore [103]
100m butterfly 54.61 Sarah Sjöström  Sweden 7 December 2014 World Championships Doha, Qatar [104]
200m butterfly 1:59.61 Mireia Belmonte Garcia  Spain 3 December 2014 World Championships Doha, Qatar [105]
100m individual medley 56.51 Katinka Hosszú  Hungary 7 August 2017 World Cup Berlin, Germany [106]
200m individual medley 2:01.86 Katinka Hosszú  Hungary 6 December 2014 World Championships Doha, Qatar [107]
400m individual medley 4:18.94 Mireia Belmonte Garcia  Spain 12 August 2017 World Cup Eindhoven, Netherlands [108]
4×50m freestyle relay 1:33.91  Netherlands 15 December 2017 European Championships Copenhagen, Denmark [109]
4×50m freestyle relay 1:33.25 [WB]  Netherlands 11 December 2009 European Championships Istanbul, Turkey [110]
4×100m freestyle relay 3:26.53  Netherlands 5 December 2014 World Championships Doha, Qatar [111]
4×200m freestyle relay 7:32.85
 Netherlands 3 December 2014 World Championships Doha, Qatar [112]
4×50m medley relay 1:43.27
 United States 7 December 2016 World Championships Windsor, Canada [113]
4×50m medley relay 1:42.69 [WB]  Netherlands 12 December 2009 European Championships Istanbul, Turkey [110]
4×100m medley relay 3:45.20
 United States 11 December 2015 Duel in the Pool Indianapolis, United States [114]
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
4×50m freestyle relay 1:28.39  Netherlands 16 December 2017 European Championships Copenhagen, Denmark [115]
4×50m medley relay 1:37.17
 United States 21 December 2013 Duel in the Pool Glasgow, United Kingdom [116]
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 26 9 3 12 8 3 11 2 1 3
 China 7 2 1 3 3 1 4
 Sweden 7 4 3 7
 Hungary 6 2 4 6
 Russia 6 1 5 6
 Netherlands 5 4 4 1 1
 Australia 4 2 2 1 1 2
 Brazil 4 2 1 3 1 1
 France 4 4 4
 Germany 4 2 2 4
 Spain 4 4 4
 South Africa 4 4 4
 Great Britain 2 2 2
 Italy 2 1 1 1 1
 Jamaica 2 2 2
 Lithuania 1 1 1
 Denmark 1 1 1
 Japan 1 1 1
 Ukraine 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 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  United States 200m individual medley LC
4 × 100m mixed freestyle relay LC
4 × 200m freestyle relay LC
200m individual medley SC
400m individual medley SC
3 Vladimir Morozov  Russia 100m individual medley SC
4×50m freestyle SC
4×50m medley relay SC
Paul Biedermann  Germany 200m freestyle LC
400m freestyle LC
200m freestyle SC

By athlete (women)[edit]

Record
count
Name Nationality Events
6 Sarah Sjöström  Sweden 50m freestyle LC
100m freestyle LC
50m butterfly LC
100m butterfly LC
200m freestyle SC
100m butterfly SC
Katinka Hosszú  Hungary 200m individual medley LC
400m individual medley LC
100m backstroke SC
200m backstroke SC
100m individual medley SC
200m individual medley SC
5 Lilly King  United States 50m breaststroke LC
100m breaststroke LC
4 × 100m medley relay LC
Mixed 4 × 100m medley relay LC
4 × 50m medley relay SC
Ranomi Kromowidjojo  Netherlands 50m freestyle SC
4 × 50m freestyle relay SC
4 × 100m freestyle relay SC
4 × 200m freestyle relay SC
Mixed 4 × 50m freestyle relay SC
4 Simone Manuel  United States Mixed 4 × 100m freestyle relay LC
Mixed 4 × 100m medley relay LC
4 × 100m medley relay SC
Mixed 4 × 50m medley relay SC
Mireia Belmonte  Spain 800m freestyle SC
1500m freestyle SC
200m butterfly SC
400m individual medley SC
Femke Heemskerk  Netherlands 4 × 50m freestyle relay SC
4 × 100m freestyle relay SC
4 × 200m freestyle relay SC
Mixed 4 × 50m freestyle relay SC
3 Inge Dekker  Netherlands 4 × 50m freestyle relay SC
4 × 100m freestyle relay SC
4 × 200m freestyle relay SC
Katie Ledecky  United States 400m freestyle LC
800m freestyle LC
1500m freestyle LC

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