Best Record Breaking Performance Swammy Award Winner: Missy Franklin

The Woman: 

Missy Franklin

The Event:

200 Backstroke Final at the 2012 Olympic Games

The Moment:

In her 14th swim of the 2012 Olympic Games, Missy Franklin somehow managed to break Kirsty Coventry’s World Record by .75. Her 2:04.06 was over a second faster than her American Record of 2:05.10 set at the 2011 World Championships. The incredible part was not only the time, which blew away the previous WR, but the fact that she did it after 6 days of racing through the kind of schedule that only she, Mark Spitz, Ryan Lochte, and Michael Phelps could understand. Luckily we had an interview set up with Missy, so we could talk about the performance and let her know about her first, of what we expect to be many, Swammy Award.

Honorable Mentions:

Sun Yang of China lowered his own World Record in the 1500 by over 3 seconds with a 14:31.02. Sun’s Chinese teammate Ye Shiwen lowered the 400 IM World Record with an explosive final leg of freestyle, finishing in 4:28.43.

Then there were the two American’s:

Rebecca Soni and Dana Vollmer who both set World Records and broke through some big time barriers. Soni was the first woman under 2:20 in the 200 Breast with a 2:19.59 and Vollmer became the first female under 56.0 with a :55.98.


  1. Swimmer says:

    What about the 2 mens breaststroke records from Gyurta and van der burgh

  2. Missy deserves that Swawwy award all the way . Some will say : ” but it was expected ” . yeah maybe expected but after 13 swims , it deserves recognition for the performance even if it’s her speciality . Congrats Missy , more great swims are to come for 2013 Long course meets .

  3. liquidassets says:

    I agree, she should have won the Golden Goggles for this, too.

  4. HDTV says:

    Disagree. 2:19 2 breast and 4:28 4im are more impressive for women than a 2:04 200 back. No question about it.

    • liquidassets says:

      I disagree.

    • Keith says:

      I think 2:04 in the 200 back is more impressive and the numbers support it. The gap between Missy and the other swimmers not only contemporary but past is mind blowing. Nobody else has ever been under 2:06 in textile, and knowing how great a swimmer Egerszegi was and the standard that she set a 2:04 flat is simply phenomenal. Soni broke a WR and a symbolic barrier but there are others swimmers that are presently within a second of her time. A better argument can be made for Ye in the 400IM but even that gap over double the distance (2.84sec) is not as impressive as a full two second margin over a distance of 200 meters. TWO SECONDS!

      • Keith says:

        Actually Zueva did crack the 2:06 barrier with a 2:05.92, the second best of all time. But consider that Missy’s margin of victory was larger than Ye’s in the 400IM despite it being half the distance covered.

      • aswimfan says:

        I am not disputing Missy’s selection as the WR performance of the year which I think she deserves it (Shiwen’s 400 IM and Agnel’s 200 free come very close second in my opinion).

        What I am disputing is this:

        “A better argument can be made for Ye in the 400IM but even that gap over double the distance (2.84sec) is not as impressive as a full two second margin over a distance of 200 meters. TWO SECONDS!”

        This is silly. You should not just multiply the gap (in seconds) by twice when the distance doubles to argue for an equal feat, especially when you are comparing different strokes.

        The quality of the gap depends largely on the quality of opponents as much as on the quality of the swim itself.
        And in my opinion, Shiwen’s had better quality opponents in the 400 IM (Beisel, Miley, Rice, Hosszu, Li, Leverenz) than Franklin in the 200 back (Zueva, Beisel, Hocking, Simmonds, Nay), and yet Shiwen was almost 3 seconds faster than Beisel (who swam second fastest textile ever, after Shiwen).

        Also, if you use your argument to multiply the gap with the multiplied distance, then Sun Yang’s 1,500 in London was nowhere nearly as impressive as Missy’s as his gap with Ryan Cochrane amazing’s 14:39 is “only” 8.5 seconds, while using your formula, to be as equally impressive as Missy’s, Sun Yang would have to swim a gap of 15 seconds (7.5 x 2 secs) which means he’d have to swim 14mins24secs to be as equally impressive as Missy, which is absurd.
        had Yang swum 14:29, I would think that would already have been the swim of the year.

        Speaking about gap, what about Agnel?
        in 200 MEN FREESTYLE, he made a gap of almost 2 seconds between himself and GREAT swimmers such as Sun Yang, Park Tae Hwan, Biedermann, Lochte.

        • Keith says:

          You’re right it’s not as simple as multiplying the distance as there are other factors involved. However distance covered is certainly a factor and no matter the stroke the longer the duration of the race … the more opportunity for the efficient superior swimmer to increase the margin over their opponents. The 400IM takes longer than the 400 free so there’s even more of an opportunity in an individual medley to increase the margin. I would also concede the point about the quality of opposition … although unlike with data there’s a certain subjectivity that comes with that. You’ll get no argument from me that the field in the 400IM field was better. Having said that though my point was a bit too simplistic in the abstract it was hardly “silly.” There is an idea called the law of diminishing returns so you wouldn’t simply multiply the time gap for every 100m. (The gap improvements would decrease a bit as the distance increased). That’s something that came up when people were trying to quantify and speculate about the time improvements from the poly suits. Anyway why do you think Missy deserves it (aside from the MOV and her schedule?)

          I think the only thing holding Agnel back from more consideration for this award was probably that he broke a textile record instead of a world record. But for me that race was the best performance for the men easily, ahead of WR breakers Yang/Gyurta, Grevers, Le Clos, and Lochte’s 400IM textile best. Yang frustrates me because I feel he has yet to nail any of his swims and he hasn’t really “put one out there.” As awesome as his swims have been he hasn’t come close to his present potential in the 1500.

          • aswimfan says:

            Yeah, I apologize for using the word silly. I take it back.

            Missy deserves it because her 200 back performance rated highest of FINA/swimnews performance point = 1020 (while Agnel’s and Shiwen’s rated 1012), although we must also consider that it is likeley to easier to score higher point in w200back than in m200free.because men 200 free has much deeper competition.

            I am still blown over by both Agnel’s swim. To think he destroyed the old textile record by almost 1 second in men 200 free is just mindboggling.

            I also agree with you that I don’t think Sun Yang really swam to his potential in London. I was especially disapppinted with his 400 free, I wanted him to erase Biederman’s WR. The fact that Thorpe’s textile record still stands after more than 10 years is just otehr worldly. I think Thorpe’s 400 record is the longest standing men’s freestyle record ever.

          • Keith says:

            I think with Yang it’s to the point were we rate him against himself. So instead of being awed by a broken WR there was some disappointment he didn’t go under 14:30. Hackett and Perkins took big chunks off when they broke the record whereas he’s been nibbling little bites. Still, he’s so far ahead of everyone including a very good swimmer in Cochrane that we under appreciate him a bit. I think he just doesn’t have a feel for pacing his races and this hurts him in the 400 even more. I think Agnel can eventually break the 200 WR especially if he’s also training for the 100.

          • Rafael says:

            Aswimfan.. I think the longest standing was Hoogeband 100, his 2000 record was only broke by Magnussen last year..

            But the hardest textile record to break I think will be 50.40 of Croker..

  5. cynthiacurran says:

    2:19 in breaststroke is faster than the man’s winner in 1972, John Hencken.

  6. Philip Johnson says:

    Agnel breaking the “textile record” in the 200 gets my vote.

    • Rafael says:

      Sun Yang WR gets my vote.. he was probably the second best swimmer of 2012.. if he did broke the 400 WR I would say he had a better year even than Phelps..

      Yang played with the field like it was a child play.. Agnel was impressive.. but Sun is crushing easily the only record who withstood the Suits..

      • Ben says:

        yeah I agree. The first ~1350 of the 1500 didn’t look like he was trying at ALL. was amazing to watch. Truly a member of the “making-it-look-way-easier-than-it-is” club

  7. hkswimmer says:

    I would personally go with Sun Yang on this one too… Considering the official’s cock up at the start of his race too, to hold his nerves and lower that 1500 by 3 seconds was amazing. And hands down the most amazing closing 100m in history on that 1500.

  8. bobo gigi says:

    How to compare so fantastic world records? They are all impressive. And for me there were also incredible performances without world records like Katie Ledecky in the 800 free or Yannick Agnel and Allison Schmitt in the 200 free.
    About Missy, I believe her world record in the 200 back wasn’t surprising but after all her races it was great. And we know she’s able to swim much faster with some technical improvements, perhaps 2.02 very quickly. I wouldn’t be surprised.

  9. clubswimmer says:

    If Ledecky had broken the world record she would have been the obvious choice

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Connect with Facebook

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

About Garrett McCaffrey

Garrett McCaffrey

No one lives the sport of swimming like Garrett McCaffrey. A Division I swimmer who spent 4 years covering the... Read More »