16-Year Old Benedetta Pilato Breaks Lilly King’s World Record in 50 Breaststroke


Italy’s Benedetta Pilato lowered the women’s long course 50 breaststroke world record to a 29.30, shaving a 0.10 seconds off Lilly King‘s former mark of 29.40. With that swim, Pilato also breaks the World Junior, European, European Junior, Italian, and European Championships records.

Pilato lowered the world junior, European junior, and championship records during the prelims of the event with a 29.50 and has now lowered it by another 0.20. The previous European record was set by Lithuanian breaststroker Ruta Meilutyte who hit a 29.48 back in 2013.

The now-former world record of 29.40 was set by Lilly King at the 2017 World Swimming Championships at this exact same pool at the same meet where Yuliya Efimova posted a 29.52 which now sits at #5 in terms of all-time performances. That means that the pool has played host to 3 of the 4 fastest times in history and 5 of the top 9.

All-Time Women’s Long Course 50 Breasktroke Performances

  1. Benedetta Pilato – 29.30 (2021)
  2. Lilly King – 29.40 (2017)
  3. Ruta Meilutyte – 29.48 (2013)
  4. Benedetta Pilato – 29.50 (2021)
  5. Yuliya Efimova – 29.52 (2013)
  6. Yuliya Efimova – 29.57 (2017)
  7. Ruta Meilutyte – 29.59 (2013)
  8. Lilly King – 29.60 (2017)
  9. Benedetta Pilato – 29.61 (2020)
  10. (TIE) Benedetta Pilato – 29.62 (2021)/LIlly King – 29.62 (2018)

Pilato raced the 50 breaststroke for Italy at the 2019 World Championships, earning a silver medal to Lilly King‘s 29.84 with a 30.00. While she now sits in the top spot in history in the world, she won’t race the event in Tokyo as the stroke 50s are not Olympic events. She will, however, represent Italy at the 2021 Olympics in the 100 breaststroke.

This swim marks Pilato’s first-ever world record and remains her only long course world junior record. She also holds the world junior record in the short course version of the event at a 28.81 from 2020.

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3 months ago

Poor girls that are gonna try to break this WJR in the future

There's no doubt that he's tightening up
Reply to  swammer
3 months ago

Knowing FINA, they will somehow find a way not to ratify this…

Reply to  swammer
3 months ago

We just had a 14 year old go 1:06.4 or something 2 days ago. This record might not last 3 years

3 months ago

I believe King also went 29.62 T-10th at a 2018 Pro Swim Series

3 months ago

I screamed

3 months ago

Women’s 100BR is going to be lit!

Reply to  John
3 months ago

But pilato didn’t qualify to swim 100 Tokyo i thought

Casas 100 back gold in Tokyo
Reply to  Swimfan
3 months ago

She is qualified.

Last edited 3 months ago by Casas 100 back gold in Tokyo
3 months ago

Cool that she broke it here and can just focus on the hunna for Tokyo, huge congrats to her! What was the last LC world record we saw? So exciting!

Reply to  Swimmerj
3 months ago

China’s 4×100 mixed medley I believe

Reply to  KimJongSpoon
3 months ago

Kolesnikov 50 back

Reply to  Rafael
3 months ago

can’t believe I already forgot about that. Too much fast swimming at Euro’s is frying my brain

Joris Bohnson
3 months ago


IU Swammer
3 months ago

The fact SwimSwam writers include the fun facts like 3 of the top 4 and 5 of the top 9 swims being swum iin 1 pool is what gets me to click on and actually read the articles. I could see the headline and move on, but I know I’d miss something neat. Thanks, SwimSwam.

Sprint Lord
Reply to  IU Swammer
3 months ago

Hope she sees this bro

Kitajima Fan
3 months ago

Knock knock, it’s the future

Reply to  Kitajima Fan
3 months ago

Yeah yeah. That’s what they said in 2000 when that one 15 year old finaled in the Olympic 200 fly. But we never heard of that kid again, now did we?

He said what?
Reply to  Jack
3 months ago

LOL LOL LOL well said.