To see all of the 2014 Swammy Award winners, presented by TYR, click here.
When deciding on who would make our top five the diversity of the sport became clear. I had to do a double take when I realized there were no Australian, Americans or Chinese athletes that made this list.
When it comes down to it our top five really gave me no choice.
5) Daiya Seto (Japan)
Daiya Seto had an extremely strong year. At the Pan Pacific Championships he collected a gold in the 200 butterfly and added a bronze in the 200 IM. At the Asian Games he won the 200 butterfly and finished third in the 400 IM.
Seto finished in the top five in the world rankings in three events:
- 200 butterfly – 1:54.08 – 1st
- 200 IM – 1:57.32 – 4th
- 400 IM – 4:10.21 – 5th
At the World Short Course Championships Seto won the 400 IM, finished second in the 200 butterfly and collected a bronze in the 200 IM. He set new Asian records with his finishing times in both the 400 IM (3:56.33) and the 200 butterfly (1:48.92).
Seto also finished eighth in the World Cup standings.
He had three top five placing in the world rankings:
- 400 IM – 3:56.33 – 1st
- 200 butterfly – 1:48.92 – 2nd
- 200 IM – 1:51.79 – 4th
4) Adam Peaty (Great Britain)
Adam Peaty had an astonishing year, not simply because of his results, but because of the improvements he made to achieve what he did.
Peaty started the summer off by winning gold in the 100 breaststroke and a silver in the 50 breaststroke while picking another gold in the 4 x 100 medley relay at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. The English 4 x 100 medley relay also set a new games record in the event.
Peaty then collected four gold at the European Championships in Berlin which included the 50 and 100 breaststroke and the 4 x 100 medley and mixed medley relays.
At the championships he set the only men’s long course world record of 2014, setting a new mark in the 50 breaststroke in the semi-finals of the event. The British 4 x 100 mixed medley relay team also set a new world record.
Peaty finished the year winning silver in both the 50 and 100 breaststroke, setting new British records in both events, at the World Short Course Championships in Doha.
He finished first in the long course world rankings in both the 50 and 100 breaststroke:
- 50 breaststroke – 26.62
- 100 breaststroke – 58.68
He also finished second in the same events in the short course pool:
- 50 breaststroke – 25.75
- 100 breaststroke – 56.35
His end of the season times are incredible considering his best times coming into the year were:
- 50 breaststroke – SCM – 26.93 LCM – 27.58
- 100 breaststroke – SCM – 58.54 LCM – 59.92
3) Florent Manaudou (France)
Florent Manaudou had a tremendous year, experiencing great success at both the European Championships in Berlin and the World Short Course Championships in Doha.
Manaudou walked away from the European Championships with four gold, three individual and one relay. He took gold in both the 50 and 100 freestyle, tied Belarusian Yauhen Tsurkin for the win in the 50 butterfly and was part of the French team that won the 4 x 100 freestyle relay.
He set a championship record in the 50 freestyle while the French relay did the same in the 4 x 100 freestyle.
He finished the long course season ranked first in the 50 freestyle as well as fourth in the 100 freestyle and 50 butterfly.
Manaudou was even more impressive at the World Short Course Championships in Doha where he collected three gold, two silver and one bronze.
He won the 50 freestyle in a time of 20.26 breaking Roland Schoeman‘s 2009 world record of 20.30. He also won the 50 backstroke in a time of 22.22 breaking Peter Marshall‘s 2009 record of 22.61.
Manaudou earned his third gold in the men’s 4 x 100 freestyle relay.
He also collected a silver in both the 100 freestyle and 4 x 50 medley relay and won a bronze in the 4 x 100 medley relay.
In the short course world records Manaudou finished:
- 50 freestyle – 20.26 – 1st
- 50 butterfly – 22.22 – 1st
- 100 freestyle – 45.81 – 3rd
Kosuke Hagino (Japan)
Chad le Clos (South Africa)
This was a hard decision to make, so let’s look at it blow by blow.
Long Course Meters:
At the Pan Pacific Championships Hagino won the 200 and 400 IM and collected silver in the 200 and 400 freestyle. He also won a silver as part of the Japanese 4 x 200 freestyle relay team.
He then went on to the Asian Games where he won gold in the 200 freestyle as well as the 200 and 400 IM. He also collected another gold as part of the 4 x 200 freestyle relay and picked up a silver in the 200 freestyle.
Hagino finished top five in the world rankings in six events:
- 200 IM – 1:55.33 – 1st
- 400 IM – 4:07.75 – 1st
- 200 freestyle – 1:45.23 – 2nd
- 200 backstroke – 1:54.23 – 2nd
- 100 backstroke – 52.78 – 4th
- 400 freestyle – 3:43.90 – 5th
le Clos swam well at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow winning the 100 and 200 butterfly. He also set a new games record in the 100. He took bronze in both the 50 butterfly and 200 IM while in the relays he won silver in the 4 x 100 and 4 x 200 freestyle and bronze in the 4 x 100 medley.
le Clos finished top five in the world rankings in two events:
- 100 butterfly – 51.29 – 2nd
- 200 butterfly – 1:54.56 – 2nd
Short Course Meters:
Hagino took gold at the World Short Course Championships in the 200 IM setting a new Asian record. He also won the silver in the 400 IM finishing second to his Japanese teammate Daiya Seto.
Hagino finished top five in the world rankings in four events:
- 200 IM – 1:50.47 – 1st
- 400 IM – 4:01.17 – 3rd
- 100 IM – 51.30 – 4th
- 100 butterfly – 49.83 – 5th
le Clos once again was the king of the World Cup Series finishing first for the second year in a row and for the third time out of the last four years.
At the World Short Course Championships he came away with wins in the 50, 100 and 200 butterfly as well as the 200 freestyle.
le Clos finished top five in the world rankings in five events. Ranked number one in four of the five:
- 200 freestyle – 1:41.45 – 1st
- 50 butterfly – 21.95 – 1st
- 100 butterfly – 48.44 – 1st
- 200 butterfly – 1:48.61 – 1st
- 200 IM – 1:51.56 – 3rd
Winner: le Clos
You may be wondering why I did not mention that le Clos set a new world record in the 100 butterfly in Doha, don’t worry I didn’t forget, but I had to have a tie breaker. That is what separated our Swimmer of the Year award winner from the runner-up.
Chad le Clos set a new world record in the 100 butterfly winning the World Short Course Championships in a time of 48.44.
Overall Winner and 2014 Honouree: