2015 Swammy Awards: Adam Peaty, Male Swimmer of the Year

Check out all of our 2015 Swammy Awards here.

2015 Male Swimmer of the Year: Adam Peaty, Great Britain

Adam Peaty broke a major swimming barrier this year in April at the British Championships in London, where he shattered the 100m breaststroke world record by over half a second, becoming the first man ever under 58 seconds in 57.92.

This wasn’t Peaty’s first world record, as he broke the 50 breaststroke world record last year at the European Championships, but this swim sent shockwaves through the swimming world. He had yet to truly prove himself against the worlds very best, and he did just that this summer at the World Championships. Peaty triumphed in what became a marquee duel between him and defending 100m Olympic champion and former world record holder Cameron van der Burgh. Peaty scored wins in the 50 (26.51) and 100 (58.52), just ahead of van der Burgh in both. He also lowered his own world record in the 50m in the semi-finals (26.42), after van der Burgh had tied Peaty’s mark of 26.62 from last year in the heats. Peaty earned a third gold medal in the mixed medley relay.

Peaty recently competed at the Short Course European Championships in Netanya, Israel, earning two silver medals in his two signature events.

Peaty’s mark of 57.92 has raised the bar for breaststrokers significantly, giving everyone a new mark to shoot for heading into the Olympic year.

Honorable Mentions:

Michael Phelps,USA

After going through all that he did in late 2014/early 2015, it is safe to say the most decorated Olympian in history exceeded everyones expectations this summer at the U.S. National Championships. Phelps made it clear that he was back and better than ever (at least since 2008), posting three world-leading times in the 100/200 fly and 200 IM. Phelps also took home the same three U.S. Winter National titles earlier in December. With a budding rivarly with 2012 200 fly Olympic champ Chad Le Clos, it is safe to say the best is yet to come from the new and improved Michael Phelps.

Michael Phelps in men's 200m fly prelims at U.S. Nationals Day 2 prelims at U.S. Nationals (courtesy of Rafael Domeyko)

Michael Phelps in men’s 200m fly prelims at U.S. Nationals Day 2 prelims at U.S. Nationals (courtesy of Rafael Domeyko)

Sun Yang, China

China’s Sun Yang continued his distance freestyle legacy in 2015, defending both his 400 and 800 freestyle world titles from 2013. Sun also earned a silver medal in the 200 free. He did not, however, defend his world title in the 1500 free, one that he won in 2011 and 2013, and is the defending Olympic champion. Despite his mysterious no-show for the 1500 final, Sun remains a top threat in three Olympic events heading into next year. After budding distance star Gregorio Paltrinieri won the world title and then recently broke Grant Hackett’s 14-year-old short course 1500 world record, it is safe to say the potential 1500 Olympic battle could be epic (if Sun shows up, of course).

Mitch Larkin, Australia

After breaking out in 2014 with three individual medals at the Commonwealth Games, Australian backstroker Mitch Larkin firmly asserted himself as the best backstroker in the world

Mitchell Larkin (AUS) posted the fastest semi-final time in the men’s 200 backstroke with a new Oceanian record of 1:54.29. 2015 FINA World Championships (courtesy of Tim Binning, theswimpictures.com)

Mitchell Larkin (AUS) posted the fastest semi-final time in the men’s 200 backstroke with a new Oceanian record of 1:54.29. 2015 FINA World Championships (courtesy of Tim Binning, theswimpictures.com)

In 2015, claiming World Championship titles in the 100 and 200 backstroke. Larkin also won a silver medal on the Australian medley relay, and just missed another with a 4th place finish in the 50 back. His success didn’t stop there, as he dominated the World Cup meets he attended, including throwing down world-leading times at the Dubai stop in the 100 (52.11) and 200 (1:53.17). It is safe to say Aaron Peirsol‘s world records of 51.94 and 1:51.92 should be on high alert heading into 2016. Larkin put the cherry on top of his year with a sweep of the backstroke events at the Aussie short course nationals, including a new world record in the 200 (1:45.63).

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bobo gigi
8 years ago

Much more open award on the men’s side but I agree about Peaty as winner.
You will just have to explain to me how it is possible you name him world swimmer of the year and not European swimmer of the year a few days ago (you gave it to Paltrinieri).
Maybe I didn’t understand the process or the joke but . . . it seems pretty weird.
It’s as if a rookie in NBA was named MVP of the season but not rookie of the year. 🙄

Reply to  bobo gigi
8 years ago

I loved the Paltrinieri pick for European Swimmer of the year, even if it was a little tongue in cheek. Can’t argue with Peaty as World swimmer of the year, as the facts support it. Maybe the joke is a forward looking one, where swimswam is predicting an Out vote at the pending EU In/Out referendum.

Reply to  Billabong
8 years ago

Is it possible that Swimswam just thought better of giving the same person both awards? Like at awards ceremonies, you can’t win best actor and best supporting actor for the same role, because it’s a play on semantics.

As for the referendum, Britain won’t leave if under 25s turn out to vote in good numbers as anticipated. Support for EU is about 65-70% in that age group. That doesn’t mean they like the EU, most absolutely hate it, but it’s seen as the lesser of two-evils and a ‘safer’ future.

bobo gigi
Reply to  Dee
8 years ago

Sorry if I’m too logical, but Europe is a continent of the world so if you are a European swimmer named world swimmer of the year then you must be necessarily named European swimmer of the year.

But it’s not very important! 😆

Reply to  bobo gigi
8 years ago

bobo – it’s a fair point to bring up. Basically, in our opinion, the two were almost in a dead heat, but Paltrinieri swam better at the European Championships, which gave him the European Swimmer of the Year honor, while Peaty broke his WR at the World Championships. That was the difference for us.

Swimmer A
8 years ago

Just think of how good he’ll be when he figures out how to do a pull out. He’ll be unstoppable

samuel huntington
8 years ago

Phelps succeeded swimming one event in prelims and one in finals at US nationals for a total of 8 swims. At Rio, the number of swims he will need to do will increase to probably 12 and they will require more effort. Will he be able to handle it at his age?

bobo gigi
Reply to  samuel huntington
8 years ago

That’s the main question, yes.
I’m confident.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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