2017 Swammy Awards European Male Swimmer of the Year: Adam Peaty

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2017 Swammy Awards European Male Swimmer of the Year: Adam Peaty, Great Britain

There was only 1 European male swimmer who won more than 1 individual event at the 2017 World Aquatics Championships. There was only 1 long course World Record set by a European male in 2017. That made the 2017 Swammy Award for European Male Swimmer of the year a slam-dunk for British breaststroke Adam Peaty.

This marks the 2nd-straight European Swimmer of the Year Award for Peaty, which goes with his overall Swimmer of the Year award in 2015.

Peaty won both the 50 and 100 breaststrokes at this summer’s World Championships. He started with a new Championship Record in the 100 breaststroke in 57.45, and followed that up by swimming to a new World Record of 25.95 in the semi-finals of the 50 breaststroke. He become the first man to break-through the 26-second barrier in the race, and followed it up with another sub-26 second swim with a 25.99 to win gold.

Peaty is well-established as the best long course breaststroker in the world – as of posting, he has the 11 fastest 100 long course meter breaststrokers in history. What was really exciting for Peaty was the development of his short course swimming. At the European Short Course Champioinships, he won the 100 breaststroke and broke the European Record in 55.94. That’s the 2nd-best performance in history. Peaty’s one Achilles heel has always been his starts and turns. He got his starts worked out in Rio, and now has made enough progress on his turns to be the best in the world (right now) in short course as well.

Peaty still hasn’t taken on much in the 200 breaststroke. He only swam the race once in 2017 – at the European Short Course Championships – where he swam a lifetime best of 2:07.34. He opened in a sprinter’s 58.47, but closed in a 1:08.87 to finish 13th in prelims.

Even without the 200 in his repertoire, he’s still staking a claim to the best male breaststroker in history. He’s still got some thing to accomplish to catch Kosuke Kitajima and his 4 individual breaststroke Olympic golds in terms of resume, but he’s already just the 3rd man to repeat as the World Champion in the 100, the first to win back-to-back in the 50, and has brought the record in the 100 long course breaststroke down consecutively by 1.3 seconds across 3 swims. The last swimmer to consecutively impact the record by that amount was John Hencken, who from 1973 to 1976 improved the record from 1:04.94 (Nobutaka Taguchi) to 1:03.11.

Next season, Peaty will have the chance to add another feather to his long course cap. He’s won gold in both the 50 and 100 at the World Championships, European Championships, and in the 100 at the Olympic Games. At the last Commonwealth Games in 2014, however, he won the 100 but placed 2nd in the 50 breaststroke – behind his self-proclaimed idol Cameron van der Burgh (who holds the short course World Records). That’s the lone long course mountain he has yet to climb in his primary events.

Honorable Mentions
(in no particular order)

  • Kliment Kolesnikov, Russia – This is Kolesnikov’s 3rd recognition in this year’s edition of the Swammy Awards. He’s previously won the International Male Junior of the Year, and was an honorable mention for Breakout Swimmer of the Year. On scale of Europe, while Kolesnikov didn’t medal at the World Championships (his best finish was 4th in the 200 back), he was the best male swimmer at the European Championships, and that can’t be overlooked, even in short course. He won 4 gold medals and 1 silver at the meet, and was part of a World Record setting 200 medley relay. A week later, in St. Petersburg, he broke the World Record in the 100 short course meters backstroke to finish off a meteoric rise.
  • Anton Chupkov, Russia – The Russian men had a very good year, and a number of them could’ve been honorable mentions for this award, but Chupkov gets our nod, even without swimming at the European Championships (another meet where nobody, aside from Kolesnikov, won multiple individual gold in the men’s tally). He still came away with the 4th-fastest 200 time in the world in short course meters so far this season. At Worlds, he won gold in the 200 breaststroke in a new European Record of 2:06.96 – the 2nd-best swim in history, making him just the 2nd man ever under 2:07 in the event.
  • Gabriele Detti, Italy – Another swimmer who gets a nod in spite of no European Championships, which he missed while dealing with an injury. Detti won the gold medal in the 800 free at the World Championships and in the process broke a European Record. That win takes on more weight and sets a bar now that the 800 free is an Olympic event for men. He also finished 4th in the 1500 free and 3rd in the 400 free.

 

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Tea rex
4 years ago

Lol 58 – 1:08 splits. He is over half a second ahead of anyone in 50 be, even with his pedestrian start.

Other notables:
Ben Proud – gold in 50 fly, 21.32 in free.
Laszlo Cseh – another of many silvers at worlds, but as the oldest swimmer in the 2 fly final by 7 years. Gotta love him.
Another oldster, Lacourt went out on top with gold in 50 BK.

Jmanswimfan
4 years ago

Until Peaty can swim the 200 just as good, my greatest breastrokers will be 1. Kitajima 2. Hansen 3. Peaty

Dee
Reply to  Jmanswimfan
4 years ago

King Kitajima.

But Hansen? Please.

Philip
Reply to  Dee
4 years ago

Holding the WR in the 100 & 200 breast is no small feat..

Dee
Reply to  Philip
4 years ago

I don’t think saying it’s laughable to put him ahead of Peaty implies his achievements is a small feat. Let me clear up what I meant:

Peaty holds the ten fastest 100br swims in history. He is the only man to swim a 25s 50br, indeed he is the only man to swim under 26.5s. He has, as far as I can see, not lost a LCM race since 2014 – Heats, semis, finals, regionals, nationals. Zilch. He is an Olympic champion and 4x world champion – Unbeaten in international competition.

For Hansen to be deemed below that is no shame, and absolutely no disrespect – He is indeed a legend in his own right – But he has… Read more »

Jmanswimfan
Reply to  Dee
4 years ago

At one point wasn’t Hansen the only man to break 2:09? Didn’t Hansen also at one point hold some of the fastest ever performances in the 200 breast? Wasn’t Hansen the first to win 4 breastroke world titles just as many as peaty mind you and Hansen was as good at long course as he was at short course winning all 3 distances at SC worlds. And yeah he’s never lost a long course race too bad he decided to race short course. Yes he’s amazing and what he does is jaw dropping but Hansen had ability in all 3 distances and both long course and short course

Dee
Reply to  Jmanswimfan
4 years ago

Each to his own opinion, but only 2 breaststrokers in my lifetime I’d rank above Peaty: Kitajima and 2005/2006 model Leisel Jones… I’m sure plenty will call me mad for putting Jones up there, and perhaps I am biased because I remember how in awe I was watching her fly through the water, but I think she was bloody special.

bobo gigi
Reply to  Jmanswimfan
4 years ago

Swimming has not started in the 2000s.
I don’t have enough swimming knowledges but I presume there were a few other great breaststrokers before. Thanks to Wikipedia I see John Hencken for example in the 1970s. He was great in the 100 and 200. 1972 olympic champion, 1976 olympic champion, world records in both events. Just an example.
About the recent period Kitajima double double olympic gold, world champion, world records…. I agree. Yes, I call him the greatest breaststroker of all time. Even if it’s tough to compare the periods. To deserve that honor, you need in my opinion to win olympic golds, break world records and have a long career of success. And Kitajima has all… Read more »

bobo gigi
Reply to  bobo gigi
4 years ago

Anyway, Peaty or not, for that swammy award I again vote for Destin Lasco. Yes. Even in the European category. 🙂

nuotofan
4 years ago

Obviously Peaty (“the lethal weapon” of British medley relay) is a lock for this award.
Worthy of mention, in my opinion, is also Greg Paltrinieri, northeless he was “only” silver medalist in the 1500 free at SC EuroChamps.
In a post-Olympic year, with ups and downs in his training and his motivations, he was capable to win a great 1500 at Worlds (swimming a 14.35) and to be bronze medalist in the 800 free.
Moreover at Wugs he won 800 and 1500 free, still defeating a great swimmer like Romanchuk, and also his first 10 km.
Really a remarkable sweep.

Caeleb Dressel Will Get 7 golds in Tokyo
4 years ago

What a surprise! Rookie of the year.

Caeleb Dressel Will Get 7 golds in Tokyo

I think my joke was not well worded.

Aussie crawl
4 years ago

Well deserved.

Tammy Touchpad Error
4 years ago

I really really hope Peaty gets his 200 down by 2019 or 2020. He’s capable of 2:05 (2:04.9!!???) and :56 I think in the same meet. His 50 pure sprint for a 100 experiment didn’t quite work this summer so why not try the other direction? Also the triple sweep in 2019 would be sick and give him really good info to calibrate

Caeleb Dressel Will Get 7 golds in Tokyo
Reply to  Tammy Touchpad Error
4 years ago

2:04 would be mind boggling.

nuotofan

Particularly because Peaty’s most valuable assets (stroke’s frequency and power) are difficult to apply in a 200 br.

Emanuele
Reply to  nuotofan
4 years ago

He could do like Efimova in Budapest, slow first 100, decent third 50 and full speed last 50.
I don’t think he can do a 2.05 but under 2.07 (1.01 high, 33 low 32 low) is possible…

Dee
Reply to  Emanuele
4 years ago

Efimova is quite lean – There isn’t much mass for lactic to take over. Peaty is built like a tank.

Pvdh
Reply to  Dee
4 years ago

And like a Panzer tank at that

ERVINFORTHEWIN
Reply to  Pvdh
4 years ago

A Real Keizer Panzer tank he is …..? Proud is not so far either in terms of serious muscle power .

Dee
Reply to  nuotofan
4 years ago

I agree, he doesn’t really ever glide, even in 200s I’ve seen him swim. I’d be surprised to see him as a regular 2.07 man, let alone 2.04/2.05.

Alas, he doesn’t need a good 200 for legendary status as some suggest – He has done something bigger than dominating multiple distances, he has redefined what we think is possible – The biggest achievement any athlete can achieve.

Tammy Touchpad Error
Reply to  nuotofan
4 years ago

Go watch Rebecca Soni again and tell me that

Pancake Swimmer
4 years ago

Don’t forget about Chupkov’s 200 breast from Budapest. 2nd fastest 200 LCM ever.

Pancake Swimmer
Reply to  Pancake Swimmer
4 years ago

2:06.96

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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