2023 Swammy Awards: Asian Male Swimmer Of The Year – Qin Haiyang

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The 2023 Swammy Award for Asian Male Swimmer of the Year is Qin Haiyang of China.

To say 24-year-old Qin had a successful year is an understatement as the Cui Dengrong-trained star acted as a one-man wrecking ball in the breaststroke discipline across competitions both domestically and abroad.

Qin’s reign started at the Chinese National Championships in May. There on his home turf, the ace fired off a new national and Asian continental record of 57.93 in the 100m breaststroke. That performance hacked well over a second off of the previous record and rendered Qin just the 3rd man ever to delve under the 58-second barrier in the event.

At that same competition, Qin also produced a massive outing of 2:07.55 to take the 200m breast. That shaved .05 off the 2:07.60 he produced at the Chinese Spring Championships in March and fell just .20 off his lifetime best of 2:07.35 clocked way back at the 2017 Chinese National Games.

Flash forward to Fukuoka, however, and Qin made history by becoming the first male swimmer ever to complete a sweep of the breaststroke discipline at a World Championships.

Qin turned in a time of 26.29 in the 50m breast final to take gold after having established an Asian Record of 26.34 out of the heats. He also lowered the aforementioned 100m breast standard, topping the World Championships podium in a blistering 57.69 to frog hop Dutchman Arno Kamminga to become the 2nd-best performer in history behind leader Adam Peaty of Great Britain.

The 200m breast is where Qin truly broke through, however, as he punched his first-ever World Record. Qin clocked 2:05.48 to separate himself from the Fukuoka field by nearly a second and become the swiftest man in history.

Qin did anything but rest on his laurels for the remainder of the 2023 racing season, competing at the World University Games, the Asian Games and the World Aquatics World Cup circuit.

At WUGS, Qin completed his sweep once again to reap triple individual gold there in Chengdu. He was a key contributor to China’s gold medal-winning men’s medley relay as well as the mixed medley relay to bring his medal haul to five in all.

The Asian Games also suffered Qin’s destruction, with the man earning yet another trifecta of breaststroke victories. He established Games Records in the 100m breast (57.76) and 200m breast (2:07.03) to further stake his claim on the title as the most dangerous breaststroker in the world.

Sealing the deal, however, was the fact that Qin raced his way to the overall World Cup men’s title after dominant performances in Berlin, Athens and Budapest. Across the series, Qin claimed victory after victory taking the 50m, 100m and 200m distances at each stop to wind up undefeated when all was said and done.

He established four new World Cup Records as well, hitting 26.29 in the 50m and tying his Asian Record of 57.69 in the 100m in Berlin. Qin also clocked a series record of 2:07.45 in the 200m in Berlin before lowering it again to 2:07.32 in Budapest.

All told, Qin ended his year as the #2 performer all-time in the 50m breast, the #2 performer all-time in the 100m breast and the #1 performer all-time in the 200m breast.


  • Pan Zhanle (CHN) – At the Asian Games, China’s 19-year-old Pan Zhanle fired off one of the fastest 100m freestyle times in history, stopping the clock in a massive 46.97 to take the gold. Pan opened in 22.45 to his feet and closed in 24.52 to produce his first-ever outing under the 47-second barrier, shredding his previous personal best of 47.22 to bits to establish a new national and Asian Record. His 46.97 rendered the teen just the 5th man in history ever to break the 47-second threshold, becoming the 5th swiftest performer in history as a result.
  • Hwang Sunwoo (KOR) – South Korea’s Hwang Sunwoo earned bronze in the 200m free in Fukuoka to become the first swimmer from his nation to land on a podium at back-to-back World Championships. Then at the Asian Games, Hwang captured a perfect 6-for-6 podium result for his event program, falling just one medal shy of Park Tae Hwan‘s record of earning the most-ever at a Games. He was a member of Korea’s men’s 4x200m free relay, which was the first Korean squad ever to win Asian Games gold in the event. Finally, Hwang took home MVP honors from the Korean National Sport Festival. Despite suffering from food poisoning early on in the competition, he became the first man to earn the MVP award 3 years in a row.


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Steve Nolan
4 months ago

Every one of those pictures with the crown and the hat looks so, so weird.

Steve Nolan
Reply to  Steve Nolan
4 months ago

Ugh chair, I’m very smart

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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