Abbie Wood Breaks 5-Year-Old British Record in Women’s 200 IM


Abbie Wood, one of many swimmers having a breakout in the 2020 International Swimming League season, has cracked the British Record in the women’s 200 IM. Her 2:04.77 on Sunday swimming for the New York Breakers broke the old record of 2:05.13 done by Siobhan-Marie O’Connor in 2015.

That old record-setting swim by O’Connor was done when she was at the peak of her career. While she was only 19 at the time, that year she took silver at the World Championships in the 200 IM in long course.

Now Wood, who turned 21 earlier this year, has snatched away that record. She’s now the 3rd-fastest European ever in the event, and if she dropped 2 more tenths that would land her among the top 9 performers in history.

Her previous best time was a 2:05.36 done at last week’s meet; her best time coming into the season was 2:07.13.

Splits Comparison

Wood Previous PB Wood New British Record
O’Connor Old British Record
Back 27.24 27.01 26.97
Breast 31.44 30.96 31.77
Fly 36.25 36.11 36.22
Free 30.43 30.69 30.17
Final Time 2:05.36 2:04.77 2:05.13

Improvements in the breaststroke leg of this race have really been the difference-maker for Wood as she’s risen to the elite international ranks. She’s always been a very good butterflier, and always had the endurance to finish the race well on freestyle, but her breaststroke improvements have lifted her to the next level. This is unexpected to some degree, because breaststroke is her best event individually, but when her long course best went from 2:12 to 2:11, it was actually her breaststroke that saw the biggest drop.

Wood picked up her first ISL win last week in the 400 IM after placing 2nd in 4 separate races through her team’s first two meets. The British Record in the 400 IM is 4:23.14, and Wood has a best time in that event of 4:28.19.

In long course, Wood’s best 200 IM of 2:11.65 was done last April at Great Britain’s World Championship Trials, though that didn’t meet the country’s lofty standards for qualification for the team.

She broke out on fire early this season, going 2:11.77 in February and 2:11.78 at separate long course meets before the coronavirus pandemic wound up shutting down swimming across the country.

Those early-season swims, combined with her ISL performances, should give the British coaches the motivation to select Wood for the Tokyo Olympic Team, swimming alongside O’Connor, who placed 7th at last year’s World Championships.

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11 months ago

Abbie has also put in several 52+ 100m free relay splits over the course of this competition. You’d have to believe that she has even more to shave off on the freestyle part of the 200IM

Reply to  Luigi
11 months ago

especially considering she went only a few tenths slower on the backstroke leg!

11 months ago

the first column showing her times has the relay order of events

11 months ago

Abbie Wood has never been a good backstroker, it was always her worst stroke and breast possibly her best. She has now made clear improvements on her back though and really doesn’t appear to have a weak stroke at all.

11 months ago

going to be difficult if British Swimming doesn’t have Olympic trials because Abbie Wood came third at last years Trials behind Alica Wilson. If picked on ISL performance not really fair on her as she has not been able to swim yet and who knows what would happen on the day. But still a great performance by Abbie

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of 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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