Adam Peaty Breaks His First-Ever World Record in Short Course Meters


The 2nd World Record of the 2020 International Swimming League season has been broken, as Adam Peaty swam a 55.49 in the men’s 100 breaststroke on Sunday morning in Budapest.

That put him under the 55.61 done by South African Cameron van der Burgh at the 2009 World Cup meet in Berlin, Germany. That meet in Berlin was part of the final days of the polyurethane suit era where at least 10 World Records were broken.

Peaty was one of at least 3 swimmers who had a shot at this World Record coming into the meet. Prior to Sunday, the league leaders were Turkish swimmer Emre Sacki, who will race for Iron in semi-final 2 starting later in the day; and Energy’s Ilya Shymanovich, who finished 2nd to Peaty in semi-final 1 with a 55.69 that was also just short of the World Record.

Peaty’s season best was just 56.38 coming into the meet.

The best long course sprint breaststroker in history by a wide margin, this swim is Peaty’s first World Record in short course meters. That’s not a bad effort for a swimmer who, in 2018, said that “short course is pretty much dead to me,” adding that he “(didn’t) really care” about swimming in the 25 meter pool.

It is well-known that Peaty has been better in the long course pool than the short course pool, because he’s so dominant over the water and relatively-weak under it. That matters because in short course swimming, there is more underwater racing than in long course swimming.

But this new World Record for Peaty shows a different evolution in his swimming, and gives some hope that there’s still more to give in his long course 100 breast after becoming the first man under 57 seconds with a 56.88 at last summer’s World Championships.

Peaty’s previous best in short course was a 55.92 done at last year’s ISL finale in Las Vegas. That was also the former British Record.

Comparative Splits:

Cameron van der Burgh Adam Peaty
Previous WR New WR
2nd Place, Semifinal #1
50m 25.98 26.04 26.05
100m 29.63 29.45 29.64
total time 55.61 55.49 55.69

On Saturday, swimming on the 400 medley relay, Peaty split 54.84, which is the fastest relay split in history and was indicative that he might have a breakthrough coming in this flat start event as well.

Van der Burgh, who was also accomplished in a long course pool, retired after the 2018 World Short Course Championships, where he won gold in both the 50 and 100 breaststrokes.

There are no announced World Record bonuses in the ISL in terms of either points or money, though Peaty, by nature of his speed, was able to Jackpot 3 swimmers for a big 15-point swim as London and Energy Standard battle to the wire for the win in semi-final #1 – though the primary goal is to simply qualify for the final.

This is the 5th World Record to be broken in an ISL meet all-time:

  • Minna Atherton, Australia/London Roar, 100 back – 54.89 (ISL Season 1 – Budapest)
  • Caeleb Dressel, Cali Condors/USA, 50 free – 20.24 (ISL Season 1 – Las Vegas Finale)
  • Daiya Seto, Energy Standard/Japan, 400 IM – 3:54.81 (ISL Season 1 – Las Vegas Finale)
  • Kira Toussaint, London Roar/Netherlands, 50 Back – 25.60 (ISL Season 2 – Semifinal #1)



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15 days ago

Christmas came early, will Sakci spoil us even more though?

Reply to  Khachaturian
15 days ago

I think Sakci will end up with both the 50 and 100 by the end of the season

Reply to  Bub
15 days ago

Unfortunately for him his team is not looking like they are going to advance to the final.

Will 37
15 days ago

Dominance spreading

15 days ago

“short course is pretty much dead to me,” “I don’t really care.” -SCM world record holder Adam Peaty

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

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