Anton Chupkov Smashes 200 Breast World Record In 2:06.12


Russian Anton Chupkov set a new world record in the final of the men’s 200 breaststroke in Gwangju, clocking a time of 2:06.12 to take more than half a second off the previous mark of 2:06.67.

That record was first set by Japan’s Ippei Watanabe in 2017, and then it was equalled by Australian Matthew Wilson in last night’s semi-finals.

The Russian also lowers his European and National Record that previously stood at 2:06.80 from last year.

In typical Chupkov fashion, the 22-year-old came from behind. He sat back in eighth at both the 50 and 100m turns, moved up to fifth at the 150, and then charged home in 31.89 to win it. Only one other swimmer in the field came back sub-33.


The way Watanabe and Wilson swam their world records were very similar, while Chupkov has a completely different strategy.

Watanabe, 2017 Wilson, 2019 Chupkov, 2019
28.95 28.80 29.73
1:01.33 (32.38) 1:00.77 (31.97) 1:02.22 (32.49)
1:34.02 (32.69) 1:33.68 (32.91) 1:34.23 (32.01)
2:06.67 (32.65) 2:06.67 (32.99) 2:06.12 (31.89)

After doing so in the semis, Chupkov has now broken 2:07 four times.

2017 Worlds 2018 Euros 2019 Worlds SF 2019 Worlds Final
29.55 29.76 29.62 29.73
1:02.31 (32.66) 1:02.38 (32.62) 1:02.82 (33.20) 1:02.22 (32.49)
1:34.97 (32.66) 1:34.91 (32.53) 1:34.67 (31.85) 1:34.23 (32.01)
2:06.96 (31.99) 2:06.80 (31.89) 2:06.83 (32.16) 2:06.12 (31.89)

Coming into the competition there had only been three swims sub-2:07 in history, and now there are eight after both Wilson and Watanabe did so again in the final.

The Australian won silver in 2:06.68, and Watanabe took bronze in 2:06.73.


  1. Anton Chupkov (RUS), 2:06.12 – 2019
  2. Ippei Watanabe (JPN) / Matthew Wilson (AUS), 2:06.67 – 2017/2019
  3. Matthew Wilson (AUS), 2:06.68 – 2019
  4. Ippei Watanabe (JPN), 2:06.73 – 2019
  5. Anton Chupkov (RUS), 2:06.80 – 2018
  6. Anton Chupkov (RUS), 2:06.83 – 2019
  7. Anton Chupkov (RUS), 2:06.96 – 2017

Since winning bronze in 2016, Chupkov has gone undefeated in the 200 breast in major international finals, sweeping both World titles in addition to winning the 2018 European Championship gold medal.

He is just the third man in history to go back-to-back in the event, joining David Wilkie (1973-1975) and Daniel Gyurta (2009-2013) who won three in a row.

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1 year ago

Splits: 1.02.22, 1.03.90
Stroke count: 10,12,15,22


Reply to  Swimmer
1 year ago

Really flies in the face of the traditional logic of “consistent stroke count and rate”, with all the buzz around MIchael Phelps working to bring his count down over the years. I wonder if any of the other 200s could be swum this way as successfully, or if this is unique to breaststroke because of how physically demanding each cycle is.

1 year ago

Well, for years to come, we will see everyone under WR pace at the 100

College swimmer
Reply to  Ytho
1 year ago

hahaha rowdy will get very excited until that line flies by everyone on the last 50 lol

Reply to  Ytho
1 year ago

Haha, guys that go out 1:02 and die off for like 2:13 will still be under WR pace.

It’ll be like the old Ye Shiwen 400IM WR freestyle split.

1 year ago

Such a pleasure to see him swimming.

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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