Zac Stubblety-Cook

View Current photo via Courtesy of Jack Spitser

Zac Stubblety-Cook is the 2021 Olympic champion in the 200 Breast. He also broke the world record in the 200 breast on May 19, 2022 at the Australian Championships, becoming the first man in history under the 2:06 barrier.

International Career

2017 World Jr Championships

In Indianapolis, Zac earned his first international hardware, touching for 3rd in the 200 breast (2:10.90), just .13 behind the gold medal time. He also helped Australia to a bronze in the 400 medley relay, splitting 1:00.43 on the breaststroke leg.

2018 Pan Pacific Championships

At his first senior international meet, Stubblety-cook earned silver, touching at 2:07.89 and once again incredibly close to gold, just .14 behind Japan’s Ippei Watanabe. He also placed 9th in the 100 breast, winning the B heat in 1:00.20.

2019 World Championships

At his first world championships, Stubblety-Cook continued to improve, making it to the final of the men’s 200 breast and registering a best time in the final (2:07.36). This garnered him a 4th place finish, with the top 3 all going sub-2:07 and the winner, Russia’s Anton Chupkov, breaking the world record in 2:06.12.

2020 Olympic Games

At his first Olympic Games, Stubblety-Cook made his mark. In the final of the 200 breast, he executed a masterful race plan, surging past the competition in the last 25 meters and touching the wall first 2:06.38, an Olympic record as well as marking the only man in the heat to be sub-2:07.

Stubblety-Cook also helped team Australia to a bronze in the mixed 4×100 medley relay, splitting 58.82 on the breaststroke leg in the final.

First World Record & First Man Under 2:06

Coming into the Tokyo 2020 Olympics as something of a breakout star, Stubbley-Cook led the Olympic field in prelims, semifinals, and finals, ultimately breaking the Olympic Record en route to Gold in finals. At the 2022 Australian Swimming Championships, Stubblety-Cook reinforced himself as the top 200 breaststroker in the world, breaking the World Record in stunning fashion.

The 23-year-old put together an incredible race, getting out to a 29.43 on the first 50, then descending his splits on the final 3 50s. After a great turn into the final 50 of the race, Stubblety-Cook broke out with a fast tempo stroke to bring him home, splitting a sizzling 31.63 on the final 50 (the fastest split in the field by 2.5 seconds), putting him into the finish in a final time of 2:05.95.

With the swim, Stubblety-Cook not only broke the Australian Record, All-Comers Record, Commonwealth Record, and World Record, but he also became the first man in history to break 2:06 in the event. Swimmers had gone 2:06 16 times in swimming history prior to this swim.

Here is a split comparison between Stubblety-Cook’s swim, his previous Australian Record of 2:06.28, his Olympic Record swim of 2:06.38, and the previous World Record of 2:06.12, which was held by Russia’s Anton Chupkov:

1st 50 29.43 29.40 29.35 29.73
2nd 50 32.46 (1:01.89) 32.33 (1:01.73) 32.37 (1:01.72) 32.49 (1:02.22)
3rd 50 32.43 (1:34.32) 32.51 (1:34.24) 32.45 (1:34.17) 32.01 (1:34.23)
4th 50 31.63 32.04 32.21 31.89
FINAL TIME 2:05.95 2:06.28 2:06.38 2:06.12

2022 World Championships

Stubblety-Cook started his meet in the 100 breast, moving through to the final and finishing 7th overall (59.65). He then swam on Australia’s 400 mixed medley relay, where he helped the Aussies to a silver medal. In his pet event, the 200 Breast, Stubblety-Cook moved through easily to finals and did what he did best on day 6, passing the field on the last 50 to win his first world title in 2:07.07.

2023 World Aquatics Championships (Fukuoka, Japan)

Stubblety-Cook opened his meet with the 100 breast where he sneaked into the final in 16th with a  1:00.22. He was better in the semis with a 59.69 but missed the final. Stubblety-Cook took on the 100 breast again in the mixed 400 medley relay. He split a 58.84 and Australia took silver. 

Stubblety-Cook moved on to his bread and butter event, the 200 breast. In prelims, he led the field with a pedestrian 2:08.98. He turned up the heat in semis with a 2:07.27 to remain the top seed. In the finals, It was Qin Haiyang, the 50 and 100 breast champion, who took out the race while Stubblety-Cook stuck to his sit-and-wait strategy. Stubblety-Cook moved into 3rd at the 150 but was a second back for Qin and could not make up enough ground on the final 50. Qin won, destroying Stubblety-Cook’s world record of 2:05.95 with a 2:05.48 while Stubblety-Cook finished 2nd in a solid 2:06.40. 59.25 wrapped his meet with a 59.25 breast split as the Aussie men took bronzes in the 400 medley relay.

International Medals

Place Event Year Meet
Gold 200 Breast 2020 Olympic Games
Bronze 400 Mixed Medley Relay 2020 Olympic Games
Gold 200 Breast 2022 World Championships
Silver 400 Mixed Medley Relay 2022 World Championships
Silver 400 Breast 2023 World Championships
Silver 200 Mixed Medley Relay 2023 World Championships
Bronze 400 Medley Relay 2023 World Championships
Silver 200 Breast 2018 Pan Pacific Championships
Bronze 200 Breast 2017 World Junior Championships
Bronze 400 Medley Relay 2017 World Junior Championships

Best Times

Course Event Time Date Meet
lcm 200 Breast 2:05.95 05/19/22 2022 Australian Championships
Oakland Parks, Australia
Zac Stubblety-Cook Arno Kamminga Matti Mattson (photo: Jack Spitser) Izaac Stubblety-Cook (photo: Jack Spitser) Izaac Stubblety-Cook (photo: Jack Spitser) Zac Stubblety-Cook (photo: Mike Lewis) Zac Stubblety-Cook (courtesy of Fike Swim) Zac Stubblety-Cook (photo: Jack Spitser)