Caeleb Dressel Shatters 100 Fly World Record In 47.78, First Man Sub-48


Caeleb Dressel finished off the ISL semi-finals last week with a record-setting day, and he picked up right where he left off to begin the final.

Dressel smashed the world record in the men’s 100 butterfly in his first event of the match, clocking 47.78 to become the first man under 48 seconds. The previous fastest-ever swim belonged to Chad Le Clos, who went 48.08 at the 2016 Short Course World Championships.

In addition to the world record, Dressel also annihilated the American Record of 48.63 by almost a full second. That previously belonged to Tom Shields, done at the 2015 Duel in the Pool.

Dressel, who swims for the Cali Condors, held a previous best time of 48.71, set at the 2018 SC Worlds, which only ranked him fourth all-time and was the 11th-fastest swim prior to the race.

Split Comparison

Le Clos, 2016 WR Dressel, 2020 WR Dressel, Previous Best
22.59 22.44 23.07
25.49 25.34 25.64
48.08 47.78 48.71

Both Le Clos and Shields were in the race, taking second and third in times of 48.45 and 48.47, respectively. The time for Shields is his fastest ever, well under his old AR, while Le Clos’ swim is his third-fastest ever and his best in four years.

All in all, the race elicited three of the five-fastest swims ever.

All-Time Performances, Men’s 100 Butterfly (SCM)

Rank Swimmer Time Year
1 Caeleb Dressel (USA) 47.78 2020
2 Chad Le Clos (RSA) 48.08 2016
3 Chad Le Clos (RSA) 48.44 2014
4 Chad Le Clos (RSA) 48.45 2020
5 Tom Shields (USA) 48.47 2020
6 Evgeny Korotyshkin (RUS) 48.48 2009
7 Chad Le Clos (RSA) 48.50 2018
8 Chad Le Clos (RSA) 48.56 2014
9 Chad Le Clos (RSA) 48.59 2014
10 Tom Shields (USA) 48.63 2015

In fourth, Dressel’s Cali teammate Marcin Cieslak put up a time of 49.18 to smash his Polish Record of 49.54 set earlier in the season.

This is the third world record for Dressel in short course meters, all done in the ISL, having broken the 50 free mark during last season’s final and taking out the 100 IM record in the semi-finals. He also now owns five SCM American Records after coming into the match with four.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
5 months ago

I wasn’t really expecting this until I saw the splits at the 50

5 months ago

Holy cow. Just an absurd swim. Was only a matter of time. I think this record can approach 46.

Reply to  SWIMGUY12345
5 months ago

“I think this record can approach 46″… who do you think you are?

Reply to  bob
5 months ago

I’m nobody, I just think Dressel can take this to 47 low.

5 months ago

44.5 incoming in the 100 free

And 19.8 in the 50

Swim nerd
Reply to  Horninco
5 months ago

Need ‘em

Reply to  Horninco
5 months ago

I’ll do you one better 19.79-78

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 …

Read More »