Dolfin Swim of the Week: Adam Peaty’s 55.49 WR in 100 Breast

Disclaimer: Dolfin Swim of the Week is not meant to be a conclusive selection of the best overall swim of the week, but rather one Featured Swim to be explored in deeper detail. The  Dolfin Swim is an opportunity to take a closer look at the context of one of the many fast swims this week, perhaps a swim that slipped through the cracks as others grabbed the headlines, or a race we didn’t get to examine as closely in the flood of weekly meets.

Adam Peaty has long been the king of long course sprint breaststroke.

But despite a run of 8 long course World Championships gold medal, 1 Olympic gold and a dozen long course European Championships golds between 2014 and 2019, the British breaststroker hasn’t quite found the same level of dominance in the short course format.

The world record-holder (by a longshot) in both the 50 and 100 breaststroke in long course meters, Peaty still hasn’t won a Short Course World title, and before last week, didn’t hold any short course world records.

That all changed in the ISL’s semifinal #1, where Peaty finally showed a glimpse of extending his historic long course dominance to the short course meters format.

After sitting out week 5 of the regular season to rest, Peaty exploded for a world record 55.49 in the 100 short course meter breaststroke. That’s the fastest swim in history by 0.12 seconds, and served as a drop of nearly a half-second for Peaty. That’s a sizable drop for a swimmer of Peaty’s level.

The British star has always excelled at the surface of the water, with some of the fastest breaststroke tempo we’ve ever seen. His turns and underwaters, while great, haven’t been the reason he’s been so unbeatable. But his successes in the short course pool this year suggest he’s even improving in those details, which only adds to his growing profile as one of the world’s best overall swimmers.


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9 months ago

Split Comparison:
Van Der Burgh Berlin 2009* 25.98 / 55.61 (29.63)
Peaty Budapest 2020 26.04 / 55.49 (29.45)
Shymanovich Budapest 2020 26.05 / 55.69 (29.64)
* – swum in now banned 100% polyurethane full body suit.

What’s still noticeable is despite Peaty’s improvement in his pullouts, starts, and turns, he still struggles in the small pool. Despite swimming significantly faster than Shymanovich over the water, Peaty lost ground on every single wall, trailing the entire race (he did narrowly touch ahead at the 50, but this was nullified by a superior turn by Shymanovich) and only over taking him in the final 15 meters.

It is a testament to how dominant he is over… Read more »

Reply to  IM FAN
9 months ago

It’s not that Peaty was bad at turning/starting I think it’s Peatys bodyshape. Shimanovich has super slim chest. Peaty has bulky chest(even if he did not have that much muscle) and bodyshape affects gliding speed a LOT.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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