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.
Belarusian teenager Anastasiya Shkurdai came out of the pandemic swinging – the 17-year-old broke a national record in the 100 fly this week.
Swimming at the 2020 Belarus Open, Shkurdai cut almost a half-second from her personal best, going 56.95 to lower her own national record. Shkurdai had previously been 57.39 at the 2019 World Junior Championships in 2019 to set that mark. Shkurdai won World Juniors silver in the 50 and 100 fly last summer.
And the time itself holds up extremely well. Across the shortened 2019-2020 season, Shkurdai’s 56.95 would rank #3 worldwide behind only Emma McKeon and Sarah Sjostrom. Even in the entire 2018-2019 season – uninterrupted by pandemic, only three women in the world broke 57 seconds in the 100 fly: Maggie MacNeil, Sjostrom and McKeon.
At 17, Shkurdai is already faster than any American 17-18-year-old has ever been. The 17-18 National Age Group record for USA Swimming is a 57.35 from Regan Smith. And only two American 17-18s have ever been under 58, much less 57.
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