Former and Almost-World Record Holders SCM: The 2nd-Fastest Performers All-Time

Last month we took a look at the second-fastest performers all-time in the 17 individual events contested by both men and women in long course meters. Today, we shift our focus to the 25-meter pool and remember the once untouchable records that eventually gave way to the champions of today, as well as the champions of today that almost toppled the records that have stood for years.

Unlike the previous list, 28-time Olympic medalist Michael Phelps makes zero entries on the list of second-fastest performers all-time in SCM. In fact, Phelps holds no World or American Records in any of the 18 individual SCM events, though the small pool was never Phelps’ focus.

Because American swim seasons alternate between short course yards in the fall and winter and long course meters in the spring and summer there is little opportunity for most US-based swimmers to race in the 25-meter pool, resulting in few Americans holding World Records or even second-fastest accolades in the 25-meter pool.

Two World Records fell in 2019 during the inaugural season of the International Swimming League–first, Australia’s Minna Atherton took down Hungarian Katinka Hosszu‘s 100 backstroke World Record and became the first woman in history to swim under 55-seconds in the 100 SCM backstroke. Then, in the league final, Japan’s Daiya Seto broke American Ryan Lochte‘s World Record in the 400 IM. American Katie Ledecky who represented the DC Trident in season one of the ISL fell just short of the World Record in the 400 meter freestyle in the first-ever ISL meet, registering a time of 3:54.06, settling for the third-fastest performance all-time and leaving her just off today’s list.

With one World Record and one second-fastest performance all-time, Atherton and Lochte make just one appearance each on this list. Hosszu is the second-fastest-ever in two events in the 25-meter pool, as is China’ Wang Jianjiahe. Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom, meanwhile, holds three of the second-fastest performances ever in SCM, the most of any swimmer, male or female. Though Sjostrom is the second-fastest woman ever in the 100 meter IM Katinka Hosszu holds the top-13 performances all-time.

Only two men, Russian Kliment Kolesnikov and France’s Yannick Agnel, appear more than once on the second-fastest all-time list. Kolesnikov is the former World Record holder in the 100 SCM backstroke and the second-fastest performer ever in the 100 IM, just behind countryman Vladimir Morozov who is also the second-fastest ever in the 100 SCM freestyle. Morozov also happens to hold the top-10 fastest times in the 100 IM, making Kolesnikov’s top performance the 11th-fastest ever despite him being the second-fastest man ever in the event. Agnel, meanwhile, nearly broke the World Record in the 200 freestyle in 2012 but fell just short. In the same competition, Agnel became the second-fastest ever in the 800 freestyle, though fell nearly six seconds short of Grant Hackett’s 2010 World Record.

Lithuanian Ruta Meilutyte (2013) and Jamaican Alia Atkinson (2014) share the World Record in the women’s 100 breaststroke at 1:02.36 which makes Russia’s Yulia Efimova the third-fastest all-time in the race, though Efimova’s best time is tied for the 14th-fastest all-time with Atkinson, who along with Meilutyte, hold the top-13 fastest performances. In terms of who is the second-fastest all-time in the women’s 100 SCM breaststroke, because the World Record is shared by two athletes Efimova is for all intents and purposes the second-fastest all-time in the race.

The Second-Fastest Performers All-Time: Short Course Meters

Year Swimmer Time SCM Time Swimmer Year
2017 Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) 23.00 50 Freestyle 20.26 Florent Manaudou (FRA) 2014
2017 Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) 50.58 100 Freestyle 44.95 Vladimir Morozov (RUS) 2018
2009 Federica Pellegrini (ITA) 1:51.17 200 Freestyle 1:39.70 Yannick Agnel (FRA) 2012
2018 Wang Jianjiahe (CHN) 3:53.97 400 Freestyle 3:32.77 Paul Biedermann (GER) 2009
2018 Wang Jianjiahe (CHN) 7:59.44 800 Freestyle 7:29.17 Yannick Agnel (FRA) 2012
2014 Lauren Boyle (NZL) 15:22.68 1500 Freestyle 14:09.14 Mykhailo Romanchuk (UKR) 2018
2009 Sanja Jovanovic (CRO) 25.70 50 Backstroke 22.55 Guilherme Guido (BRA) 2019
2014 Katinka Hosszu (HUN) 55.03 100 Backstroke 48.90 Kliment Kolesnikov (RUS) 2017
2019 Minna Atherton (AUS) 1:59.25 200 Backstroke 1:46.11 Arkady Vyatchanin (RUS) 2009
2009 Jessica Hardy (USA) 28.80 50 Breaststroke 25.45 Roland Schoeman (RSA) 2009
2016 Yulia Efimova (RUS) 1:02.91 100 Breaststroke 55.89 Ilya Shymanovich (BLR) 2019
2013 Rikke Pedersen (DEN) 2:15.21 200 Breaststroke 2:00.44 Marco Koch (GER) 2016
2018 Ranomi Kromowidjojo (NED) 24.47 50 Butterfly 21.80 Steffen Deibler (GER) 2009
2018 Kelsi Dahlia (USA) 54.84 100 Butterfly 48.48 Evgeny Korotyshkin (RUS) 2009
2009 Liu Zige (CHN) 2:00.78 200 Butterfly 1:48.32 Chad le Clos (RSA) 2018
2017 Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) 57.10 100 IM 50.63 Kliment Kolesnikov (RUS) 2018
2015 Mayu Terayama (JPN) 2:02.93 200 IM 1:50.47 Kosuke Hagino (JPN) 2014
2015 Katinka Hosszu (HUN) 4:19.46 400 IM 3:55.50 Ryan Lochte (USA) 2010


In This Story

Leave a Reply

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

Dressel broke the 50 free WR during the ISL last season as well I believe

11 months ago

CVDB went 25.41 in Hanghzou in 2018. Nvm it’s second performer.

Last edited 11 months ago by Lopez
11 months ago

I think Lauren Boyle is from NZL, not GBR.

tea rex
11 months ago

Love seeing Roland Schoeman on there for breaststroke. Funny that’s his highest all-time ranking now. One of the first great multi-stroke sprinters.

11 months ago

Crazy to see Ledecky’s LC world record in the 1500 (15:20.4) being faster than the 2nd fastest ever in SC. Not even that far off the world record in SC (15:18.0)… for having 30 fewer walls…

About Reid Carlson

Reid Carlson

Reid Carlson originally hails from Clay Center, Kansas, where he began swimming at age six.  At age 14 he began swimming club year-round and later with his high school team, making state all four years.  He was fortunate enough to draw the attention of Kalamazoo College where he went on to …

Read More »