German Philip Heintz Joins Exclusive Club of Sub-1:56 200IM Swimmers

Philip Heintz set a new German record in the 200m IM (LC) in 1:55,76 on Thursday at the German National Championships.  He now is one of the few swimmers who have been able to clock a time under 1:56.

To be precise, only Ryan Lochte, Michael Phelps, Kosuke Hagino, Laszlo Cseh, Thiago Pereira and Eric Shanteau have yet been able to swim times between 1:54 and 1:56.

Ryan Lochte is the current world record holder in 1:54,oo, he established this time at the 2011 World Championships in Shanghai and it was the first world record in the post-supersuit era. In the same race in the final in Shanghai, Michael Phelps set his personal best time in 1:54,16 and won the 200m IM four times in a row at Olympic Games.

Lochte and Phelps share the 15 top performances in this event and all of the sub 1:55 times.

Japan’s Kosuke Hagino (1:55,07), Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh (1:55,18), USA’s Eric Shanteau (1:55,36)  and Brazil’s Thiago Pereira (1.55,55) are the only swimmers worldwide who have been faster than Philip Heintz. Cseh is the only European swimmer among them, logically Heintz is the second fastest in history in Europe.

Cseh, Shanteau and Pereira reached their best times at the 2009 World Championships in Rome, in a high tech swimsuit. That means that Philip Heintz is the 4th fastest performer in the 200m IM in a textile suit.

His split times at his race:
00:25,38 00:55,42 01:28,20 01:55,76
(25,38, 30,04, 32,78, 27,56)

Just as a comparison, Lochte’s world record splits:
24.89, 53.48, 1:26.51 , 1:54.00
(24,89, 28,59, 33,03, 27,49)

Heintz says that backstroke is his weakest stroke.

Video showing his German record-breaking race:


YouTube, courtesy of JDizzlebro




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Hopefully Chase gives this guy a race.


When did Periera and Cseh break 1:55? Those suits drop like 2 seconds from a legit time.


Swimmer? Both Cseh and Pereira were 1:56 low on Textile too


I know, but every time I hear those swims mentioned I just stomp around, wondering why FINA is so dumb.

bobo gigi

Again, great time but I wonder if Heintz doesn’t swim too fast too early. It’s weird to hold national championships in mid-June. Same remark for French nationals in late May. Either it’s in late March/early April and swimmers have the time to start another big training period or it’s in early July like in USA and the best swimmers can qualify not fully tapered while the others try to hold their taper until worlds or olympic games. And in USA coaches and swimmers are very good at the double taper.
Back to the 200 IM, Chase Kalisz’ weakest stroke is also backstroke. Both have a big back-half. It could be interesting. But I don’t forget Hagino and Shun.

JP input is too short

Going to be an interesting race between those four – as you say, Kalisz and Heintz swim fairly similar races, while Hagino and Shun are totally different. Hagino obviously a front half specialist, Shun with that wicked last 50.


Hagino is more of a 2nd and 4th leg specialist.

JP input is too short

His best 200 IM time split 24.4/28.4/34.0/28.1 – though I suppose he is typically a bit more controlled in the first 50.


Having,s IM speed comes mostly in the second and fourth legs. He,s not really a front half specialist but among all active medley swimmers he had the best backstroke.

Wang shun has a pretty wicked last leg on freestyle especially in the 200IM. He,s much weaker in the 400IM.

JP input is too short

Again, his best 200 IM time featured an opening 50 almost half a second faster than the world record’s.

Yes, he’s a complete IMer, but at his best, his opening two strokes are his strongest.


Last year the german championships were in early May and most german swimmers still didnt perform at their best at the olympics. The US trials last year were about a month before the olympics and the US did pretty good there, this year the german trials took place almost exactly one month before the world championships, so i dont get your reasoning here. Either it was bad last year for american swimmers also or it is also good for german swimmers this year. The time between national championships is exactly the same, so i dont see why it was good last year for american swimmers last year, but bad for german swimmers this year. There are also swimmers who can… Read more »

JP input is too short

I think the reason Kalisz is talked about as a medal threat is because he swam a 1:57.2 200 IM with a 4:09 400 IM, when his best 400 IM is 4:06. So he should have some leeway. Is he the favorite? No. Is he in the conversation? Yes.

Though I wouldn’t be completely surprised if Prenot ended up better in the 200 IM.


Ok get it, although this doesnt have to be necessarily true. Often swimmers improve their speed but lose endurance or the other way round. In the mens 50/100 free this nearly always seems to be the case.

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