Gretchen Walsh Swims 55.18 100 Butterfly, Breaks World Record


After breaking 56 seconds for the first time Saturday morning, Gretchen Walsh proceeded to break the world record in the 100 butterfly at night.

In the semi-finals of the women’s 100 butterfly at the 2024 U.S. Olympic trials, Walsh threw down a time of 55.18, taking down Swedish swimmer Sarah Sjostrom‘s previous world record time of 55.48 from the 2016 Rio Olympics. She also dropped 0.76 seconds from her prelims time of 55.94, which previously made her the sixth-fastest performer of all-time. Headed into this meet, Walsh’s best time was a 56.18 from the San Antonio Pro Swim Series in April 2024.

All-Time Top Performers, Women’s 100-Meter Butterfly:

  1. Gretchen Walsh, United States — 55.18 (2024)
  2. Sarah Sjostrom, Sweden — 55.48 (2016)
  3. Maggie MacNeil, Canada — 55.59 (2021)
  4. Zhang Yufei, China — 55.62 (2020)
  5. Torri Huske, United States — 55.64 (2022)

Walsh came home at about the same speed that she did Saturday morning, but she was a whole 0.77 seconds faster going out. Both her first and second 50s were faster than they were when she set her personal best prior to trials.

Split Comparison:

Gretchen Walsh, 2024 U.S. Olympic Trials Semi-Finals Gretchen Walsh, 2024 U.S. Olympic Trials Prelims Gretchen Walsh, 2024 San Antonio Pro Swim Series
50m 25.45 26.22 25.84
100m 29.73 29.72 30.30
Final 55.18 55.94 56.14

At the 2023 World Championships, Walsh finished eighth in the finals of the 100 fly. However, if she ends up qualifying for the event on Sunday night, she will vault into the position of gold medal favorite as the world record holder.

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1 month ago

The sportsmanship from Curzan and Smith at the end was really beautiful, too. They seemed genuinely really happy for Walsh.

1 month ago

I think she might break the 50m butterfly record too if she dropped 1 sec in the 100, such a shame it’s not on the schedule

Pea brain
Reply to  Gretchen
1 month ago

Definitely not the world record, but I would love to see something like a 24.8 from her. She could do it during prelims and still qualify for semis? She obviously won’t tho

1 month ago

Some interesting news about the Aussie team (didn’t know where else to post this given we’ve now all flocked here).

They are flying out on Wednesday (very quick). Staging camp and all costs are more than $1M. They will be bringing a private chef as last time athletes lost weight at Comm Games from bad meals.

Comparing this to Canada who will fly out on Jul 12 which screams low budget. Hoping McIntosh won’t be too affected in her 400 FR because of this.

Beginner Swimmer at 25
Reply to  TomDeanBoxall
1 month ago

Let McIntosh hitch hike with the Aussie team 😅

1 month ago

I Can’t wait to see Walsh destroy Chinese FRAUDS Zhang Yufei lol.

1 month ago

Massive respect to Sarah Sjostrom saying on Instagram that to anyone who says she can get the WR back, her reply is “that ain’t gonna happen.” ❤️

Reply to  Chlorinetherapy
1 month ago

Also called Cate her favourite swimmer of all time. Called Gretchen’s swim unreal, but also happy and proud that she’s an 8 year former WR holder in the event.

Reply to  TomDeanBoxall
1 month ago

Class act! Can someone post a link to her comments; can’t find them. Especially moved that she called Cate her all time fave swimmer.

1 month ago

First, Brontë starts choking up when talking about Cate missing the 100 free; then Cate misses the team at the end of her career and every woman in the pool goes to show her huge love and respect; now Gretchen blasts a world record in semis, marking her global arrival, and is in shock.

Somebody keeps cutting onions up in here! 😢

1 month ago

I would love to see a fully attended short course worlds with her and Marchand at the end of the year.

Reply to  Swimmer
1 month ago

same but sadly its post olympics so many will take a (well deserved) longer break from swimming

Reply to  Swimmer
1 month ago

I hope she manages a proper SCM meet at some point. She can currently break the 50/100 WRs in three strokes and probably the 100 IM. Ultimate bathtub.

1 month ago

Of all the ironies, it was Torri Huske on World Record watch leading up to the 2024 USA Swimming Olympic Team Trials.

About Yanyan Li

Yanyan Li

Although Yanyan wasn't the greatest competitive swimmer, she learned more about the sport of swimming by being her high school swim team's manager for four years. She eventually ventured into the realm of writing and joined SwimSwam in January 2022, where she hopes to contribute to and learn more about …

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