SA Recap: Gomes & Lima Become 3rd, 4th-Fastest Swimmers All-Time 50Br


Sprints have always been a particular Brazilian specialty, and, though the team went medal-less at their home Olympics one year ago, the addition of the 50 strokes to the world championships program gives the team an edge that they don’t have in Olympic years.

Case-in-point, yesterday, Nicolas Santos became the oldest world championships medalist in history with 50 fly silver. The Brazilians further proved their sprint prowess with Sunday’s silver medal in the 4×100 free relay. We can also expect to see big things to come for the sprint Brazilians this week from defending FINA short course world champion Etiene Medeiros in the 50 back and the Cesar Cielo/Bruno Fratus pair in the 50 free later this week.

Though there were no 50 finals today, the Brazilians still made their mark on the sprint landscape as Joao Gomes Jr. swam 26.67 in the 50 breast heats to become the third-fastest swimmer in history. His time was a South American record, taking down his previous mark of 26.83.

Then tonight, Felipe Lima followed up Gomes’s prelims swim with a personal best of his own in semis, a 26.68 to become the fourth-fastest swimmer in history.

Top men’s 50 breaststroke performers in history (note that all of these swims were today): 

  1. Adam Peaty (GBR) (7/25/17, semifinals): 25.95 World record
  2. Cameron van der Burgh (RSA) (7/25/17, heats): 26.54 African record
  3. Joao Gomes (BRA)  (7/25/17, heats): 26.67 South American record
  4. Felipe Lima (BRA) (7/25/17, semifinals): 26.68

Both of these peak performances from the Brazilian athletes may have gotten a little bit lost in context (and absolutely for good reason, as Adam Peaty’s swim today was nothing short of incredible). However, Gomes and Lima’s performances are an example that prove the larger point that we are living in an absolute golden age of the sport, not just in terms of our world-record-setting Peatys and Ledeckys (and Kings and Masses), but also further down the line in even some undervalued events.

Today in just the heats and semifinals of the men’s 50 breaststroke, we saw the four fastest swimmers in history put up their best times. (10th-fastest swimmer Kirill Prigoda also got in on the action with a Russian record 26.85). Looking beyond the Peatys, it’s clear to see that the state of our sport is strong, not just at the top of the medal stand, but down to our Gomeses and Limas.


1 Brazil 0 2 0 2
Total 0 2 0 2


  • South American/Brazilian record – Joao Gomes Jr. – M 50 breast – 26.67
  • Paraguayan record – Renato Prono – M 50 breast – 27.79
  • Uruguayan record – Martin Melconian – M 50 breast – 28.10
  • Aruban record – Jordy Groters – M 50 breast – 28.40
  • Salvadorian record – Marcelo Acosta – M 800 free – 7:55.70

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About Hannah Hecht

Hannah Hecht

Hannah Hecht grew up in Kansas and spent most of her childhood trying to convince coaches to let her swim backstroke in freestyle sets. She took her passion to Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa and swam at NAIA Nationals all four years. After graduating in 2015, she moved to …

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