Lani Pallister Crushes World Cup Record in 800 Free (8:16.82) By More Than Five Seconds


After losing the 400-meter freestyle crown by less than a second to Erika Fairweather on Friday, Lani Pallister earned redemption at the World Cup series stop in Berlin on Sunday with an 800 free victory in 8:16.82 — crushing the previous World Cup record of 8:22.24 (set by fellow Australian Kiah Melverton in 2019) by more than five seconds.

Pallister beat Fairweather by more than four seconds and established a new lifetime best in the process, shaving almost a full second off her previous-best 8:17.77 from last year. The 21-year-old Pallister moved up from No. 19 to No. 16 on the all-time performer’s list with her new personal best. Fairweather also finished under Melverton’s old World Cup record en route to the silver medal in 8:21.23.

On Friday, Pallister earned a runner-up finish in the 400 free (4:02.07) behind Fairweather (4:01.09). Both swimmers reached the wall under Lauren Boyle‘s previous World Cup record of 4:04.26 from 2015.

It has been a promising run for Pallister this weekend in Berlin as both of her swims were significantly faster than she was at the World Championships in July, when she placed 6th in the 400 free (4:05.17) and 7th in the 800 free (8:21.33). Her 800 free time from Sunday would have placed her 5th at Worlds.


  • World Record: 8:04.79 — Katie Ledecky, United States (2016)
  • World Cup Record: 8:22.24 — Kiah Melverton, Australia (2019)
  • World Junior Record: 8:11.00 — Katie Ledecky, United States (2014)


Katie Grimes made a charge on the back-half of the race on her way to a bronze medal in 8:25.16, but she was still a solid four seconds behind Fairweather for silver.

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Nick the biased Aussie
4 months ago

Great swim by Lani, 800 seems to be her sweet spot.

Sherry Smit
4 months ago

I’ve found it interesting that Grimes has struggled in the 800 free since the olympics. She’s improved in EVERY race but the 800 over the last 2 years. 4:07 to 4:05 in the 400 and 15:52 to 15:44 in the 1500, but backwards in the 800. can’t tell if it’s mental or if it’s because she hasn’t “tapered”.

Reply to  Sherry Smit
4 months ago

That 4:07 was from the front half of her 800 in Tokyo so she was probably in faster than 4:05 form in Tokyo.

Fukuoka Gold
Reply to  Sherry Smit
4 months ago

Sandpipers never tapered, even in Olympics!

About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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