Laon Kim Breaks a Canadian Record Set 43 Years Ago by Legend Alex Baumann

Hyack Brad Reid Memorial Invitational

  • November 11-13, 2022
  • Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada
  • 25 meters (short course meters) pool
  • Meet Results

Records are made to be broken, they say, but some records stand a little longer than others. Last weekend, Canadian 14-year old Laon Kim broke a record that has stood for more than 43 years in Canada, and was previously held by one of Canada’s greatest all-time swimmers.

Kim swam an 8:06.05 in the 800 short course meter free on Friday at the Brad Reid Memorial Invitational. That took more than nine seconds off a 13-14 national record that has stood since April 1, 1979, when Alex Baumann swam an 8:15.14 at the same meet another Canadian Record: a 15:32.15 that still remains as the standard for that age group.

Baumann’s record was so ahead of its time that for decades, it was actually faster than the Ontario Provincial Record in the 800 free relay.

Kim’s splits:

  • 100m – 56.64
  • 200m – 60.28
  • 300m – 60.70
  • 400m – 61.47
  • 500m – 62.03
  • 600m – 62.01
  • 700m – 62.07
  • 800m – 60.85

Baumann was one of the great age groupers in history. By the time he was 17, he owned 38 Canadian Records in swimming and the World Record in the 200 IM. He would go on to win Olympic gold medals in the 200 IM and 400 IM at the 1984 Olympic Games, setting World Records in both events. He was the Canadian flag-bearer at those Olympic Games.

Baumann later went on to an accomplished career as a sport administrator, including a short stint as the CEO of Swimming Australia for about three months in 2021.

Kim’s previous best in the event from February was an 8:27.35.

That’s not the only record that Kim has set this fall. At the same Brad Reid Memorial Meet, he swam a 4:21.08 in the 400 IM. That broke another old record: a 4:24.89 done by Tobias Oriwol in 2000. Oriwol went on to race at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games.

At the Odlum Brown Colleges Cup last weekend, he set records in the 200 free (1:50.85), 400 free (3:54.19), and 200 fly (2:00.93). At a meet in October, he got the age group record in the 100 free (50.48).

In addition to his seven short course records in the 13-14 age group, he also has a Canadian Record in the 11-12 200 free in SCM, and the 13-14 800 free in LCM.

In total, Kim won seven races at the meet. Other top performers include Paige Korbely, who won the 100 back, 200 back, 50 fly, and 100 fly on the girls’ side; Paul Orogo who swept the backstrokes on the boys’ side, and Tiffany Tancon, who won the 200 fly and both IM races for girls.

800 Free Record Race Video:

Full Meet Replays can be seen on the Hyack Swim Club YouTube Channel:

800 Free Time Stamp:

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1 year ago

Incredible string of record-setting performances at age 14👏👏.

11 strokes per 25m in that 800 must rank up there against the big boys!

1 year ago

Best wishes on your long journey!

1 year ago

Great job!

1 year ago

he’ll be on his way to Surrey Knights soon 😂

"We've got a boilover"
1 year ago

Congrats to Leon, Hyack Swim Club, and his coach Andrew (Lenny) Lennstrom 👍👏⏱️

1 year ago

I believe Janet Evans had NAG records in the 800 that were faster than the 800 FR NAG records. I could be wrong. But not many teams with four girls going 2:04 or faster back in the 80s.

1 year ago

that is actually 43 years ago

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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