2017 FINA WORLD SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Sunday, July 23rd – Sunday, July 30th
- Budapest, Hungary
- LCM (50m)
- Full Competition Schedule
- Meet Info
- Psych Sheets
- Omega Results
- Pick ’em Contest
- Event-by-Event Previews
On the heels of her move to #3 all-time in overall World Championships gold medals, Katie Ledecky has moved into a tie with Ryan Lochte for the second-most individual gold medals in history. Ledecky is also on the cusp of cracking the top 5 in career individual World Champs medals of any color.
Lochte and Ledecky have both won 10 individual gold medals over their careers. Lochte has also added 8 relay golds and Ledecky 4 relay golds.
The top 10 in individual golds is pretty stacked with active swimmers. Lochte is technically still active (though he’s out on suspension this summer), as is Ledecky, #4 Sun Yang and three of the four tied for #7: Katinka Hosszu, Sarah Sjostrom and Cesar Cielo. That whole crew has 6 individual golds for their careers.
Here’s a look at the most-decorated swimmers in World Championships history, per our research. As we had to sift through previous years to factor out relay medals, these lists could be missing a swimmer. If that’s the case, let us know in the comments section and we’ll try to confirm their medal total as soon as we can.
Note: These figures include medals won at long course World Championships meets only. They do not include Olympics or Short Course World Championships.
Most Individual Golds in History
Most Individual Medals in History
Most Overall Golds in History (including relays)
Most Overall Medals in History (including relays)
Lowkey, Sun Yang has really pushed his way up the list. 9 World titles (and 3 Olympic Golds) puts him near the top of the all-time standings. He could certainly move ahead of Lochte and approach Phelps if he swims through 2024.
With his move to shorter events, I’ve noticed he looks a lot like Ian Thorpe. He doesn’t have Thorpe’s credentials in the 200 and 400 but has an advantage in the 800 IMO and is decisively better in the 1500 than Thorpe ever was. It’s possible that Sun Yang will retire as accomplished as Thorpe is (based purely on medals and disregarding doping, splashing, no-shows and other controversies).
Will ledecky get extra money (bonus) because of the championship records she broke?
And how much is the extra money?
Otto, Hoff, Montgomery and Klim also have 7 golds overall (including relays).
Most Individual Medals:
Efimova 11 (with 50m breast final later today)
5G 4S 2B
5G 3S 1B
Mary T. Meagher would lead everyone in individual golds if it weren’t for East Germany and swimmers from China that were the recipients of their training program (and drugs). She would have won 6 golds in Madrid 1986 alone. In addition to the fly events, she would have won the 200 free, all the relays, and if you believe Tamara Costache was drugged (I do), she would have also won a bronze in the 100 free. Instead, she walked away with one gold medal (200 fly), and the US women’s team was considered a failure because they only brought home two gold medals from Madrid.
She would have ten total from just two appearances (1982 and 1986), and nine of… Read more »
IIrc Mary T ‘s times were much slower rather than the DDR besting them . She simply was not the slip of a girl by 17 she was at14-16 .nor did she have her original coach .
Yeah, everyone beside the US athletes are dope.
We know for a fact that 99% of East German athletes across most Olympic sports were part of a systematic, state-sponsored doping program. It is in no way jingoistic to imply that knowingly or unknowling, the East Germans were being given vast quantities of illegal drugs that significantly improved their performance.
The list is dominated by active swimmers, because:
1. World championships only started to become once every two years starting in 2001. Before, it was once in 4 years event just like the Olympics. At one point it was even 5 years in between: 1986 followed by 1991
2. Continual addition of new events: 50 free, 4×200, m800 free, w1500 free, 50 strokes, mixed relays.
eg. Comerford in her first world championships already has 4 golds (5 golds by the end of Day 8) to her name despite winning zero individual medal. Five world championships golds! and Pieter van Den Hoogenband has ZERO worlds golds.
Yeah, the addition of the mixed relays seems like it will render comparisons more and more useless between swimmers of various events/time periods/countries. If you’re a sprinter from a country like the US, you can really crank up the medal counts through relays. I don’t mean to belittle relay medals, but to me they do seem a different kind of achievement.
Especially when you can win 4 or 5 medals from relays alone. Compared to someone from a country with weaker relays, or even a distance swimmer, the medal potential can really get inflated.
These individual lists are a good start for modern day comparisons at least.
Yefimova (11 individual medals) is missing.