A Look At The Stats From Budapest World Championships

by SwimSwam Contributors 2

July 30th, 2017 News

Courtesy of Barry Revzin

Now that the World Championships in Budapest have come to a close, let’s take a look back at the numbers and see what’s interesting.

To start with, how does Budapest compare to Rio? I took a look at what it took to final and what it took to medal in each individual event (men’s events in blue, women’s in red, with the bubble size proportional to the distance):

The distribution is impressively random. Roughly half the events were faster to final and to medal in each meet. The men’s 200 free was very nearly identical in both meets (1:46.23 to final and 1:45.23 to medal in Rio, 1:46.28 to final and 1:45.23 to medal in Budapest). Other interesting things that stood out to me in the comparison:

  1. All four distance freestyle events were slower in Budapest.
  2. Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte have had a stranglehold on the 200 IM for a decade and a half, neither competed in Budapest. And yet, the men’s 200 IM took a much faster time to make the final (1:57.81, compared to 1:58.85) and a much faster time to medal (1:56.28, compared to 1:57.05). Who had that on their list of predictions for the meet?
  3. Even if it’s not well represented on the chart, the men’s 100 fly. In Rio it took a 51.10 to tie for silver. That time would’ve been good for 8th place in Budapest.
  4. The winning times from Rio in the women’s sprint freestyles (24.07 and 52.70) wouldn’t have even made the podium this past week, finishing 5th and 4th.  In the opposite direction, the winning times from Budapest in the women’s 200 fly (2:05.26) and men’s 100 back (52.44) would not have made the podium in Rio, finishing 4th and 5th, respectively.

I had previously looked at the most dominant wins the LC Worlds and Olympics History (at least, since 1986) and suggested that Sarah Sjostrom might make a run for history in the 50m butterfly. It’s one thing to say on paper how much she might win by, it’s quite another to actually see a 0.78s win play out on camera. This now becomes the 2nd largest margin of victory, in percentage terms, since 1986. The top wins overall from the meet:

Rank Margin of Victory Swimmer Event
1 3.07% Sarah Sjostrom 50 Fly
2 2.25% Adam Peaty 100 Breast
3 2.01% Katie Ledecky 1500 Free
4 2.00% Adam Peaty 50 Breast
5 1.50% Yuliya Efimova 200 Breast
Caeleb Dressel 100 Fly

Sometimes you’ll have events that are practically predetermined – the outcome matches the psych sheet. But sometimes, you have some surprise entries in the finals and on the podium. Here are the lowest seeds to make the final:

Rank Seed Swimmer Event Finish
1 39th Sergii Shevtsov 100 Free 8th
2 23rd Antani Ivanov 200 Fly 8th
3 22nd Andrius Sidlauskas 100 Breast 6th
4 20th Rachel Nicol 50 Breast 8th
5 19th Farida Osman 50 Fly 3rd

And the lowest seeds to win a medal, of any color:

Rank Seed Swimmer Event Medal
1 19th Farida Osman 50 Fly Bronze
2 16th Kirill Prigoda 100 Breast Bronze
3 11th Pernille Blume 100 Free Bronze
James Guy 100 Fly Silver
5 10th Katinka Hosszu 200 Fly Bronze
Kristof Milak 100 Fly Silver

And the lowest seeds to win an event:

Rank Seed Swimmer Event
1 6th Caeleb Dressel 50 Free
2 5th Anton Chupkov 200 Breast
Caeleb Dressel 100 Free
Etienne Medeiros 50 Back
5 4th Simone Manuel 100 Free
Chase Kalisz 200 IM
Chad le Clos 200 Fly

FINA has a point system that they calculate based on a ratio of the time to the world record as of the previous year, using the formula 1000 x (WR / Time)3. Using FINA’s point system, here are the top individual swims from Budapest:

Rank Points Swimmer Event Time
1 1055 Adam Peaty 50 Breast Semifinal 25.95 (WR)
2 1050 Adam Peaty 50 Breast Final 25.99
3 1037 Adam Peaty 50 Breast Prelim 26.10 (WR)
4 1020 Sarah Sjostrom 4×100 Free Relay, leadoff 51.71 (WR)
5 1010 Lilly King 100 Breast Final 1:04.13 (WR)
6 1008 Lilly King 50 Breast Final 29.40 (WR)
7 1007 Sarah Sjostrom 50 Free Semifinal 23.67 (WR)
8 1005 Sarah Sjostrom 50 Free Final 23.69
9 1001 Kylie Masse 100 Back Final 58.10 (WR)
Anton Chupkov 200 Breast Final 2:06.96 (CR)
11 999 Yuliya Efimova 100 Breast Semifinal 1:04.36
12 997 Sarah Sjostrom 100 Fly Final 55.53 (CR)
Caeleb Dressel 100 Fly Final 49.86

A few interesting points about this table.

First, this was a great meet for breaststroke! Seven of the top eleven swims were from the breaststrokers.

Second, Anton Chupkov’s swim scores over 1000 points despite not being a world record, since the base time used is Akihiro Yamaguchi’s old world record of 2:07.01 and not Ippei Watanabe’s current record of 2:06.67, because the latter was set in January 2017. Using the world record as of the start of the championships, his point score would be 993.

Third, Dressel’s 100 fly “only” scores 997 points, tying for the 12th best score with Sarah Sjostrom’s 100 fly final. This is due to using the true world record, Phelps’ 49.82 from 2009, as the base time. But that really just seems like the wrong way to look at this swim. You could make the same claim about the two suit records that were broken as well: Gemma Spofforth’s 100 back and Britta Steffen’s 50 free. If we instead used the previous textile bests for the base times, then we would get a different picture:

Rank Points Swimmer Event Time
1 1055 Adam Peaty 50 Breast Semifinal 25.95 (WR)
2 1050 Adam Peaty 50 Breast Final 25.99
3 1037 Adam Peaty 50 Breast Prelim 26.10 (WR)
4 1034** Caeleb Dressel 100 Fly Final 49.86 (Textile Best)
5 1020 Sarah Sjostrom 4×100 Free Relay, leadoff 51.71 (WR)
6 1020** Sarah Sjostrom 50 Free Semifinal 23.67 (WR)
7 1019** Caeleb Dressel 100 Fly Semifinal 50.07 (Textile Best)
8 1018** Caeleb Dressel 100 Fly Prelim 50.08 (Textile Best)
9 1017** Sarah Sjostrom 50 Free Final 23.69
10 1010 Lilly King 100 Breast Final 1:04.13 (WR)
11 1008 Lilly King 50 Breast Final 29.40 (WR)
12 1004** Kylie Masse 100 Back Final 58.10 (WR)
13 1000** Caeleb Dressel 50 Free Final 21.15 (=Textile Best)
14 999 Yuliya Efimova 100 Breast Semifinal 1:04.36
15 997 Sarah Sjostrom 100 Fly Final 55.53 (CR)

This fundamentally seems more right to me. Adam Peaty’s 50 breast performance still reigns supreme, but Dressel deserves to be on this list too.

After this week, the most individual world records currently held, with asterisks indicating those swimmers that broke a world record this week:

Rank # of World Records Swimmer
1 4 Sarah Sjostrom*
2 3 Katie Ledecky
Michael Phelps
4 2 Cesar Cielo
Paul Biedermann
Adam Peaty*
Lilly King*
Katinka Hosszu

Turning now to World Championship medals, there’s several ways we can look at the medal history. For each list, an asterisk will indicate a swimmer that achieved the relevant distinction in Budapest (whether that’s winning an event again, a medal, etc).

Most Individual World Championship Wins in a Single Event, with Sjostrom and Hosszu one step closer to Phelps’ standard of five world titles in a single event:

Rank # of World Titles Swimmer Event
1 5 Michael Phelps 200 Fly
2 4 Katinka Hosszu* 400 IM
Sarah Sjostrom* 100 Fly
Ryan Lochte 200 IM
Aaron Peirsol 200 Back
Grant Hackett 1500 Free
7 3 Camille Lacourt* 50 Back
Federica Pellegrini* 200 Free
Katie Ledecky* 400 Free, 800 Free, and 1500 Free
Katinka Hosszu* 200 IM
Sun Yang* 400 Free, 800 Free
Daniel Gyurta 200 Breast
Ryan Lochte 200 Back
Michael Phelps 100 Fly, 200 IM
Aaron Peirsol 200 Back
Alexander Popov 100 Free
Ian Thorpe 400 Free

Most Individual World Championship Medals in a single event:

Rank # of Medals Swimmer Event
1 7 Federica Pellegrini* 200 Free
2 6 Cameron van der Burgh* 50 Breast
Ryan Lochte 200 IM
4 5 Ryan Lochte 200 Back
Michael Phelps 100 Fly, 200 Fly
Aaron Peirsol 200 Back
Grant Hackett 400 Free
8 4 Camille Lacourt* 50 Back
Emily Seebohm* 100 Back
Katinka Hosszu* 200 IM, 400 IM
Ranomi Kromowidjojo* 50 Free
Sarah Sjostrom* 100 Fly
Sun Yang* 400 Free
Cameron van der Burgh 100 Breast
Daniel Gyurta 200 Breast
Ryan Cochrane 1500 Free
Jessica Hardy 50 Breast
Wu Peng 200 Fly
Gerhard Zandberg 50 Back
Kosuke Kitajima 200 Breast
Laszlo Cseh 200 IM
Leisel Jones 100 Breast
Liam Tancock 50 Back
Marleen Veldhuis 50 Free
Michael Phelps 200 Free, 200 IM
Natalie Coughlin 100 Back
Therese Alshammar 50 Fly, 50 Free
Ian Crocker 100 Fly
Pieter van den Hoogenband 200 Free
Grant Hackett 1500 Free

Most Individual World Championship Titles, Overall:

Rank # of World Titles Swimmer
1 15 Michael Phelps
2 10 Katie Ledecky*
Ryan Lochte
4 9 Sun Yang*
5 7 Katinka Hosszu*
Sarah Sjostrom*
Aaron Peirsol
Grant Hackett

Most Individual World Championship Medals, Overall. Notably, tied in 4th place on this list are the Hungarian stars earning medals at home: Hosszu and Cseh.

Rank # of World Medals Swimmer
1 20 Michael Phelps
2 16 Ryan Lochte
3 14 Grant Hackett
4 13 Katinka Hosszu*
Laszlo Cseh*
6 12 Sun Yang*
7 11 Katie Ledecky*
Sarah Sjostrom*
9 10 Cameron van der Burgh*
10 9 Federica Pellegrini*
Leisel Jones

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2 Comments on "A Look At The Stats From Budapest World Championships"

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One more possibility, László is the only swimmer who won at least 1 medal at 8 Worlds in arow.

Siphiwe Baleka

Why the effot to skew things for Dressel. Everybody has to compete against suited records. It’s not like Dressel’s event was the only one where high tech suits were worn. Overall, great analysis, but seriously consider that you might have an American/Dressel bias. I noticed this also during the discussion about Sjostrom being the “Queen of the Sprints”. Again, without skewing anything, Sjostrom had the largest margin of victory. Four of the top twelve FINA point swims (compared to just one for Dressel). Why the effort to keep finding a way to include Dressel? Seriously, think about this.

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