On day 2 of the 2015 European Short Course Swimming Championships, German swimmer Marco Koch made his mark by breaking the German National Record in the 200 short course meters breaststroke and in the process marked the 2nd-fastest swim in history.
Koch swam a 2:00.53 to win the gold in the final, which was a new Championship Record (Daniel Gyurta – 2:00.67, 2009) and German Record (Koch – 2:01.28, 2014) in the event.
In the race, he was nearly a second-and-a-half clear of the field, and specifically clear of Hungary’s Daniel Gyurta, who has been dominant in this event for a decade at every level, including winning the European SCM Championships in 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, and 2013. While Gyurta still holds on to the World Record after the event (by just .05 seconds), his total stranglehold on it has slipped away. Gyurta previously had the four fastest swims in history, and still holds 7 out of the 9 best swims ever done.
Top 5 swims in 200 SCM Breaststroke history:
- Gyurta, 2:00.48 – 2014
- Koch, 2:00.53 – 2015
- Gyurta, 2:00.67 – 2009
- Gyurta, 2:00.72 – 2013
- Gyurta, 2:01.06 – 2014
Koch, after his world title in long course over the summer, has become the pro forma favorite in this event for next year’s Olympic Games. That status won’t go unchallenged though, because even in context of time and space, men’s breaststroking is currently as strong as it’s ever been in terms of depth globally.