Matt Grevers Fit for FINA World Championships – Gold Medal Minute Video

Matt Grevers is the fastest man in 100 backstroke history, though he doesn’t own the World Record. The 52.08 he put down at the 2012 US Olympic Trials was unaided by one of the sausage suits, the rocket science tech swimsuits that downed endless world records back in 2009. Aaron Peirsol, now retired, is still considered the greatest overall backstroker in history, and he does own the tech suit-aided 51.94 100 backstroke world record. Grevers, if he continues to perform over the next three years, “could” unseat Peirsol as the greatest backstroker ever (but I’ll leave that conclusion to the swimswam commenters who often add great depth on insight on these topics).

At the 2013 FINA World Championships, Grevers will swim the 4×100 freestyle relay, 100 backstroke and potentially the 4×100 medley relay. Grevers has tough competition from home, the U.S., as David Plummer outtouched him at the US World Championship Trials in the 100 backstroke. Grevers and Plummer are old rivals, having competed against each other for over a decade.

At 2013 FINA World Championships expect strong swims from France’s Jeremy Stravius, Japan’s Ryosuke Irie and Kosuke Hagino.  

See full coverage of the 2013 FINA World Championships here. 

You can follow Matt Grevers on Twitter here.

You can like Matt Grevers on Facebook here. 

This is a Gold Medal Media production presented by SwimOutlet.com. Host, Gold Medal Mel Stewart, is a 3-time Olympic medalist and co-founder of swimswam.com.

In This Story

45
Leave a Reply

Subscribe
Notify of

45 Comments
newest
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
bobo gigi
9 years ago

And Mr Peirsol is a so cool guy. 😎

aswimfan
9 years ago

Roland Matthes, the greatest male backstroker of all time:

1. Between April 1967 and August 1974 he won ALL backstroke competitions he entered. Longer than any other backstroker ever.

2. He won four European championships and three world championships in a row,

3. Broke 19 world and 21 European records

4. Won 100/200 olympics double double (1968, 1972) and in addition also won 1976 100 bronze. He is the only backstroker, male or female, to win olympics 100/200 back double double. Not even peirsol, krayzelburg, naber, egerszegi, etc could do it.

5. Held WRs in both 100/200 continuously for 10 years, far longer than any other backstroker, including Peirsol.

What more can we say?

bobo gigi
Reply to  aswimfan
9 years ago

You are an encyclopedia!
I’m not a crazy fan of comparisons between swimmers over a so long period. Each period has had its champions. I didn’t even know Mr Matthes. Great accomplishments. But I stay with Mr Peirsol. He’s one of my swimming idols. And the competition is so hard today in a global world. What he has done during the last decade is very impressive. And he’s a so cool guy. 8)

bobo gigi
9 years ago

Aaron Peirsol, the backstroke legend.

200 back silver medal at the 2000 olympic games
200 back gold medal at the 2001 world championships
100 back and 200 back gold medals at the 2003 world championships
100 back and 200 back gold medals at the 2004 olympic games
100 back and 200 back at the 2005 world championships
100 back gold medal and 200 back silver medal at the 2007 world championships
100 back gold medal and 200 back silver medal at the 2008 olympic games
200 back gold medal at the 2009 world championships
Still 100 back and 200 back world record holder

What can we say more?

Ragnar
Reply to  bobo gigi
9 years ago

And had he not accidently missed finals in 2009 at champs, that record would be closer to 51.5!

aswimfan
Reply to  bobo gigi
9 years ago

And yet, Peirsol was beaten by Lochte, a non-backstroker TWICE, in 2007 worlds and 2008 Olympics.

During his reign, Roland Matthes was never beaten by a backstroker specialist, let alone a non-backstroker

Skip Thompson
Reply to  aswimfan
9 years ago

The only blemish on Rolland Matthews career if you can call it a blemish is that for a very short time, like 2 weeks he didn’t have the 200 Back World Record. Gary Hall Sr. broke the WR by .08 at the 1969 AAU Nationals in Louisville but Rolland got it back 2 weeks later by .02 and held it until the next year when Mike Stamm broke by .02 at the 1970 AAU Nationals in LA, but then 3 weeks later he got it back and broke the record that Stamm set by .05 and after that he held it until John Naber broke it at the 1976 Olympic Trials.

aswimfan
Reply to  Skip Thompson
9 years ago

Woww… you know so much detail.. this is new to me.
Thanks for this!

Ragnar
9 years ago

Grevers could go down as the fastest 100 backer ever and first LeBron sized dude to swim at such a high level, but the reign of dominance has to last till at least after rio, and until he adds the 200(which at his age is highly unlikely) he isn’t the complete backstroke lenny and aaron were. The relay medals in freestyle make him unique among backstrokers but the 200 is needed to be the greatest. And comparing Persol and Bienderman is crazy! Persol won before everyone had suits and after everyone had suits, he wasn’t a flash in the pan like you know who. Thorpe is the greatest middle distance freestyler hands down.

aswimfan
Reply to  Ragnar
9 years ago

Exactly!

I agree with you that comparing Biedermann and Peirsol is crazy, and yet TEA above thinks that the title “the greatest ever” is determined by the raw judge of “time”.

Also, For your information,
Roland Matthes was also part of East German’s 4×100 freestyle relay who won bronze in Munich as well as freestyle relays medals in euro champs and worlds.

aswimfan
Reply to  Ragnar
9 years ago

I forgot to add,

Matthes also won 100 m butterfly and 100 freestyle silvers at euro champs.

Skip Thompson
Reply to  aswimfan
9 years ago

Rolland Matthews was a finalist in the 100 meter fly in both the 1972 Olympics and 1976 Olympics getting a 4th in 1972 and a fifth in 1976.

Philip Johnsonp
9 years ago

How about both Peirsol, Matthes, etc. were both great backstrokers for their time? It’s very hard to compare swimmers for the 70s, 80s, or whatever to their contemporary counterparts.

aswimfan
Reply to  Philip Johnsonp
9 years ago

That I can agree to a certain extent.

However, we do love to compare great swimmers from different era, and the only way to compare is their achievements. It’s the same in other sports: Bolt is the greatest sprinter not because he holds current WR, but because he won olympics double double, worlds golds, broke several WRs. Federer is the tennis GOAT because of his slams, his #1 weeks, etc, and Laver comes close second although from 60s because of his calendar year grand slams, # of titles, etc.

Some here contend that the greats from previous era were lightweight because these people think those greats faced less competition, and that the pure judge is time. But these people… Read more »

KeithM
Reply to  aswimfan
9 years ago

Most of the comments here from Americans seem to be agreeing with you. I think you’ll find most contributors here are reasonable and yes that includes the Americans. I don’t think the occasional bias we see from people of any nation should be extrapolated to criticize them all. Also, you obviously don’t agree with Mel but it’s nothing to get wound up over especially when your counter points were not only acknowledged but well received.

Tea
9 years ago

Back to the topic at hand, I expect Matt Grevers will swim very well at Worlds.

He didn’t seem 100% rested at Trials. A lot of people have remarked that he isn’t expecting all best times, but sometimes swimmers actually do better when they relax their training a bit. Especially bigger swimmers, older swimmers, and sprinters. One of his worst seasons (2010) he blamed on over-training.

He will be very tough to beat in the 50/100 backstroke this year.

bobo gigi
Reply to  Tea
9 years ago

He will have to swim at least 52.50 if he wants to beat Jérémy Stravius.

bobo gigi
9 years ago

MEL STEWART, I believe you must remember very well Franck Esposito who was on the olympic podium with you in Barcelona in 1992. Today he’s a club manager in Antibes and coaches Coralie Balmy. But do you remember Bruno Gutzeit? He’s another former French butterfly swimmer of your period. Today he’s a swimming analyst for a French sports channel, sport plus, which broadcasts the Mare Nostrum and the world cup meets. Most of the time his analyses are really pathetic but it’s another story. He has talked about you very briefly when the channel still re-aired the US grand prix until last year. Have you swum against him?

bobo gigi
9 years ago

Aaron Peirsol for ever! He’s the greatest.
Come on Mel, Mr Grevers has never won a 200 free gold medal in a big world meet! And his only big title is, for the moment, a 100 back olympic gold medal. If he wins the 100 back in Barcelona and the double in Kazan and in Rio, ok, he will be in the discussion. But it will not happen because Mr Grevers is exclusively a 100 back swimmer.
Now, about this year, in my opinion, the guy to beat in the 100 back is Jérémy Stravius. He’s focused like never before. Matt Grevers isn’t the same as last year. I don’t see Mr Stravius beaten.

aswimfan
Reply to  bobo gigi
9 years ago

Not only has Grevers never won 200 gold, but he has never won 200 medal.

bobo gigi
Reply to  aswimfan
9 years ago

Correct me if I’m wrong but I believe he has even never qualified in the 200 back for a big world meet.

Tea
Reply to  aswimfan
9 years ago

I agree.

The rawest way to judge is time, and Aaron Peirsol has the fastest 100/200 back in history. Some of that is due to the suits, but a lot of it is due to training and technique improvements. Even with the same equipment, top swimmers are just straight up faster swimmers than anyone in the 70s.

Another way to judge would be performance relative to one’s peers. Matthes might have been more dominant, but he had a lot less competition, too. There is way more competition today, and Peirsol didn’t lose a race for 5+ years against a much stronger field.

I suppose another way to judge would be natural talent. i.e. if both had access to the… Read more »

aswimfan
Reply to  Tea
9 years ago

So you judge the “greatest” by time?

Using your logic, this means Biedermann is the greatest middle distance ever.

aswimfan
Reply to  Tea
9 years ago

I meant ‘the greatest middle distance freestyler ever”

Tea
Reply to  aswimfan
9 years ago

I would take the cheat suits into consideration, but Peirsol proved he could swim faster than anyone in the ’00s with the suits or without them.

And the 00’s were the fastest decade of swimming ever. 2010-2020 will probably be an even faster decade, but no one has shown themselves better than Peirsol yet.

aswimfan
Reply to  aswimfan
9 years ago

But Peirsol’s WRs were made with cheat suits, no different from Biedermann.

So again, using your logic, Biedermann is the greatest middle distance freestyler ever.

By the way, For your information, Grevers’ PB in the 100 has pulverized Peirsol’s textile PB, and Lochte’s 200 PB is a lot faster than peirsol’s textile 200 PB.

so, is Lochte the greatest backstroker ever now?

About Gold Medal Mel Stewart

Gold Medal Mel Stewart

MEL STEWART Jr., aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. Mel's best event was the 200 butterfly. He is a former World, American, and NCAA Record holder in the 200 butterfly. As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, …

Read More »