More Countries Than Ever Won Medals At The 2024 World Championships

by Daniel Takata 1

February 25th, 2024 International, News, SwimmingStats

The 2024 World Aquatics Championships were unusual in many ways. Having been the first in history to be held in an Olympic year, the number of absences of major international stars was the highest in history, and this was clearly reflected in the results.

With the absence of many big stars, this paved the way for several swimmers to win medals and even gold medals. Swimmers who would be ranked lower in a “normal” championship managed to reach the podium. And the same can apply to nations.

Medals were more distributed than ever. There were 30 nations winning medals, with 18 of them winning gold medals, the highest numbers in history.

For comparison purposes, the previous highest number was from the 2009 World Championships, when there were 25 nations winning medals, 17 of them winning gold medals.

Year Nations winning medals Nations winning gold medals
1973 13 8
1975 11 6
1978 14 6
1982 14 7
1986 15 7
1991 17 9
1994 16 10
1998 18 11
2001 19 12
2003 24 13
2005 22 10
2007 23 11
2009 25 17
2011 20 15
2013 22 13
2015 23 12
2017 22 13
2019 21 12
2022 19 11
2023 21 12
2024 30 18

In common, the 2009 and 2024 World Championships were atypical. The 2009 edition was marked by the high-tech suits, with more than 40 world records. Obviously, the suits affected the results, some swimmers benefited from the suits more than others, and this could have affected the medal standings.

And the 2024 World Championships, as already mentioned, was marked by a large number of absences.

It is worth noting that, in 2009, fewer races were contested than in 2024, because of the mixed relays. Even so, if an average is taken (by taking the numbers mentioned and dividing by the number of events in each championship), the numbers for 2024 are still higher. In terms of medalist nations per event, 0.71 x 0.62. And in terms of gold medalist nations per event, 0.428 x 0.425.

As a curiosity, the World Championships that presented the least variation in medalist nations was that of 1975: 11 medalist nations and six gold medalist nations. At that edition, East Germany and the United States dominated the meet, having won 76% of the events and 62% of the medals, leaving few medals for the other nations.

These are the nations that, in 2024, won their first medals, or gold medals, in the history of World Aquatics Championships in swimming events:

  • Ireland – won its first medals, and also its first gold medals (Daniel Wiffen, gold in men’s 800 and 1500 freestyle)
  • New Zealand – won its first gold medals (Erika Fairweather in women’s 400 freestyle and Lewis Clareburt in men’s 400 IM)
  • Portugal – won its first gold medals (Diogo Ribeiro in men’s 50 and 100 butterfly)
  • Hong Kong – won its first gold medal (Siobhan Haughey in women’s 200 freestyle)
  • Israel – won its first medal (Anastasia Gorbenko, silver in women’s 400 IM)
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina – won its first medal (Lana Pudar, bronze in women’s 200 butterfly)

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1 month ago

Guess one the good things to come out of these WC in Doha many swimmers got chance to win medals that they were probably never going to win and therefore can get more funding from governing bodies and or sponsorship