Nic Fink Hits 26.45 American Record, Becomes First US Man to Win 50 Breast


Nic Fink swam a 26.45 in the men’s 50 breaststroke final at the 2022 World Championships, making him the new Amerian record holder and first American to ever win the event. This is an improvement upon Michael Andrew‘s former national record of 26.52, which he set at the 2022 World Championships Trials in April. Andrew swam a 26.72 in the final to snag a bronze medal.

Fink’s best time heading into this meet was a 26.55 from 2022 Trials. Fink started off his World Championships bid with a 26.85 in prelims and followed that up with a 26.74 in the semi-finals.

By winning the World Championships title in this event, Fink is the first American man to win the 50 breaststroke at Worlds. This event has been contested 11 times at World Championships, beginning in 2001, and while 3 American men had medalled before 2022, none had won the gold.

Mark Gangloff was the first US medalist in the 50 breast when he took silver in 2005 and Brendan Hansen took silver 2 years later in 2007. Then in 2009, Gangloff returned to the podium when he earned a bronze medal in the event. No Americans were in the top three in 2011 or 2013 but the Kevin Cordes took the bronze medal at Kazan 2015.

In addition to Fink being the first American champion in this event, he and Andrew are the first two men from the US to get a medal in the same year. Fink and Andrew were separated by Nicolo Martinenghi who swam a 26.48 for silver.

This is Fink’s fourth time competing at World Championships, having made his debut in 2013 when he raced to an 8th place finish in the 100 breast (1:00.10). Fink raced again at 2015 and 2017, missing the 100 and 200 breast finals at the former and hitting 5th overall in the 200 breast at the latter. Budapest 2022 is the first time that Fink has raced the 50 breast at World Championships.

The 50 breast gold was Fink’s second medal of the meet after taking bronze in the 100 breaststroke to Martinenghi and Arno Kamminga. After swimming the 50 breast individually, Fink raced on the American 4×100 medley relay and contributed to the American’s gold medal-winning swim of 3:38.79.

Fink jumped up to #5 in the all-time world rankings for this event, passing Ilya Shymanovich of Belarus who previously help the #5 rank with a 26.46.

All-time Men’s 50 Breaststroke Performers

  1. Adam Peaty (GBR) – 25.95 (2017)
  2. Felipe Lima (BRA) – 26.33 (2019)
  3. Nicolo Martinenghi – 26.39 (2021)
  4. Joao Gomes Jr (BRA) – 26.42 (2019)
  5. Nic Fink (USA) – 26.45 (2022)
  6. Ilya Shymanovich (BLR) – 26.46 (2021)
  7. Michael Andrew (USA) – 26.52 (2022)
  8. Cameron van der Burgh (RSA) – 26.54 (2017)

Nic Fink has one individual event left to race at this meet in the men’s 200 breaststroke, which will begin on day 5. He’s the #4 seed in the event with a 2:07.55 to world record-holder Zac Stubblety-Cook’s 2:05.95, Arno Kamminga‘s 2:06.85, and Matti Mattsson’s 2:07.13.

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2 years ago

Is Nic Fink the best ever male 3 distance breaststroker? 2:07.5, 58.3, and 26.4 is tough to beat. Who else is in the conversation for best male breaststroker in all 3 distances?

Reply to  J-Money
2 years ago

Obviously Kamminga. 26.80, 57.80, 2:06.8

Reply to  J-Money
2 years ago

MA is 26.5, 58.1, 2:11 in the 200 which he doesn’t swim much.and was done at a pro swim series.

eye guy
Reply to  J-Money
2 years ago

Peaty 25.9, 56.8, 2:08 isn’t too shabby either

2 years ago

Before this year, Fink had never gone under 27s for a 50 breast. At 29 he has just gone 26:45. Interested to know how he has found such considerable time improvements over the shortage distance in the pool, having been swimming for around a decade?

Reply to  Matthew
2 years ago

The biggest thing is that his reaction time on the start is faster. He used to be .70 and above. Now he is .66. Second thing is that his finishes were consistently long and tonight he was perfect at the finish.

2 years ago

Im assuming no american has medaled in all 3 breaststrokes in one worlds right? He has a good chance, needs a silver to complete his collection

Reply to  mcswammerstein
2 years ago

That’s correct (for men). Cordes and Hansen have the career triple, but neither have done it at the same meet.

I was surprised to find that no women had either. In 2009, Soni medaled in 50/100, in 2011, she won the 100/200, but no same-year triple.

Reply to  Braden Keith
2 years ago

I still wince thinking of Soni’s 200 in Rome 2009