No Americans Broke A World Record In 2023, The First Time In 78 Years

In 2023, at least in long course meters, we saw more world records than in any other year since the hi-tech suits were banned in 2010. There were 17 LCM world records last year – and one more in short course meters.

However, none of these records were set by a swimmer from the United States. Which is rare. In comparison, in 2022, there were seven records set by U.S. swimmers—one in long course and six in short course.

When was the last time we had a year without world records from U.S. swimmers?

If we consider long and short course meters, it’s been a while, a long while. In fact, this has never occurred since World Aquatics began recognizing world records only in metric measurements in 1957. Before that, 1945 was the last year that ended without world records for swimmers from the United States. Which means nearly eight decades.

World Records Set by U.S. Swimmers Annually Since 1945

Year Total LCM SCM
1945 0 0 0
1946 2 2 0
1947 2 2 0
1948 6 6 0
1949 2 2 0
1950 3 3 0
1951 2 2 0
1952 1 1 0
1953 1 1 0
1954 4 4 0
1955 2 2 0
1956 7 7 0
1957 3 3 0
1958 8 8 0
1959 13 13 0
1960 23 23 0
1961 28 28 0
1962 18 18 0
1963 14 14 0
1964 40 40 0
1965 6 6 0
1966 14 14 0
1967 46 46 0
1968 33 33 0
1969 9 9 0
1970 16 16 0
1971 18 18 0
1972 34 34 0
1973 7 7 0
1974 17 17 0
1975 16 16 0
1976 24 24 0
1977 4 4 0
1978 14 14 0
1979 8 8 0
1980 8 8 0
1981 6 6 0
1982 5 5 0
1983 8 8 0
1984 8 8 0
1985 4 4 0
1986 3 3 0
1987 5 5 0
1988 12 12 0
1989 5 5 0
1990 3 3 0
1991 4 4 0
1992 9 8 1
1993 5 0 5
1994 1 1 0
1995 3 1 2
1996 2 1 1
1997 3 0 3
1998 2 0 2
1999 9 4 5
2000 20 5 15
2001 7 5 2
2002 15 4 11
2003 12 11 1
2004 21 11 10
2005 4 4 0
2006 10 7 3
2007 18 14 4
2008 34 23 11
2009 31 16 15
2010 2 0 2
2011 3 1 2
2012 7 5 2
2013 12 4 8
2014 6 5 1
2015 6 4 2
2016 5 4 1
2017 6 6 0
2018 7 2 5
2019 6 5 1
2020 5 0 5
2021 4 2 2
2022 7 1 6
2023 0 0 0

In long course meters, the last time was in 2020. In the year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the only world record set was in the 4 x 100 mixed medley relay by China. But, in short course meters, U.S. swimmers broke five records that year in the International Swimming League (ISL)

In short course, there were no records set by U.S. swimmers in 2017. However, that year saw six world records broken by U.S. swimmers in long course.

The last time there were no world records set in men’s events by swimmers from the United States was in 2017. Among women, it last happened in 2010.

Another interesting fact: since World Aquatics started recognizing world records in 1908, the year it was founded, in every Olympic year there have been U.S. swimmers breaking world records. With there being no world records in 2023, will this streak be broken in 2024?

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MIKE IN DALLAS
12 days ago

When US college swimming STOPS pouring money over foreign athletes, there will be more money for the exclusive training of Team USA athletes and, over time, the results will be seen.

John26
1 month ago

I must say, even as someone who doesn’t really follow yards swims, the constant headlines of Gretchen being at or close to all time markers in yards in multiple sprint events in season strikes me as impressive.

It’s very clear from her LC swims that her SCY expertise has translated to great LC turns, but her several outings at competitive finals (e.g relay lead off in Fukuoka) suggests some consistency issues.

But getting past the jokes of her being a bathtub specialist (which her inconsistency in LC finals fuels), is there anything in her stroke mechanics that truly inhibits her LC performances (consistency aside)?

Her LC 100fly being better than her free seems defensible given her dolphin kicking abilities,… Read more »

Gail Jones
1 month ago

Thanks for sharing this information but we haven’t broken World records because some Americans changed their allegiance from this country to another whom happened to be our top seed ( no loyalty to this country recently) and international athletes coming here to be trained from the best of the best!!!

Sub13
Reply to  Gail Jones
1 month ago

What Americans changed sporting country and then broke a world record this year? Lol

Beatriz Cortez
Reply to  Gail Jones
1 month ago

“because some Americans changed their allegiance from this country to another whom happened to be our top seed”

Who?

Please.. this is Swimswam, not Fox News.

Last edited 1 month ago by Beatriz Cortez
Payton
1 month ago

Even though Americans themselves aren’t breaking the records, many of the athletes are coming to the United States to train. So we still have a great program in the states. We aren’t falling apart.

Joel
Reply to  Payton
1 month ago

Who broke a WR in 2023 and trained in the USA. Marchand. Anyone else?

Troyy
Reply to  Joel
1 month ago

McIntosh. So three world records.

Sub13
1 month ago

I will never understand the people on here who just make unfounded accusations to tear down great swimmers because they need their favourite to be the “winner”.

Chikunova swam a 1:05 and a 2:20 as a 16 year old in Tokyo, and holds the 200 breast SCM WJR. There is literally nothing suspicious about her achievements except that you don’t want her to be better than Kate Douglass. Grow up.

Klorn8d
Reply to  Sub13
1 month ago

There is very proven state sponsored doping in Russia, maybe I am falsely accusing but there is something suspicious with every Russian swim

Emily Se-Bom Lee
Reply to  Sub13
1 month ago

and was 2:21.07 in 2019

Troyy
Reply to  Emily Se-Bom Lee
1 month ago

As a 14 year old. A wise SwimSwam commenter once said to never bet against a prodigy.

Last edited 1 month ago by Troyy
Swimmer
1 month ago

Wow what (who??) happened in 1967?!

JVW
Reply to  Swimmer
1 month ago

I was just looking that up. An awful lot of memorable names broke world records that year: Mark Spitz, Don Schollander, Debbie Meyer, Roland Matthes, and others. Claudia Kolb broke WRs seven times in the 200 and 400 IM, and Catie Ball broke both breaststroke records a total of four times. Sounds like it was a busy year.

Beatriz Cortez
Reply to  JVW
1 month ago

Roland Matthes was not American. He was East German.

Swimpop
1 month ago

Its hard to set records when you’re seemingly second in every event not over 400 in women’s swimming.

Rafael
1 month ago

If he breaks it and not win he did not break it as someone will break a few tenths before…

Klorn8d
Reply to  Rafael
1 month ago

That was my point….

Last edited 1 month ago by Klorn8d