Today, January 31st, 2022, Michael Phelps’ 400 IM LCM record became the second-longest standing men’s long course world record ever. Today marks 4923 days of the record standing. Phelps swam to a winning time of 4:03.84 at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Back in September 2021, SwimSwam raised the question of whether or not the record would become #2.
Phelps put on a historic show at the 2008 Beijing Olympics as he went on to win eight gold medals, including five of those won in individual events.
He originally broke his own world record of 4:06.22 in the 400 IM at the US Olympic Trials in June 2008 swimming to a time of 4:05.25 in finals. In Beijing, Phelps smashed his record again swimming to a victory in a time of 4:03.84.
The record is the longest current world record standing as Phelps broke the record on August 10th, 2008. The USA’s 4×100 freestyle relay is the second-longest active long course record: it was set one Day after Phelps’ 400 IM swim. That record is from August 11th, 2008. Phelps was also a member of that relay. The longest men’s record ever standing was held by Germany’s Otto Farr who held the 100 backstroke world record from 1912 until 1926.
The longest active record in any course is Grant Hackett’s 800 short course meter record of 7:23.42 from July 20, 2008 – about three weeks before Phelps’ swim.
Since Phelps broke the 400 IM record in 2008, no one has come close to breaking it. The next-closest time to breaking it has been a 4:05.18 that Ryan Lochte swam to win the 2012 London Olympics. Chase Kalisz has been the second closest as he went a 4:05.90 to win the 2017 World Championships. Since 2017, no one has broken the 4:06.00 barrier.
While he didn’t make the Olympic Team, American swimmer Carson Foster had the best time in the world in 2021, with a 4:08.46 from a local club meet. Daiya Seto, who also didn’t medal, was next in a 4:09.02. Chase Kalisz, who did win Olympic gold, was 3rd in the world in 2021 with a time of 4:09.09.
In addition to Foster, who turned 20 in October, multiple teenagers were also near the top of the rankings in 2021. 19-year-old Leon Marchand was 6th with a time of 4:09.65, and 18-year-old Ilia Borodin was 9th with a time of 4:10.02. They are the leading candidates to challenge Phelps’s record in the future – though he was only 23 when he swam his best time.
To show how impressive the record is, see view the winning times in the event from every Olympics since 2000:
- 2000: Tom Dolan, 4:11.76
- 2004: Michael Phelps, 4:08.26
- 2008: Michael Phelps, 4:03.84
- 2012: Ryan Lochte, 4:05.18
- 2016: Kosuke Hagino, 4:06.05
- 2020: Chase Kalisz, 4:09.42
This is Phelps’s last remaining individual world record as his 200 freestyle, 100 butterfly, 200 butterfly, and 200 IM have all been broken. Phelps still is a part of the LCM 4×100 and 4×200 freestyle relay World Records.
Think phelps was wearing a super suit…polyurethane???
Zhang’s 800m WR from Rome 2009 will outlast them all…
As mentioned here already, that .01 (2009) Biederman took from Ian Thorpe’s 400mm free was not right, in the height of supersuits. Thorpe’s 3.40.08 is a time no one has not got near in 20 yrs (don’t count SY), and from the last 4 yrs it doesn’t look like anyone is stepping up. Ian’s best 200m and 400m would have won every Olympics (except 2012 in 200m, I don’t count 2008), and his 400m every WC (sans 2009) and Olympics. Back to topic though, MP is the GOAT and that 400IM record is insane. I think he had some help from the non-textile pants, but not that much. I cant believe how slow the field was in the 400IM at… Read more »
I hope you’re dealing in hyperbole, jason. A 4:09 is NOT a Phelps training time!!
I respect to all swimmer
It’s crazy that the event winner has gotten slower each of the last 3 Olympics.
So, what is going to go down first… Grant’s 800 SCM, or Michael’s 400IM?
I’ll vote for the 800SCM.
For everyone saying Lochte’s PB was better, Phelps went 4:06.2 for his like 16th swim at the 2007 worlds meet, in an FS2. It was a race he said he was dead for. If he’d done that at the beginning of the meet he probably would have gone 4:04. Everyone considers 2011 to be Lochte’s best year, but really the only difference is that he had the 400 IM at the end instead of the beginning. He went 4:07.
I’m the tenth caller and I just want to say, didn’t Carson Foster do a 4:08?