Regan Smith Breaks World Jr Record in 200 BK, 9th Fastest Performer All-Time


Regan Smith broke her own World Junior Record in the heats of the women’s 200 back this morning in Gwangju. She took .42 seconds off her previous record of 2:06.43, posting a 2:06.01. The time not only makes her the fastest junior swimmer of all-time, it was also makes her the 9th fastest performer of all-time. Missy Franklin holds the World Record at 2:04.06 from the 2012 Olympics in London. Smith is now the 3rd fastest American all-time, behind only Franklin and Maya DiRado (2:05.99).

Smith’s previous best of 2:06.43 was set at last Summer’s US Nationals, and coincidentally was swum exactly one year ago today. Here is a split comparison between her previous WJR when she was 16, and this morning’s swim as a 17-year-old:

2019 World Champs Prelims 2018 US Nationals Final
50 29.44 29.80
100 31.50 (1:00.94) 31.91 (1:01.71)
150 32.34 (1:33.28) 32.13 (1:33.84)
200 32.73 32.59
FINAL TIME 2:06.01 2:06.43

Smith took the race out way faster this morning, actually flipping slightly under WR pace on the first 50, but was back a little slower than last July. She took the top seed for semifinals tonight by well over two seconds.

Franklin’s swim was done in the year she turned 17, so by age she would have been eligible for World Junior Records, but the swim happened before FINA recognized World Junior Records, and so was not officially recognized as such. Aside from Franklin, Smith is the fastest ‘age eligible’ swimmer that we know of in the event.

Fastest Women’s 200 Meter Backstrokers in History:

  1. Missy Franklin, USA – 2:04.06 (2012)
  2. Kirsty Coventry, Zimbabwe – 2:04.81 (2009)
  3. Anastasia Fesikova, Russia – 2:04.94 (2009)
  4. Emily Seebohm, Australia – 2:05.68 (2017)
  5. Margherita Panziera, Italy – 2:05.72 (2019)
  6. Katinka Hosszu, Hungary – 2:05.85 (2017)
  7. Kylie Masse, Canada – 2:05.94 (2019)
  8. Maya DiRado, USA – 2:05.99 (2016)
  9. Regan Smith, USA – 2:06.01 (2019)
  10. Belinda Hocking, Australia – 2:06.06 (2011)

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2 years ago

Missy says Hi

Reply to  Wondering
2 years ago

Regan says bye in 2020

2 years ago

Is she planning on going out sub 1:00 in finals? Would be crazy to see

The michael phelps caterpillar
2 years ago

I had a swimmer go faster once, but she got DQ’ed after testing positive for PEDs that night. Not fair! Corruption!

William Charles Alexander
2 years ago

Judging by how easy and smooth that 2:06 heat swim looked for this precocious teen… she’s really set for a sensational time in the final. Her technique is truly a thing of beauty. Im predicting sub 2:05. No wonder everyone here has been harping on 50 times a day about “Regan Smith”. The hype is well justified.

2 years ago

Only going to get faster (until Greg messes up her stroke at Stanford) -some keyboard warrior

Reply to  Leisurely1:29
2 years ago

Well played sir… well played indeed

2 years ago

I was attacked for saying the WR is slow. I think with the backstroke talent 2:04 will be toast

Reply to  Pkwater
2 years ago

That WR isn’t slow, it’s 1.5 seconds faster than anyone else has been in textile. While I agree that Smith definitely has the potential to break it, saying that it’s slow really takes the credit away from Franklin’s swim

Reply to  Justhereforfun
2 years ago

franklin was a boss. Maybe slow isn’t the right word. Soft might be better. I guarantee you that there are 6-10 women right now who are thinking that record is attainable and are gunning for it. No world record is slow but there are some that are more breakable than others. Any women’s backstroke record is in the crosshairs and is going down soon. Too many people are too good

Reply to  Pkwater
2 years ago

It’s attainable because Missy didn’t have great turns even at her peak. It is also way ahead of any medal wining performance since so it is not soft in any sense.

Reply to  Pkwater
2 years ago

And it’s toast!

2 years ago

20th fastest performance in the women’s 200 m backstroke.

Sunny Cal
2 years ago

What happened to Baker?? Shes not having a good meet.

William Charles Alexander
Reply to  Sunny Cal
2 years ago

Injury cloud.

Reply to  Sunny Cal
2 years ago

She got sick, she broke a rib coughing, she was out of training for a while (all this spring) and I think given that, she’s doing pretty well.