SwimSwam Pulse: 33% Say Schoenmaker’s 200 Breast Most Impressive WR In Tokyo

SwimSwam Pulse is a recurring feature tracking and analyzing the results of our periodic A3 Performance Polls. You can cast your vote in our newest poll on the SwimSwam homepage, about halfway down the page on the right side, or you can find the poll embedded at the bottom of this post.

Our most recent poll asked SwimSwam readers to pick which world record set at the Tokyo Olympic Games was the most impressive:

RESULTS

Question: What was the most impressive world record of the Tokyo Olympics?

  • Tatjana Schoenmaker‘s 200 breast (2:18.95) – 33.4%
  • United States men’s medley relay (3:26.78) – 31.3%
  • China’s women’s 4×200 free relay (7:40.33) – 13.1%
  • Caeleb Dressel‘s 100 fly (49.45) – 9.8%
  • Australia’s women’s 4×100 free relay (3:29.69) – 9.4%

Just over one third of voters went with Tatjana Schoenmaker‘s world record set in the women’s 200 breaststroke final as the most impressive of the Games, edging out the American men’s 400 medley relay by a very narrow margin.

The poll questioned readers on whether they valued breaking one of the remaining super-suited world records from 2009 (men’s 400 medley relay) more than taking out an individual mark that hadn’t been seriously approached in four years. No swimmer had come within a second of the previous world record in the women’s 200 breast, set in 2013 by Rikke Moeller-Pedersen at 2:19.11, since 2017, making Schoenmaker’s 2:18.95 swim (in the Olympic final, no less, after she set her fastest time in the 100 breast in the prelims) all the more incredible. (We ranked the 200 breast as the sixth-least likely individual world record to fall on the women’s side, out of 14 races, prior to the Games.)

The men’s 400 medley relay record had stood since 2009, but on paper, the U.S. had the team to take it down. It was just a matter of getting it done on the day, especially after a few relay missteps prior at the meet.

That doesn’t take anything away from the performance, however, especially since this swim marked the first world record in a men’s relay (LCM) since the U.S. team set the previous 400 medley WR of 3:27.28 at those 2009 Worlds in Rome. The men’s 4×200 free relay record (almost broken by Great Britain in Tokyo) was set earlier at that meet in 2009, while the men’s 4×100 free record still stands from the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

The razor-thin poll shows that both swims were almost equally impressive to the voters, while China garnered more than 13% of votes for its world record in the women’s 4×200 free relay. That was arguably the world record most expected to fall in Tokyo—everyone just thought it was going to Australia.

Both coming in at just under 10%, Caeleb Dressel‘s 100 fly and the Australian women’s 4×100 free relay were certainly both impressive feats, but neither were a surprise.

Below, vote in our new A3 Performance Pollwhich asks voters to pick the biggest upset winner at the Tokyo Olympics:

Who was the biggest upset winner of the Tokyo Olympic Games?

View Results

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ABOUT A3 PERFORMANCE

A3 Performance is an independently-owned, performance swimwear company built on a passion for swimming, athletes, and athletic performance. We encourage swimmers to swim better and faster at all ages and levels, from beginners to Olympians.  Driven by a genuine leader and devoted staff that are passionate about swimming and service, A3 Performance strives to inspire and enrich the sport of swimming with innovative and impactful products that motivate swimmers to be their very best – an A3 Performer.

The A3 Performance Poll is courtesy of A3 Performance, a SwimSwam partner

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Khachaturian
2 months ago

I think a lot of world records are going to get broken in 22. If I had to say, breaking the super suited records are more impressive. But at the same time, I think the 200 breast was the oldest women’s textile record on the books.

Yabo
Reply to  Khachaturian
2 months ago

Plus broke through that barrier

Yozhik
Reply to  Khachaturian
2 months ago

If the age of world record is the time period before the name of world record holder gets changed then the oldest textile world record in swimming (women) was and still is Ledecky’s record in 1500m event. It was set 2 days earlier than the record in W200BR. Yes it was improved then 5 times but still by the same swimmer.

Sub13
Reply to  Yozhik
2 months ago

Yeah but it’s not that. It’s about the age of the actual record.

jeff
Reply to  Yozhik
2 months ago

i guess technically the 200 breast was the longest textile record but idk this comment seems perfectly fair. It would be different if anyone else had gone a time faster than the WR that Ledecky set in 2013, but that hasn’t happened

Robbos
Reply to  Yozhik
2 months ago

The 1500 free outside of Ledecky & the 200 fly are very poor events on the women side

ACC
2 months ago

Easily Hafnaoui. 16th seed by 3.5 seconds to Olympic champion? That’s insane.

Drewbrewsbeer
Reply to  ACC
2 months ago

That event was pretty wide open, but not in 100 years would have i predicted how it played out.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  ACC
2 months ago

Uh, he didn’t set a WR. I realize it was in the title and the text, but still…

PVSFree
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
2 months ago

He’s talking about the next A3 poll

Hmm
2 months ago

Gotta go with a relay win out of Lane 1

Marklewis
Reply to  Hmm
2 months ago

The British wanted that gold so badly.

And the USA wasn’t going to let them have it.

Penguin
2 months ago

Isn’t an upset defined as when a heavy favorite loses, more so than when an underdog wins? Hard to define in swimming vs 1 on 1 sports. To me, the biggest “upset” by that definition was China 4×2, as the Aussies were huge favorites. No clear favorite in 400, anyone could have snuck in.

swimfast
Reply to  Penguin
1 month ago

that, and the fact that at least the Americans were heavy second-favorites. Ie if you were to have explained that the Aussies lose, I would’ve bet the rest of my money on the Americans having taken the gold instead, definitely not China, and definitely not China going 7:40- that’s amazing.

All in all, China is getting so, so good. They already were, but their top standing World Records are suuuuuuuuper suited. Literally the two hardest world records (W 200 Fly, and M 800 Free {ok it’s between this and the 200 free}) are Chinese. Now, they have a legit, not super suited record that is a VERY fast world record that may not be beaten for a bit of time.… Read more »

Yozhik
2 months ago

I would say that breaking the suit world record is the most important things to do. I still don’t understand why they are listed as world standards when they were achieved not because of improvement of swimmer’s physical abilities but because of special swimming suit. Let those swimmers keep their awards but don’t list them as record holders.
The second by importance I would call the races of McKeon in 100FR and Hauhgey in 200FR. They move competition in 51sec and 1:53 sec zone respectively. Yes there was the world record under 52 sec already and in 200 event there were already three 1:53 results. But all they were outliers. Now you have to be under 52 and under… Read more »

Joel
Reply to  Yozhik
2 months ago

You mean Titmus in 200 free ?

jeff
Reply to  Joel
2 months ago

I would say Titmus + Haughey both. 1:53 winning is nothing new; both Schmitt and Ledecky did that in 2012 and 2016, but this is the first time ever that two women both swam sub 1:54 in the same race.

Last edited 2 months ago by jeff
Robbos
Reply to  jeff
2 months ago

Titmus is nearly 1 second ahead of Haughey. 1.53.09 to 1.53.92.

jeff
Reply to  Robbos
2 months ago

well yes Titmus moreso than Haughey, but i think this is significant since its the first time a swimmer went sub 1:54 and but didn’t won gold, in ANY competition ever until now

swimfast
Reply to  jeff
1 month ago

I’d equate 1:54.00 for women to be 1:44.00 for men. Same concept, roughly same number of people to beat it, and then only the super suited have been a whole second or more faster, and then a dime a dozen have been within a second over that time.

Last edited 1 month ago by swimfast
Yozhik
Reply to  Joel
2 months ago

No, Titmus is world record holder (textile). And the word “record” by definition assumes something that is an outlier. I meant Haughey. She competed for the medal racing under 1:54. It means now that 1:54 low times where the all competitions have happened in recent years doesn’t guarantee place on podium. You have to have this 1:53 swim in your arsenal.
Same with Sjostrom’s world record in 100m. Her under 52sec time was just a record far away from the field of competition that moved firmly to the 52sec zone. Now Emma moved it under 52 sec. If you want to beat her in racing you have to be able to go under 51 second. It may not happen… Read more »

Robbos
Reply to  Joel
2 months ago

I think Yozhik struggles to mention Titmus, she is bordering sub 1.52 & this is just so far beyond his Ledecky & this scares him.

Yozhik
Reply to  Robbos
2 months ago

We definitely have difficulties to understand each other. Put your aggression and desire to hurt verbally somebody’s else feelings aside. Expect that nobody wants to put the image of your idol down. Try to understand what I’m actually trying to say. If it’s not clear and you are still interested I will gladly rephrase it.
And also, allow other people to have their favorites. There is nothing wrong with that.
Sorry for being so preachy.

Robbos
Reply to  Yozhik
2 months ago

I am not playing favourites, I say & will say until someone surpasses her Ledecky is the GOAT.
Now I’m saying we have someone who is her level, 0.2 seconds behind & only once.
Now, look at your comment above in regards to Haughey, why are you not talking about Titmus in the 200. She is faster then Haughey both at the Olympics & ever, yes Titmus did not break the World Record, but the 200 free WR is the strongest of the Women’s WRs & Titmus has swam to within 0.1 of it, but you praise Haughey who is 1 second behind.

There is no aggression from my part, just trying to educate you.

Dkro
Reply to  Yozhik
2 months ago

Should swimmers prior to the use of goggles have there own records too? What about before the use of briefs?

Sam B
2 months ago

I “want” to see “most impressive celebrations” lists.

  1. Dressel 100 Free
  2. Dressel 100 Fly
  3. Schoenmaker 200 Breast
  4. Jacoby 100 Breast
  5. ….

123.Milak 200 Fly

Last edited 2 months ago by Sam B
Yoo
Reply to  Sam B
2 months ago

Men’s 4×200, “James cry”
Mixed medley, Peaty and Guy having a shout-off.

Mean Dean
Reply to  Sam B
2 months ago

Fratus’ 50 free bronze is an easy top 3

Yoo
Reply to  Sam B
2 months ago

100 Fly – Maggie MacNeil “should’ve gone to Specsavers”

Last edited 2 months ago by Yoo
Stallion06
2 months ago

People actually watched the woman’s 200 breast final?

oxyswim
2 months ago

I think Dressel was capable of a 49.1 or 49.2 that day. The finish and turn were brutally long.

larry
Reply to  oxyswim
2 months ago

Agree. Given that, with further improvement and finishing each lap on stroke, sub-49 may not be far off.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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