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:
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 Poll, which asks voters to pick the biggest upset winner at the Tokyo Olympics:
The A3 Performance Poll is courtesy of A3 Performance, a SwimSwam partner