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 who exceeded expectations the most over the course of the three World Cup meets:
Question: Who was the biggest surprise performer of the 2022 FINA World Cup?
A number of swimmers delivered some big-time performances over the course of three weeks on the FINA World Cup circuit, but no one went on a run quite like Dylan Carter.
Carter, a 26-year-old veteran out of Trinidad & Tobago, was absolutely on fire the whole way through, going undefeated in three ultra-competitive events: the men’s 50 free, 50 back and 50 fly.
In the 50 free, Carter unleashed the six fastest swims of his life, bringing his best time down from 21.09 to 20.72, breaking George Bovell‘s Trinidad & Tobago National Record in the process.
Carter put up the three fastest swims of his career in the 50 back, bringing his best time down from 23.19 to 22.72, and in the 50 fly, he produced his second, third and seventh-fastest times, with the quickest being 21.99 (.01 off his PB of 21.98).
American Nic Fink matched Carter by winning the same three events at all three stops, though Fink did it in one stroke (breaststroke) compared to Carter doing it across three strokes but all the same distance.
41.8 percent of readers picked Carter as the biggest surprise performer of the FINA World Cup. We all knew he was a top-tier sprinter, but the level he managed to reach, and the consistently he was churning out each and every week was something not many could’ve forecasted.
17-year-old Bella Sims followed with over 35 percent of votes, having performed exceptionally well at the Indianapolis stop two weeks ago. Sims most notably broke two World Junior Records in a 12-minute span, with the second being a victory over a stacked field in an event she’s not generally known for, the 100 back.
American Beata Nelson, who won the women’s overall series title (Carter won the men’s) was third with more than 15 percent of votes, having been dominant with nine wins over the three meets. Nelson performing well at the series wasn’t a big surprise, but similar to Carter, the consistency and high level she maintained throughout was probably better than expected.
le Clos picked up five wins over the course of the series, including a sweep in the men’s 100 fly, to earn just over six percent of votes.
Below, vote in our new A3 Performance Poll, which asks: Who will place first at the Minnesota Invite?
The A3 Performance Poll is courtesy of A3 Performance, a SwimSwam partner.