SwimSwam Pulse: 56.5% Say Märtens’ Stock Rose Most During International Trials

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 which male swimmer was the biggest winner during the big week of international trials meets in early April:

Question: Which male swimmers’ stock rose the most during the first week of trials meets?


It comes as no surprise that Germany’s Lukas Märtens emerged as the leading vote-getter in the poll, as the 20-year-old had a dynamite showing at the Stockholm Open as he rattled off world #1 times in the men’s 200 free (1:45.44), 400 free (3:41.60) and 800 free (7:41.43).

His swim in the 400 free was the fastest anyone has gone in the last five years, while the 800 free clocking marked a new German Record, bettering the previous mark held by Olympic medalist Florian Wellbrock.

Märtens’ stock went up in a big way, no doubt, but he came into the Stockholm meet fresh off a 14:40.28 swim in the 1500 free which had probably already elevated him into the upper-echelon of men’s distance freestylers this year.

He showed how wide his range is in Stockholm, and is probably now the favorite at the 2022 World Championships in the 400 free, but he remains just one of a handful of swimmers in the hunt for titles in the 800 and 1500, with the likes of Wellbrock, Bobby FinkeMykhailo Romanchuk and Gregorio Paltrinieri also expected to be in the mix.

So while Märtens raised his value during that week, garnering 56.5 percent of the vote in this poll, there was an argument to be made that the likes of Joshua Liendo and Duncan Scott did so even more, though in very different ways.

For Liendo, who had a breakout performance at the Short Course World Championships in December, he proved that he’s ready to take the next step in the long course pool, as the 19-year-old blasted his way to new Canadian Records in the 50 free (21.63) and 100 fly (50.88), taking over first and second, respectively, in the 2021-22 world rankings.

An Olympic semi-finalist last summer, Liendo’s performances asserted himself as a legitimate medal contender at the World Championships this summer, and given that how young he is and how rapidly he’s improving, the sky is the limit.

For Scott, who was already well established coming into the British Trials and had even punched his ticket to the World Championships by virtue of his Olympic performances, he annihilated the British Record in the 400 IM in 4:09.18 (also #1 in the world and faster than it took to win Olympic gold in 2021), which all of a sudden puts him in the running for three individual World titles this year.

Scott also put up respectable times in the 200 free (1:45.54) and 200 IM (1:56.08) in Sheffield, and given that neither were lifetime bests, it gives us an indication he might have even more to give in the 400 IM come Budapest.

Liendo picked up a significant number of votes, landing at 19 percent, while Scott sat third at 13.3.

Märtens may have been the swimmer who came out of ‘nowhere’, in a sense, but Liendo proved he’s ready for major long course championship podiums and Scott put himself in position to vie for three individual titles in Budapest. All stocks raised in different ways.

Also considered in the poll was Great Britain’s Lewis Burras and Germany’s Rafael Miroslaw, who both took big steps forward in dipping under the 48-second threshold in the 100 freestyle.

Burras went 47.88, which ranks him tied for first in the world with Italian Alessandro Miressi and put him just .01 shy of Scott’s British Record. Miroslaw clocked 47.92 to set a new German Record and rank third in 2021-22.

Below, vote in our new A3 Performance Pollwhich asks: Which event would the U.S. have the best chance of sweeping the podium if they could bring three swimmers to Worlds (in other words, which race’s third-place finisher at the upcoming U.S. World Trials would be a potential medalist in Budapest):

If countries could bring 3 swimmers per event, which race would the U.S. have the best chance of sweeping the Worlds podium in 2022?

View Results

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

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7 months ago

Martens was the obvious answer. Thought it would be even more lopsided than this.

There's no doubt that he's tightening up
7 months ago

For the next poll, I’m surprised that Women’s 100 back is top. Yes, USA has fantastic depth, but McKeown and Masse are just too good and too consistent. They have shown they can crank out 58 low/57 high on demand, which should be enough to beat everyone but maybe Regan comfortably. Really hard to imagine one of them, let alone both, dropping off the podium.

Women’s 100 breast seems a better bet, you have Jacoby/King/Lazor who all are great, and you “only” have to hope one swimmer Schoenmaker is off, rather than both of McKeown/Masse.

Honestly men’s 100 back is a bit underrated here, without the Russians it’s pretty open. Murphy and Xu are the standouts, but it’s… Read more »


Yeah it’s ridiculous that women’s 100 back has topped that polling…… everyone forgotten the Olympic gold medalist?
I chose women’s 100 fly with Macneill and McKeon out, I just don’t see USA sweeping any other event and this one only because of absentees.

Reply to  Joel
7 months ago

I chose breast totally forgetting about the absences in the 100 fly! I wonder if Zhang Yufei will be in shape this year?

Reply to  Troyy
7 months ago

I hope so.

Reply to  Joel
7 months ago

and masse has been the most consistent womens 100 backstroker over the last 6 years

Stewart 100 back gold in Fukuoka

Exactly what I want to say. It’s unlikely McKeown will be off the podium in 100 back.
W 100 breast, W 200 IM and M 100 back may be not as deep as W 100 back in the US, but there is also no standout competitors internationally. Schoenmaker is rumored to miss the Worlds. Russians won’t be there. McKeown most likely won’t swim 200 IM in Budapest. And Ohashi is pretty out of shape this year.


I went for the men’s 100 back because 1st-6th place from semis at Olympic trials were fast enough to make the Olympic final

Last edited 7 months ago by Swammer
7 months ago

Don’t even think Duncan Scott should be on that list. He is an incredible talent, but has Ben for a long time. I don’t think any of us are shocked when he swims fast!

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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