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.
Our most recent poll asked SwimSwam readers which swimmer is most likely to sweep their respective 100 and 200-meter events at next summer’s Olympics:
Question: Which swimmer currently dominating the World Cup has the best chance of winning the 100/200 double in Paris?
- Kaylee McKeown (women’s BK) – 50.5%
- Qin Haiyang (men’s BR) – 45.0%
- Zhang Yufei (women’s FLY) – 4.0%
- Siobhan Haughey (women’s FR) – 0.5%
This poll came with the caveat that both Kaylee McKeown and Qin Haiyang are currently favored to sweep their respective 100 and 200 specialty events at the Paris Olympics, but if you could only back one, who would it be?
Both are coming off historic 50/100/200 sweeps at the 2023 World Championships, and McKeown really hasn’t lost a major international final in either the 100 or 200 back since 2019.
She pulled off the 100/200 backstroke double in Tokyo, and has consistently improved since, setting a new world record in the 200 back (2:03.14) earlier this year and then lowering the all-time marks in both the 50 back (26.86) and 100 back (57.33) at the final leg of the World Cup in Budapest last week.
Qin didn’t come completely out of nowhere with his dominant performance at the World Championships, but he regained his form (and then drastically improved it) in a short amount of time.
At the 2022 World Championships, he was 22nd in the 200 breast (2:13.35), and though he didn’t race the 100 breast individually, he did split 59.3 on China’s medley relay. At the Tokyo Olympics, he was DQed in the 200 breast after initially posting a time of 2:08.48.
Fast forward to the 2023 Worlds, and Qin steamrolled the men’s breaststroke field, winning the 50 breast (26.29) by three-tenths, the 100 breast (57.69) by more than a second and then upsetting Olympic champion Zac Stubblety-Cook in the 200 breast, taking out the Australian’s world record in the process in a time of 2:05.48.
In a tight vote, McKeown came out on top at 50.5 percent, which feels warranted given that she’s consistently performed on the international stage for the last four-plus years. In Fukioka, Regan Smith gave her a much closer race than anyone did for Qin, but McKeown’s consistency is likely what pushed her over the top.
For his part, Qin has been incredibly consistent this year, but he will need to continue to be at his absolute best with Stubblety-Cook in the 200 breast and potentially Adam Peaty in the 100 breast hunting him down in 2024.
Qin earned 45 percent of votes, while his countrymate Zhang Yufei picked up some of her own in women’s fly, having come within five one-hundredths of pulling off the sweep at the Tokyo Olympics.
The defending Olympic champion in the 200 fly, Zhang is the reigning world champion in the 100 fly, making her a prime candidate to pull off the double in Tokyo. However, there’s no shortage of talent in either race.
Also rolling over the field at the World Cup was Siobhan Haughey, who won silver in the women’s 100 and 200 free in Tokyo. She claimed silver in the 100 free at the 2023 Worlds, but was 4th in the 200, and both events are top-heavy heading into Paris, led by Australia’s Mollie O’Callaghan, who doubled up in Fukuoka and set a new world record in the 200.
Below, vote in our new A3 Performance Poll, which asks: Which school has a better 2025 recruiting class is better right now?
The A3 Performance Poll is courtesy of A3 Performance, a SwimSwam partner.