SwimSwam Pulse: Smith’s 2BK Narrowly Nips Milak’s 2FL for ‘Most Impressive’ WR

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 the most impressive individual world record of 2019 Worlds:


Question: What was the most impressive world record of 2019 Worlds?

Regan Smith‘s 2:03.35 in the 200 back triumphed by just 1.4% over Kristof Milak‘s 200 fly in a very tight poll result.

Both swims were relative surprises. Both Smith and Milak were considered among the best young swimmers on the planet, and projected by many to challenge world records – but not this soon. Smith blasted to her world record via a three-second drop at the World Championships – she came into the meet still a good two seconds away from a Missy Franklin world record.

Milak, meanwhile, dropped about two seconds from his best, which had previously sat more than a second away from a Michael Phelps record. Both swims were incredibly similar, besting two of the biggest names in American swimming history, Franklin and Phelps, who had previously held the records. Milak gets extra credit for breaking a record from the super-suit era, and a record that really hadn’t been challenged in the decade since the full-body suits were outlawed. (Milak had the two fastest textile swims coming into the meet, and the closest anyone else had been to Phelps’ record since 2009 was a 1:52.9 from Laszlo Cseh in 2016).

Smith actually had her votes split a little, as her second world record, the 100 back, snagged 5.6% of the votes. Her double-world record status (plus a leg of the world record medley relay) may have given her an advantage over Milak in the poll.

Adam Peaty continued to be a victim of his own success – his 56.88 is one of the most dominant world records on the books, relative to every other swimmer in the event’s history. But it was much more expected than Smith’s or Milak’s, and didn’t pull the same volume of votes.

It’s a bit surprising to see Caeleb Dressel‘s 100 fly so low – he broke a supersuited Phelps record by a wide margin, and came back from a down summer of 2018. Dressel’s record was much more expected, too, though. Meanwhile Anton Chupkov‘s 200 breast really got the short end of the stick in poll numbers, finishing with just 11 votes.


Below, vote in our new A3 Performance Pollwhich asks voters whether Smith should turn pro as a high school senior, rather than swimming at least one season in the NCAA:

Should Regan Smith turn pro instead of swimming NCAA?

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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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1 year ago

… and so far the new poll on NCAA or Go Pro is running at 100% the latter – Ive never seen a unanimous (so far) poll here before.

Big Boi
Reply to  Nance
1 year ago

You were probably the first vote. This was posted minutes ago.

Reply to  Nance
1 year ago


Mr Piano
1 year ago

There should be a counter to show how many people voted in the poll.

The Ready Room
1 year ago

Would Regan be allowed to attend Stanford and train with the team, but not compete? Not saying she would or should, just curious…

Reply to  The Ready Room
1 year ago

Why couldn’t she?

Reply to  Heyitsme
1 year ago

Some programs only allow former members of the team train with them as post-grads. Sometimes it’s driven by the coach, sometimes by the school. I don’t know what Stanford’s policy on this is.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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