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 distance free record is more likely to fall next summer:
Question: Which is more likely to happen next summer?
- Katie Ledecky breaks women’s 1500 free world record – 34.9%
- Gregorio Paltrinieri breaks men’s 1500 free world record – 34.2%
- Both are equally likely – 30.9%
Those predicting Ledecky’s world record as more likely prevailed by just 0.7% of the votes. 34.9% voted for Ledecky, while 34.2% votes for Paltrinieri. Meanwhile 30.9% picked both as equally likely.
Ledecky has one distinct advantage: she already owns the world record in the women’s 1500 free. But Ledecky is now going on 27 months without a best time in that race. She set the world record with a 15:20.48 at an in-season Pro Swim Series meet in May of 2018. In fact, it was Ledecky’s first meet after turning professional.
Later that summer, Ledecky was just 15:38 at Pan Pacs, 18 seconds off her world record. The following season, Ledecky also hit her season-best time at a regular-season PSS meet: she was 15:45.59 in Knoxville in January, but fell ill at the World Championships in July and scratched this event. In the shortened 2019-2020 season, Ledecky looked solid with a 15:35.98 at U.S. Open in December, but had potential swims at Olympic Trials and the Olympics postponed due to the coronavirus.
Paltrinieri definitely has more momentum. The Italian distance star crushed a personal-best and European record 14:33.10 this month at the Sette Colli Trophy in Rome. That took almost a second off of his previous best (from 2016) and moved him further into the #2 spot all-time. Paltrinieri is still about two seconds behind Sun Yang‘s world record.
In our poll, Paltrinieri was certainly boosted by the recency of his big swim, which grabbed headlines this month. He was also perhaps aided by wishful thinking, as many fans have publicly hoped that Paltrinieri could erase a world record held by the polarizing Sun, whose career may or may not be over as he appeals an 8-year ban over a doping test altercation.
Below, vote in our new A3 Performance Poll, which asks voters to pick which recently-graduated college senior will be the most impactful pickup in the International Swimming League this season:
The A3 Performance Poll is courtesy of A3 Performance, a SwimSwam partner