SwimSwam’s Top 100 For 2022: Full Men’s Rankings

With our Top 100 For 2022 series coming to a close, it’s time to revisit the rankings as we look ahead to a fast year of swimming.

While it appears as though there won’t be another World Championship meet until July 2023, the rankings were put together prior to this announcement and reflect where we would rank swimmers assuming there would be a best-on-best competition this year.

Caeleb Dressel repeats as our top-ranked men’s swimmer in 2022, with four more 2021 Olympic champions joining him in the top five.

See the full lists:

Check out the Top 100 Men For 2022 below:

Ranking Swimmer Country
1 Caeleb Dressel USA
2 Adam Peaty Great Britain
3 Evgeny Rylov Russia
4 Bobby Finke USA
5 Kristof Milak Hungary
6 Daiya Seto Japan
7 Duncan Scott Great Britain
8 Kliment Kolesnikov Russia
9 Ryan Murphy USA
10 Kyle Chalmers Australia
11 Florian Wellbrock Germany
12 Wang Shun China
13 Arno Kamminga Netherlands
14 Tom Dean Great Britain
15 Zac Stubblety-Cook Australia
16 Ahmed Hafnaoui Tunisia
17 Michael Andrew USA
18 Ilya Shymanovich Belarus
19 Carson Foster USA
20 David Popovici Romania
21 Mykhailo Romanchuk Ukraine
22 Nicolo Martinenghi Italy
23 Gregorio Paltrinieri Italy
24 Kieran Smith USA
25 Hwang Sunwoo South Korea
26 Noe Ponti Switzerland
27 Chase Kalisz USA
28 Elijah Winnington Australia
29 Shoma Sato Japan
30 Gabriele Detti Italy
31 Thomas Ceccon Italy
32 Andrei Minakov Russia
33 Ilya Borodin Russia
34 Brendon Smith Australia
35 Jack McLoughlin Australia
36 Tomoru Honda Japan
37 Luke Greenbank Great Britain
38 Federico Burdisso Italy
39 Fernando Scheffer Brazil
40 Jay Litherland USA
41 Alessandro Miressi Italy
42 Martin Malyutin Russia
43 Nic Fink USA
44 Matthew Sates South Africa
45 Chad Le Clos South Africa
46 Danas Rapsys Lithuania
47 Alberto Razzetti Italy
48 Leon Marchand France
49 Luca Urlando USA
50 Zach Apple USA
51 Xu Jiayu China
52 Ben Proud Great Britain
53 Felix Auboeck Austria
54 Matthew Temple Australia
55 Jakub Majerski Poland
56 Josif Miladinov Bulgaria
57 Joshua Liendo Canada
58 Vladimir Morozov Russia
59 Mitch Larkin Australia
60 Robert Glinta Romania
61 Lewis Clareburt New Zealand
62 Jeremy Desplanches Switzerland
63 Mack Horton Australia
64 James Wilby Great Britain
65 Hubert Kos Hungary
66 Hugo Gonzalez Spain
67 Eddie Wang Chinese Taipei
68 Katsuhiro Matsumoto Japan
69 Szebasztian Szabo Hungary
70 Maxime Grousset France
71 Shaine Casas USA
72 Max Litchfield Great Britain
73 Bryce Mefford USA
74 Zach Harting USA
75 Blake Pieroni USA
76 Bruno Fratus Brazil
77 Florent Manaudou France
78 Thomas Neill Australia
79 Tamas Kenderesi Hungary
80 Hunter Armstrong USA
81 Radoslaw Kawecki Poland
82 Coleman Stewart USA
83 Emre Sakci Turkey
84 Krzysztof Chmielewski Poland
85 Thom de Boer Netherlands
86 Trenton Julian USA
87 Ippei Watanabe Japan
88 Tom Shields USA
89 Tomoe Hvas Norway
90 Ryan Held USA
91 Vladislav Grinev Russia
92 James Guy Great Britain
93 Takeshi Kawamoto Japan
94 Mehdy Metella France
95 Nicholas Santos Brazil
96 Andrii Govorov Ukraine
97 Matti Mattsson Finland
98 Drew Kibler USA
99 Michele Lamberti Italy
100 Christian Diener Germany

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Swimmer
2 months ago

How is Luca Urlando higher than Zach Apple? Just curious.

Curious
3 months ago

Curious how Carson Foster is higher on the list than David Popovici? Haven’t seen this one raised before

HJones
Reply to  Curious
3 months ago

Now that I see that, I’m also a bit confused. Foster at the moment is only internationally competitive in the 400 IM, whereas David Popovici is 3 years younger, and is a medal threat in two events (100 & 200 FR) that much more competitive fields.

If we want to play the ‘what-if’ game and say Foster went a time that would’ve won gold in the 400 IM, fine. But the time to win was relatively uninspiring, and if we play the same game with Popovici, he’d be the bronze medalist in the 100 FR with a much more impressive time. Plus, if Scheffer doesn’t get the benefit of Hwang’s wake in the 200 FR to go a 0.4… Read more »

Torchbearer
3 months ago

Chalmers is way too high- just had surgery, competes in one event, may not go to worlds….he is a great swimmer, but 2022 is not likely to be his year.

Joel
Reply to  Torchbearer
3 months ago

I disagree. I think with worlds cancelled now, comm games could be huge for him.

Swammer
3 months ago

Finke and Hafnaoui seem too far apart.
I know Finke won a second gold, but if it‘s about the coming year, one has to keep in mind Hafnaoui‘s crazy improvement just in the past 12 months. Not only up until the Olympics but also considering his 1500 SCM performance at the end of the year.
And if you argue against Hafnaoui because of the rather „weak“ Olympic winning time, the same could be said for Finke.

Troyy
Reply to  Swammer
3 months ago

Finke is American tho so that must count for something.

Last edited 3 months ago by Troyy
SigmaAlphaBetaMale
3 months ago

there is one person you forgot:

me (i am sigma and beat dressel once)

Last edited 3 months ago by SigmaAlphaBetaMale
Togger
3 months ago

Can’t believe I’ve been left out.

After my 1.08 100 breast at a recent Masters meet a 56 is definitely on the cards by August.

Swimmer
Reply to  Togger
2 months ago

Clearly!

Dressel will come 3rd in 100 free in Paris
3 months ago

Jacob Whittle will have a better year than Bobby Finke

Dressel GOAT

Sonny trigg, go back to your YouTube channel. You‘re on the wrong site amigo.

HJones
3 months ago

Now that I see the list in full, here are my general takeaways from the most glaring issues:

Too low:
Milak
KK (only slightly)
Kamminga
Paltrinieri (others may think too high, but with no mono, he sweeps the distance events in Tokyo. Should be much better this year)
Hwang
Guy

Too high:
Peaty
Finke
Rapsys
Foster
Urlando
Morozov

Rafael
Reply to  HJones
3 months ago

Morozov is the worst 50 freestyler of the list but he is rated higher than all World/OG medallists except Dressel

Stewart 100 back gold in Fukuoka
Reply to  Rafael
3 months ago

I don’t know why Morozov is even on the list.

HJones
Reply to  Rafael
3 months ago

Yea, I don’t understand how he’s above Flo and Fratus. Morozov is a factor in only the 50 FR at this point, and I assume RUS will dump him from relay duties in the 400 FR (use Rylov instead, has been 47.0 on his split) and 400 MR. I can understand Proud being higher than those two, considering people have said he had a weight room injury after Euros, and he looked fantastic at ISL and SC Worlds.

Hswimmer
Reply to  HJones
3 months ago

Finke isn’t too high

Rafael
Reply to  Hswimmer
3 months ago

He should not be ahead of Milak..

People said about Hafnaoui winning 400 on a weak time.. but 1500 was weak also..

And Milak grip over 200 is unbeatable now, but Finke 800/1500 PBs are still behind Wellbrock Paltrinieri and Romanchuck..

Last edited 3 months ago by Rafael
Virtus
Reply to  Rafael
3 months ago

Finke over milak makes absolutely 0 sense

HJones
Reply to  Virtus
3 months ago

Yea, it’s essentially punishing Milak for having to race against the WR holder in the 100 FL while being only a few tenths behind and the second-fastest performer in history. For other events, like the 400 IM, they hold the weakness of the field against the winner, hence Chase Kalisz isn’t too high.

HJones
Reply to  Rafael
3 months ago

Now that I think of it, Hafnaoui might be a little high for someone who only swims one event at an elite level (so far), and his winning time was the slowest of any WCs/OGs since 2007, and was the slowest OGs winning time since 1996. But, he does have youth on his side, and coming to the US to train could be huge since I don’t know how great the resources of Swimming Tunisia are (Mellouli didn’t become an international medalist until he came to USC).

HJones
Reply to  Hswimmer
3 months ago

Would not put him over Milak and would be a tough call to put him over KK. The times he won with weren’t earth-shattering and he has 3 guys down his neck in both his events who have very recent PBs faster than his PBs.

Steve Nolan
Reply to  HJones
3 months ago

Agreed with a few of these – Guy really stood out as being too low. Could basically flip him and Greenbank and it’d make more sense imo.

HJones
Reply to  Steve Nolan
3 months ago

Yea, the James Guy rank made absolutely no sense to me. In the 2021 ranking, he was 41, and that was coming off a poor 2019 showing. Yet, he was nearly at his best form in 2021–throws down one of the fastest splits in the 4*200 field, became the 3rd-fastest 100 FL relay swimmer in history (behind only CD and the GOAT), and gave up a very possible bronze medal in the 100 FL to save for GB’s relays, but somehow drops 51 spots?? There wasn’t much more you could’ve asked him to do in Tokyo and he delivered big time. He has much more value as a swimmer than one of the four 400 IM-only swimmers in the top… Read more »

AnEn
Reply to  HJones
3 months ago

Yeah sure … Paltrinieri would have swept the distance events although he has been hopeless against Wellbrock in the 1500 free since 2018 …
Also: Did he also have mono this short course season?

The reality is that his time in the pool is over, guys at that age very very very rarely get faster. He should focus on the open water in the future.

Stewart 100 back gold in Fukuoka
Reply to  HJones
3 months ago

Paltrinieri may win the 800 if he was healthy, but I don’t know about 1500. The only international 1500 title he’s won since 2017 Worlds is the one at 2019 short course European Championships, with the absence of Wellbrock. He lost by only a few tenths in 800 in Tokyo but was way behind in 1500. He failed to make the podium once again at last year’s short course Worlds.

HJones
Reply to  Stewart 100 back gold in Fukuoka
3 months ago

I disagree. In late 2020, he went the second-fastest time EVER in the 1500, behind only Sun Yang’s London 2012 swim (so for the swimming purists out there, GP is the actual WR holder). He was faster at Italian trials in 2021 than he was at the Italian trials in 2016, and from trials to OGs in 2016 he dropped over 6 seconds. Had a respectable showing at Euros while being untapered (by his account) and clearly unshaved–just looked to be in great form for Tokyo. The medal he won in the 800 was just pure guts (I remember even Rowdy had to tip his hat to GP during his commentary), and the bronze he won in OW was largely… Read more »

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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