Which Swimmers Have Medalled Across The 50/100/200-Meter Distances At Worlds?

Winning medals across the 50, 100 and 200 at the same World Aquatics Championships is not an easy task. In fact, there are only a few swimmers who have accomplished this feat, which demands sprint skills (for the 50-meter events) and strategy and aerobic skills (for the 200-meter events).

Instagram’s Swimming Stats page has published the list of all swimmers who have won medals across 50/100/200 since the first World Aquatics Championships in 1973.

The treble 50/100/200 freestyle was not a possible feat before 1986, since the 50 freestyle was contested for the first time that year. In Madrid, Matt Biondi became the first swimmer to win medals across all three distances: a gold medal in the 100 and two bronzes in the 50 and 200.

In other strokes, the 50-meter events were added to the World Aquatics Championship schedule in 2001. Since then, the same swimmer won medals across 50-100-200 in breaststroke events in six editions. Yuliya Efimova deserves a special mention, since she accomplished the feat three times. In 2013, she almost swept all three distances, winning gold medals in 50 and 200 and settling for silver in the 100. To this day, she is the only swimmer to ever win 50 and 200-meter events at the same World Aquatics Championships.

But it was not Efimova who has come the closest to winning all three distances. Another female breaststroker, Leisel Jones, won the women’s 100 and 200 breast in 2007, and only missed gold by seven one-hundredths of a second in the 50.

On the other hand, it is extremely rare for a swimmer to win medals across 50/100/200 in backstroke and butterfly. Only Evgeny Rylov (backstroke, 2019) and Laszlo Cseh (butterfly, 2015) have done that in these strokes.

Some people believe that winning medals across the 50, 100 and 200 has become harder over the years, since many swimmers have been specializing in certain distances. But, curiously, the World Aquatics Championships that saw more swimmers going to the podium of all three distances was the last one, in 2019. In Gwangju, Sarah Sjostrom (freestyle), Efimova (breaststroke) and Rylov (backstroke) did so – for the first time that three swimmers accomplished the feat in the same edition.

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Go Lily Go Annie
2 months ago

Yulia also is a two time drug cheat, first time in 2013 when she won 2 golds and “settled for silver”. So does she really deserve a special mention?

Steve Nolan
2 months ago

Sjostrom’s prolly the only swimmer that could’ve maaaaybe done it in a second stroke, too? (Tho honestly not sure if I can ever remember her swimming a 200 fly, but you’d assume it’s OK.)

Sub13
Reply to  Steve Nolan
2 months ago

Her 200 fly PB is 2:12 so not even close to a medal since she started swimming.

Steve Nolan
Reply to  Sub13
2 months ago

lol ya but my point is, how many did she do? (I did the bare minimum and Wiki says she did a 4:06 400m, so like…could prolly do a better 2 fly than that.)

A 2:06 has medaled the last few, bet that’d be doable.

Jamesabc
Reply to  Steve Nolan
2 months ago

This feels like another one of those ‘Dressel would win gold in the 200 free and 200 IM if he swam them’. Like… it’s meaningless conjecture.

PRK
Reply to  Steve Nolan
2 months ago

And those 3 winning free races of hers at the ’19 World, not to take anything away from that achievement, she did actually have a little help from lady luck on her side with Ledecky, who just out touched her in their great 200 free swim at the Rio Olympics, as Ledecky was off form at those games, at least in terms of that 200 free won by the Swede instead.

ACC
2 months ago

They didn’t add the stroke 50s until 2001, and since then, 6 of the 11 times this was done was by breaststrokers. That honestly makes a lot of sense since breaststrokers tend to be the most specialized in their stroke compared to the other 3.

Swimfan
2 months ago

I was gonna say regan smith but ig this list is for a single worlds

Last edited 2 months ago by Swimfan
USA
Reply to  Swimfan
2 months ago

Smiths only medal is in the 200

Sub13
Reply to  Swimfan
2 months ago

Lol what? Regan has one individual worlds medal ever in the 200 back. And she’s never even medaled in 50 back at any international competition ever.

Greg
Reply to  Sub13
2 months ago

I guess he’s counting the junior champs, but even then, she didn’t win the 50 back.

Dee
2 months ago

I find Cseh doing it for fly the most impressive – 50 & 200 fly could not be more different

Tea rex
Reply to  Dee
2 months ago

Totally. What a legend.

Swimmer swammer
2 months ago

I think Kaylee McKeown is this years best chance at being the first to win three golds. Lilly King maybe with Schoenmaker potentially absent. I can also see Arno Kamminga, Siobhan Haughey, Zhang Yufei or Murphy winning three medals.

12 plus gold in budapest
Reply to  Swimmer swammer
2 months ago

Berkoff went 27.1 in the 50 back so i’m not saying it’s impossible but i think it’s Berkoff who comes in as the favorite or at least Mckeown and Masse’s biggest threats

Sub13
Reply to  12 plus gold in budapest
2 months ago

McKeown didn’t swim the 50 at trials so it’s hard to know. Berkoff is nominally the favourite, but McKeown and Masse are significant wild cards. Really difficult to call!

oxyswim
Reply to  Swimmer swammer
2 months ago

Interesting that King’s biggest challenge for triple gold this year might be in the 50. Used to be such a natural sprinter. All the 200 work payed off, but it’s cost her some of that speed.