2021 FINA SHORT COURSE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Thursday, December 16th – Tuesday, December 21st
- Etihad Arena, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
- SCM (25m)
- Prize Money
- Meet Site
- Psych Sheet
- Live Results
Some of the world’s best are set to compete at the 2021 Short Course World Championships over the next six days, including some current world record holders.
While the majority of the top swimmers competing have had several cracks at SCM world records over the last few months in the International Swimming League—something that wasn’t the case coming into previous SC Worlds meets—there are still several world records that could be at risk in Abu Dhabi.
Especially after the ISL Finals were moved up by a month, giving swimmers just one week to rest after the playoffs, some of them will surely have been tapering down over the last 10 days to gear up for SC Worlds and close out 2021 with a bang.
With that being said, which world records are in danger at SC Worlds?
Women’s 200 Freestyle, Siobhan Haughey (HKG)
Hong Kong’s Siobhan Haughey looked primed to take down Sarah Sjostrom‘s world record in the women’s 200 freestyle in the ISL Final, having recorded the second and third-fastest swims ever (1:50.65 and 1:50.66) in back-to-back matches during the playoffs.
Haughey clocked 1:51.04 in the final, with Sjostrom’s all-time mark from 2017 sitting at 1:50.43.
If Haughey has taken advantage of the brief break since the ISL Final and hits a good taper, this record is very much within her sights.
If someone was to lower the world record in the men’s 100 breast in Abu Dhabi, Ilya Shymanovich is the obvious pick, having taken down the 100m record multiple times in the ISL.
However, Shymanovich was upset by American Nic Fink in the league final, with Fink slaughtering his American Record in 55.56. Shymanovich lowered his own record in back-to-back meets, clocking 55.32 then 55.28, in the lead-up to the final.
Less than three-tenths off, Fink certainly has a shot at the record, though the odds are in Shymanovich’s favor given his consistency.
Men’s 50 Breaststroke, Ilya Shymanovich (BLR)
In the 50 breast, Shymanovich tied Cameron van der Burgh‘s world record from 2009 at SC Euros in 25.25. He didn’t seriously approach that time in the ISL (and lost to Fink in the final in this race as well), but he’s a threat to re-lower it if he’s on.
Santos first broke the world record in October 2018 in 21.75, and Szabo matched that time last month at SC Euros in Kazan.
As to who has the best chance at the record, the advantage should go to Santos given that he went sub-22 three times in the ISL, including a blistering 21.81 in the Play-In Match. However, Szabo clearly can deliver when he’s gotten a bit of a taper, so this may be the perfect storm for him.
Men’s 100 Backstroke, Kliment Kolesnikov (RUS)
The former world record holder in the event, Russia’s Kliment Kolesnikov could reclaim his 100 backstroke mark if he’s on top form in Abu Dhabi. Kolesnikov broke the record in the 2020 ISL Final in 48.58, and then American Coleman Stewart lowered that time early in the 2021 ISL season in 48.33.
Kolesnikov took on an incredibly busy schedule for Energy Standard during the ISL season, and didn’t always race the 100 back. However, in November at SC Euros he had four swims that came between 49.1 and 49.4, and while that’s still relatively far off of Stewart’s world record, it shows he can drop time quickly after some rest (if you look at his ISL times from the regular season).
Men’s 50 Backstroke, Kolesnikov
Kolesnikov is also the top seed in the 50 back, and put up the second-fastest swim ever at SC Euros in 22.47.
Florent Manaudou‘s world record of 22.22 is still an incredible quarter-second ahead of Kolesnikov’s best, but this still needs to be recognized as a threat given that Kolesnikov owns the second-fastest swim ever.
Women’s 50 Backstroke, Kira Toussaint (NED)
Kira Toussaint has already broken and then matched the world record in the women’s 50 back, clocking 25.60 in November and December of last year.
After numerous sub-26 swims in the ISL, Toussaint was forced out of the ISL Final with a non-COVID-related illness. If she’s back at her best, she has a good chance to lower this record.
Women’s 100 Butterfly, Maggie MacNeil (CAN)
The fastest woman ever in yards (and the Olympic champion), Maggie MacNeil has to be mentioned as a legitimate threat to the world record in the women’s 100 fly, set less than two weeks ago by Kelsi Dahlia in 54.59.
MacNeil owns a best of 55.30, but she’s a big-game performer that can drop time with a little bit of rest. It remains to be seen if she did taper for the meet, however, given the fact she’s in the midst of the NCAA season.
Kromowidjojo holds the 50 free record in 22.93, and Sjostrom hit 23.1 three times during the ISL season (and a 23.12 to win SC Euros)
In the 50 fly, Therese Alshammar has held the world record since 2009, having clocked 24.38 at a World Cup meet in Singapore.
Sjostrom won SC Euros in November in 24.50, and Kromowidjojo won the ISL’s sixth playoff match in a league-best 24.62, putting them both in the running.
Darkhorse: Daiya Seto (JPN)
Daiya Seto, the current world record holder in both the SCM 200 fly (1:48.24) and 400 IM (3:54.81), has been moving around the U.S., training in various places, and heads to Worlds with a chance to rack up some gold medals.
Seto’s best chance at a potential world record appeared to be in the 200 fly, given that he was sub-1:50 in both the ISL (1:49.41) and on the FINA World Cup (1:49.76), but he hasn’t entered the event.
The 400 IM record looks to be a bit of a longshot, given that his best swim in 2021 is three seconds off the mark (3:57.85 to 3:54.81), but he’s only a second off in the 200 IM, so there’s a chance he challenges that. Ryan Lochte‘s record from 2012 sits at 1:49.63, and Seto was 1:50.66 at the Kazan stop of the World Cup in November.