World Champion Finlay Knox Wins 200 IM World Title With Crooked Ceiling for Backstroke

In the SwimSwam Podcast dive deeper into the sport you love with insider conversations about swimming. Hosted by Coleman HodgesGarrett McCaffrey, and Gold Medal Mel Stewart, SwimSwam welcomes both the biggest names in swimming that you already know, and rising stars that you need to get to know, as we break down the past, present, and future of aquatic sports.

Finlay Knox won his first world title, and Canada men’s first since 2007, at the Doha World Championships in the 200 IM. We saw many backstrokers in Doha hitting the lane line during their races and Knox explained that the ceiling wasn’t straight, so the competitors swimming backstrokes were not always swimming in a straight line.

Knox explains that he got lucky by landing in lane 7 for the final, where a pillar was straight across the ceiling to follow during the backstroke leg of the 200 IM.

  • 0:00 Finlay Knox Introduction
  • 1:58 Racing the 200 IM
  • 6:35 Crooked Ceiling During Backstroke
  • 11:00 Race Analysis
  • 20:29 Recovering from Worlds
  • 22:51 Move to UBC
  • 27:48 Training USRPT as a Kid
  • 31:42 Canadian Trials


Music: Otis McDonald

Opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the interviewed guests do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints of the hosts, SwimSwam Partners, LLC and/or SwimSwam advertising partners.

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1 month ago

22:51 Move to UBC – He said he moved to the high performance center in Vancouver.
So that’s at ubc aquatic center but he is not part of ubc swimming program.

1 month ago

Backstroke outside is challenging.

The Original Tim
1 month ago

I’ve always wondered if using peripheral vision to sight off the lane rope instead of the sky/ceiling was an artifact of growing up in the swedes era. As an age grouper on a handful of different teams, that was always drummed into our heads, especially when swimming long course outside.

To this day, as a much older, much slower backstroker, I still use the peripheral vision through my swedes and never have a problem staying straight in the lane inside or outside.

Alison England
Reply to  The Original Tim
1 month ago


Reply to  Alison England
1 month ago

Swedish goggles

1 month ago

Interesting conversation around his reasons for moving from Toronto to Vancouver.

Lots of bashing the HPC-Ontario lately in the comments but he had a valid point that there’s a natural dip in college-age kids there without having a university attached. I think the timing of Tokyo and COVID may have kept/attracted some of the Canadian stars there between 2019-2021 but maybe it’s just the natural progression to cycle in young talent and then they will move on as they get older.

Doesn’t help that the centre is in kinda blah suburbs far from the downtown core, so you’re either living far from a vibrant centre or driving far to practice.

Bo Swims
Reply to  ScovaNotiaSwimmer
1 month ago

Olympic Parc Ceiling has entered the chat

Steve Nolan
1 month ago

Everyone always looking for currents, but no one ever looking for ceilings

Bo Swims
Reply to  Steve Nolan
1 month ago

Montreal has a huge curve in the ceiling.

Reply to  Bo Swims
1 month ago

Yes it does! And that’s where the trials are held too.

Reply to  Steve Nolan
1 month ago

Wasn’t there a Worlds or something that was held somewhere with a terrible ceiling for backstroke? I think I remember Kathleen Baker having some really off swims.

Gen D
Reply to  Meow
1 month ago

sc worlds 2018?

Dyslexic Swinner
1 month ago

Hey, please get your head down and put in the work leading up to trials. We want to see you in your best shape Finlay

1 month ago

I like his honesty, no need to say anything but he did, a true champion!

Fast and Furious
1 month ago

I mean, everyone had the same crooked ceiling(unless we account for the difference in angle per lane), so it was a fair field. Congrats on the win, but the crooked ceiling doesn’t make it any more impressive

Last edited 1 month ago by Fast and Furious
Daddy Foster
Reply to  Fast and Furious
1 month ago

If you actually listened to the podcast, you’d hear him say the opposite. Lane 7 had a beam running mostly straight along the entire lane, which helped him compared to the other lanes.

About Coleman Hodges

Coleman Hodges

Coleman started his journey in the water at age 1, and although he actually has no memory of that, something must have stuck. A Missouri native, he joined the Columbia Swim Club at age 9, where he is still remembered for his stylish dragon swim trunks. After giving up on …

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