World Championships Preview: Men’s 200 Breaststroke


  • Day 6, Fri August 7th
  • 2013 World Champion: Daniel Gyurta, HUN – 2:07.23 (Race Video Above)
  • 2013 Silver Medalist: Marco Koch, GER – 2:08.54
  • 2013 Bronze Medalist: Matti Mattsson, FIN – 2:08.95

2014-2015 LCM Men 200 Breast

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What do the 2009 World Championships, 2010 European Championships, 2011 World Championships, 2012 Olympics Games and 2013 World Championships all have in common? The answer is Hungarian Daniel Gyurta has stood atop of the podium at each of these events.

In fact Gyurta has not lost at a major international competition since finishing fifth at the 2008 Olympic Games

He did not compete in the 200 breaststroke at the European Championships due to some complications in his preparation for Berlin. Gyurta and his coach, Laszlo Kiss, both came to the same conclusion, focus on the 100 breaststroke and the relay at the European Championships and refocus their efforts on the 200 breaststroke heading into the World Short Course Championships.

Their strategy for the getting the most out of Gyurta in the short course pool worked as he took the gold in Doha recording a 2:01.49.

The Hungarian finished last season ranked eighth in the world with a time of 2:08.72 and has a lifetime best of 2:07.23, which is a European record and the fastest in the field coming into Kazan.

Gyurta has always found his way to the top of the podium in this event at major competitions and in Kazan seeing earn the gold again is a good bet.

Japanese athletes are no stranger to success in this event. Kosuke Kitajima took gold at both the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games, Akihiro Yamaguchi currently holds the world record and Ryo Tateishi collected the bronze at the 2012 Olympics. 

23-year old Yasuhiro Koseki is fast becoming one of the best swimmers in the world, which showed in his performances at the Pan Pacific Championships last summer where he won both the 100 and 200 breaststroke. 

Koseki also went from a lifetime best of 2:11.84 in 2013 to a 2:07.77, which he posted earlier this year.

With the confidence he has gained from both his medal winning performances and the improvement he has made in the event Koseki will be going into Kazan with the strong belief that he can challenge for gold.

At the 2012 Olympics Tateishi posted a best time of 2:08.29 since that performance he was not able to get back under the 2:10 mark until this year when he recorded a 2:09.54.

After a stretch of poor performances Tateishi is searching for the path back onto the podium. He will be able to use his experience from London to give himself a chance to walk away from Kazan with another piece of hardware.

The depth that British Swimming has developed in this event has been impressive. The competition has gotten so tight that the Commonwealth Games gold medalist Ross Murdoch and Olympic Games silver medalist Michael Jamieson did not qualify to swim the event in Kazan.

Adam Peaty is one of the men who will be representing Great Britain in Kazan. Peaty is known for his sprinting abilities, setting new world records in both the 50 and 100 breaststroke in this past year.

One thing that has been evident is that he has put more focus on the longer event going from a 2:11.07 in 2013 to a 2:08.34 this year. With his quickness combined with the development of his endurance Peaty will have as good a chance as any to take home some hardware in this event.

The second man to represent Great Britain in this event is Andrew Willis who finished second to Peaty at the British Championships in April recording a time of 2:08.59. Willis has a lifetime best of 2:08.47 which he posted at the 2012 Olympic Games where he finished eighth.

At the Commonwealth Games last summer Willis collected the bronze finishing behind Murdoch and Jamieson.

Willis will have to find a way to better his Olympic performance if he wants to be in contention for a medal.

German Marco Koch finished second to Gyurta in 2013 and won the European Championships last summer in a time of 2:07.47. His time was a lifetime best and a new German national record.

Koch’s previous best was a 2:08.23, which he recorded in the shiny suit era.

Coming into the 2014 season his textile best was a 2:08.54, which was the time that he posted to win the silver at the World Championships in Barcelona.

Koch is another athlete who has had performances over the last year that will give him a huge amount of confidence going into Kazan.

Nic Fink and Kevin Cordes will be the two Americans in the field.

In 2014 Fink took a big chunk of time off his lifetime best winning the silver at Pan Pacific Championships in a time of 2:08.94. Coming into the 2014 season he had a lifetime best of 2:10.12.

Other than at Pan Pacs Fink has experienced his greatest amount of  success on both the collegiate and international stage in the 100 meter distance.

Cordes finished seventh in the 100 breaststroke at the 2013 World Championships and the 2014 Pan Pacific Championships. His fortunes in the 200 breaststroke could have better at the Pan Pacific Championships where he qualified for the final with the second fastest time the prelims.

He did not swim the final scratching the event to focus on the medley relay which was on the same evening.

Both American swimmers will have to see significant improvement in this event to challenge for a medal and possibly need to the same to qualify for the final.

Dmitriy Balandin of Kazakstan had an incredible performance at the 2014 Asian Games winning the 50, 100 and 200 breaststroke. In the 200 breaststroke the 20 year old dropped almost six seconds off the time he started the year with improving his lifetime best from a 2:13.53 to a 2:07.67.

At the World University Games earlier this month Balandin won the gold in the 100 breaststroke, bronze in the 50 breaststroke and finished seventh in the 200 breaststroke.

He has a season’s best of 2:11.34. Balandin will once again have to peak at the right time to advance to the final.

At the Russian National Championships Ilya Khomenko posted a time of 2:08.96. Khomenko is another swimmer who has improved a great deal over the past two years entering the 2014 season with a lifetime best time of 2:13.56.

Khomenko won the 100 breaststroke at the 2013 World Junior Championships and made the European Championships final last summer finishing in fifth place.

Giedrius Titenis of Lithuania posted his lifetime best of 2:07.80 at the 2009 World Championships where he tied Christian Sprenger for the bronze. Titenis finished seventh at the 2011 World Championships, then went on to miss the finals at both 2012 Olympics and the 2013 World Championships.

Titenis not only made his return to the top eight at the European Championships in Berlin, but he also found his way back onto the podium where he grabbed the bronze in a textile best of 2:08.93.


  1. Daniel Gyurta, HUN –                   2:06.87 WR
  2. Yasuhiro Koeski, JPN –                 2:07.38
  3. Marco Koch, GER –                        2:07.52
  4. Adam Peaty, GBR –                        2:07.54
  5. Giedrius Titenis, LTU –                 2:07.80
  6. Nic Fink, USA –                              2:07.88
  7. Dmitriy Balandin, KAZ –              2:07.91
  8. Kevin Cordes, USA –                     2:07.96

Dark Horse – Ilya Khomenko, RUS –      2:08.14


Day 1, Sun August 2nd (Day 9)

Day 2, Mon August 3rd (Day 10)

Day 3, Tue August 4th (Day 11)

Day 4, Wed August 5th (Day 12)

Day 5, Thur August 6th (Day 13)

  • M 200 IM
  • M 100 Free
  • W 200 Fly
  • W 50 Back
  • W 4×200 Free Relay

Day 6, Fri August 7th (Day 14)

Day 7, Sat August 8th (Day 15)

Day 8, Sun August 9th (Day 16)

  • M 50 Back
  • W 50 Breast
  • M 400 IM
  • W 50 Free
  • M 1500 Free
  • W 400 IM
  • M 4×100 Medley Relay
  • W 4×100 Medley Relay

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7 years ago

I will predict that Gyurta will get these splits…
50 29.1
100 1:01.3(32.2)
Then an insane third 50
150 1:33.5(32.2)
And dies in the last 10m but gets the job done
200 2:06.5(33.00)

7 years ago

1. Adam Peaty 2:06:20-40
2. Gyurta Dani 2:06:92
2. Marko Koch 2:07:41

I think that is obvious Peaty’s new style will bring the victory. (by the way did you see the muscle mass of that man, it is hilarious. Compare him with Gyurta or Koch or the Japanese. And he have already went a sub 2:008:05 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
The Japanese usually do not perform as good in “international waters” as they do at “home”.

7 years ago

There is no way possible that Peaty will be beaten by Cordes, Are you kidding me lad?! Adam is the worlds fastest breaststroker right now and even if he dont put too much focus on the 200 does not mean he will be beaten by a NCAA champ and not only that but the lad wont be beaten by a full second.

7 years ago

what about the Finnish guy who was good at Europeans last summer?

Captain Awesome
7 years ago

I feel like a lot of you are overestimating Cordes. While he is capable of very fast times he is much more likely, based on past swims, to either get disqualified or swim fast times in heats or semis and then add on a fair bit of time in the final.

After the British championships I believe I’d heard somewhere that Peaty wasn’t planning on swimming the 200m in Kazan, but I guess this isn’t the case. I thought he might focus on the 50 and 100 for the worlds and then focus on the 100 and 200 for the Olympics next year. Van Der Burgh will be back with a vengeance this year, so to maximise golds I… Read more »

7 years ago

I’m picking Cordes to finish in the top 3 at Worlds and for the win in Rio!

Reply to  E GAMBLE
7 years ago

Brave – He hasn’t shown anything that suggests he could be an Olympic champion.

7 years ago

Sven beat me to it, endurance will win the gold given the small margin for error in semis. I have a feeling one of those guys, most likely Gyurta, will pop out of the field and go under the world record. “Needing a world record to win” implies that the top 2 swimmers are equal to or faster than “at the world record and .01 slower”. I could see that happening here if the stars align. Cordes always surprises; I hope this time it’s one of the good surprises and not one of the bad ones.

7 years ago

I wouldn’t even know where to start with predictions. The margin between first seed and eighth is so slim. Gyurta is clutch and has experience on his side, but Cordes and Balandin have possibly the easiest looking first 50 I’ve ever seen.

I think I said this before, but basically I think the semifinals will be so crowded that even the top dogs aren’t going to be able to coast through them. I say the WR gets broken in semis, with the eventual champion (not even going to try to guess who) going slightly slower than that.

About Jeff Grace

Jeff Grace

Jeff is a 500 hour registered yoga teacher who holds diplomas in Coaching (Douglas College) and High Performance Coaching (National Coaching Institute - Calgary). He has a background of over 20 years in the coaching profession, where he has used a unique and proven teaching methodology to help many achieve their …

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