Swimming’s Most Dominant World Records: Men’s Short Course Meters


By James Sutherland on SwimSwam


Courtesy: Benjamin Freedman

After we dove into the most dominant female world records in short course meters a few days ago, it’s time to take a look at the men’s standards in the SCM pool.

We’ve seen two new world records set over the last couple of months, with Tomoru Honda smashing the mark in the 200 fly and Kliment Kolesnikov taking down Florent Manaudou‘s longstanding record in the 50 back. We’ve also saw a few #2 all-time performers emerge at the Short Course World Championships in December.

Here are the most dominant men’s SCM world records relative to the second-fastest swimmer ever:

Rank Event #1 Swimmer WR #2 Swimmer #2 All-Time % difference
1 100 IM Caeleb Dressel 49.28 Vladamir Morozov 50.26 1.95
2 200 fly Tomoru Honda 1:46.85 Daiya Seto 1:48.24 1.29
3 50 breast Emre Sakci 24.95 Cameron van der Burgh/ Ilya Shymanovich 25.25 1.19
4 100 fly Caeleb Dressel 47.78 Chad Le Clos 48.08 0.62
5 800 free Grant Hackett 7:23.42 Mykhailo Romanchuk 7:25.73 0.50
6 50 back Kliment Kolesnikov 22.11 Florent Manaudou 22.22 0.49
7 50 free Caeleb Dressel 20.16 Florent Manaudou 20.26 0.46
8 200 IM Ryan Lochte 1:49.63 Matt Sates 1:50.15 0.47
9 200 back Mitch Larkin 1:45.63 Arkady Vyatchanin 1:46.11 0.45
10 100 back Coleman Stewart 48.33 Ryan Murphy 48.50 0.35
11 200 free Paul Biedermann 1:39.37 Yannick Agnel 1:39.70 0.33
12 400 IM Daiya Seto 3:54.81 Ryan Lochte 3:55.50 0.29
13 400 free Yannik Agnel 3:32.25 Paul Biedermann 3:32.77 0.24
14 100 breast Ilya Shymanovich 55.28 Adam Peaty 55.48 0.23
15 100 free Kyle Chalmers 44.84 Amaury Leveaux 44.94 0.22
16 200 breast Kirill Prigoda 2:00.16 Daiya Seto 2:00.35 0.15
17 1500 free Florian Wellbrock 14:06.88 Gregorio Paltrineiri 14:08.06 0.13
18 50 fly Nicholas Santos/Szebasztian Szabo 21.75 N/A N/A 0

The swimmer owning the most dominant world record comes as no surprise, as Caeleb Dressel is nearly two percent better than anyone else in the men’s 100 IM. Although it’s an event he’s only ever contested during ISL competition, Dressel has shown an unparalleled level of ability in the super-sprint event, having set the world record twice in 2020 while going undefeated in the league through Seasons 2 and 3.

In second place is Honda, who brought the men’s 200 fly world record down from 1:48.24 to 1:46.85 this past October. Previously, this event was near the bottom of the list as Daiya Seto (1:48.24) and Chad Le Clos (1:48.32) were separated by just eight one-hundredths (.07 percent), but now it’s the event with the second-most dominant record.

The biggest drop among the records last year was Ryan Lochte’s 200 IM (1:49.63). Before 2022, this event sat fifth on the list, but after the Short Course World Championships, Matt Sates moved up to second all-time in 1:50.15, bumping down Lochte’s, world record to eighth. This is not as big as a drop as we saw in a few of the women’s events, but is still significant.

Dressel is the only swimmer, man or woman, to hold SCM world records in three individual events. All three are ranked in the top seven among men’s events, as he’s three-tenths faster than anyone else in history in the 100 fly (0.62 percent) and one-tenth clear in the 50 free (0.46 percent).

SwimSwam: Swimming’s Most Dominant World Records: Men’s Short Course Meters

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