50 Backstroke WR: Analysis
The human’s capacity of breaking barriers or discovering new methods is unknown and in swimming, certainly no one knows how fast humans can go.
This being said, high-performance swimming is a sport that requires a lot of self-motivation, discipline, determination and ability to never give up and even though the best swimmers in the world were taking this approach, it took for the entire world more than 2018 years to break the barrier of 24 seconds in the Men’s 50 backstroke.
The barrier of 25 seconds:
The first male swimmer that broke 25 seconds in the 50 backstroke for the first time was Lenny Krayzelburg almost 23 years ago (FINA, 2022). The American swimmer swam a time of 24.99. Considering the type of swimsuits used in that era, technology in training and diet; it’s more than impressive to see a human going that fast at the time, however, where would that time place nowadays?
If we compare Krayzelburg’s WR time in 1999 with the most recent results at the 2022 USA National Championships, this would be the results:
Armstrong – 23.71
Ress – 23.92
Krayzelburg’s time from 1999 is still good enough to make the A final at US Nationals.
Since the amazing accomplishment of breaking the barrier of 25 seconds, it took humans more than 20 years to break the barrier of 24 seconds.
The Best Swimmers: Under 24 Seconds
Kliment Kolesnikov, Hunter Armstrong and Justin Ress are the only swimmers in history that have been under 24 seconds in the event.
Kolesnikov is the former WR Holder with a personal best time and current European Record of 23.80 (FINA, 2022).
This mark seemed impossible to be broken, because when Kolesnikov went 23.80 the entire world was too behind. In 2021 thinking that other men could be faster than Kolesnikov was impossible, however, just one year after Hunter Armstrong appeared to prove two aspects: the US backstrokers are back again and the younger generation of swimmers is unbeatable.
The US had been dominating backstroke events in both World Championships and Olympics, however, in 2019 the Russians and Chinese swimmers (Rylov and Xu) won both the 100 and 200 backstroke. At Tokyo 2021 the Americans had a good performance in the backstroke events. Evgeny Rylov from Russia took the victory in both events and that same year the 50 backstroke WR belonged to Kolesnikov, also Russian.
Now, the 50 backstroke WR is back to America. Hunter Armstrong, the sophomore from OSU, broke the World, American and US Open Record in a time of 23.71.
He also posted an impressive time of 52.2 in the 100 backstroke and will be entering the World Championships as the favorite to take gold in both events.
TOP 3 Performers 50 backstroke:
Hunter Armstrong – 23.71 (WR & AR)
Kliment Kolesnikov – 23.80 (ER)
Justin Ress – 23.92
Last updated May, 2022
Professional Sports Analyst and Journalist