World Record Bull Run: 54l/c; 24s/c and Counting
Sep 6, 2008
Craig Lord

The 2008 WR CLUB

No fewer than 54 world long-course records have fallen so far this year - and 24 world short-course records (missed that 800 of Hackett's for a while - thanks Henrik over there in Denmark), February 16 to July 4. That's 78 global standards. Since 1980, the record for numbers of world long-course records set in one year is 33, in 2000, the year in which the full bodysuit was launched granted license by FINA. If we count long-course alone, we are now just 7 records shy of matching 1976, when goggles and Oral Turinabol were at play for the first time in the pool at an Olympic Games. Montreal witnessed 29 world records (18 for men; 11 for women). Beijing  delivered 25 world l/c records.

World l/c record counts in recent Olympic years:

2008: 54 so far
2004: 17
2000: 33
1996: 5
1992: 16
1988: 24
1984: 24
1980: 24
1976: 61
1972: 53

Many of those records were set AT the Olympic Games NOT before. In 1976, for example, 29 world records fell in Montreal. The sport has entered an era in which we must refer to pre-February 2008 and post-February 2008 times, such has been the impact of performance-enhancing bodysuits that have changed the nature of swimming. Impossible to compare Egerszegi with Coventry, Popov with Sullivan and so on. The bulk of the following efforts unfolded in a Speedo LZR Racer. 

Here's how the world-record sequence has unfolded so far:

LONG-COURSE

  • 16/02/08: 200m backstroke - Kirsty Coventry (ZIM) 2:06.39
  • 17/02/08: 50m freestyle - Eamon Sullivan (AUS) 21.56
  • 17/02/08: 100m backstroke - Natalie Coughlin (USA) 59.21
  • 08/03/08: 50m backstroke - Haley McGregory (USA) 28.00
  • 18/03/08: 4x100m freestyle - (NED) 3:33.62 
  • (Dekker, 53.77; Kromowidjojo, 53.61; Heemskerk, 53.62, and Veldhuis, 52.62)
  • 21/03/08: 100m freestyle - Alain Bernard (FRA) 47.60
  • 22/03/08: 400m medley - Stephanie Rice (AUS) 4:31.46
  • 22/03/08: 50m backstroke - Emily Seebohm (AUS) 27.95
  • 22/03/08: 100m freestyle - Alain Bernard (FRA) 47.50.
  • 23/03/08: 50m backstroke - Sophie Edington (AUS) 27.67
  • 23/03/08: 50m freestyle - Alain Bernard (FRA) 21.50
  • 24/03/08: 50m freestyle - Marleen Veldhuis (NED) 24.09
  • 24/03/08: 400m freestyle - Federica Pellegrini (ITA) 4:01.53
  • 25/03/08: 200m medley - Stephanie Rice (AUS) 2:08.92
  • 27/03/08: 50m freestyle - Eamon Sullivan (AUS) 21.41
  • 27/03/08: 100m freestyle - Libby Trickett (nee Lenton) (AUS) 52.88
  • 28/03/08: 50m freestyle - Eamon Sullivan (AUS) 21.28
  • 29/03/08: 50m freestyle - Libby Trickett (AUS) 23.97
  • 02/04/08: 50m backstroke - Liam Tancock (GBR) 24.47
  • 08/06/08: 200m breaststroke - Kosuke Kitajima (JPN) 2:07.51
  • 29/06/08: 400m medley - Michael Phelps (USA) 4:05.25
  • 29/06/08: 400m medley - Katie Hoff (USA) 4:31.12
  • 30/06/08: 100m backstroke - Haley McGregory (USA) 59.15
  • 30/06/08: 100m backstroke - Natalie Coughlin (USA) 59.03
  • 01/07/08: 100m backstroke - Natalie Coughlin (USA) 58.97
  • 01/07/08: 100m backstroke - Aaron Peirsol (USA) 52.89
  • 04/07/08: 200m backstroke - Aaron Peirsol (USA) 1:54.32e
  • 04/07/08: 200m medley - Michael Phelps (USA) 1:54.80
  • 05/07/08: 200m backstroke - Margaret Hoelzer (USA) 2:06.09
  • 10/08/08: 400m medley - Stephanie Rice (AUS) 4:29.71
  • 10/08/08: 400m medley - Michael Phelps (USA) 4:03.84
  • 10/08/08: 4x100m freestyle - USA - 3:12.23 - Nathan Adrian (48.82), Cullen Jones (47.61), Ben Wildman-Tobriner (48.03) and Matt Grevers (47.77)
  • 11/08/08: 100m backstroke - Kirsty Coventry (ZIM) 58.77
  • 11/08/08: 100m breaststroke - Kosuke Kitajima (JPN) 58.91
  • 11/08/08: 100m freestyle - Eamon Sullivan (AUS) 47.24 
  • 11/08/08: 200m freestyle - Federica Pellegrini (ITA) 1:55.45
  • 11/08/08: 4x100m freestyle - USA - 3:08.24 - Michael Phelps (47.51), Garrett Weber-Gale (47.02), Cullen Jones (47.65), Jason Lezak (46.06)
  • 12/08/08: 200m freestyle - Michael Phelps (USA) 1:42.96
  • 12/08/08: 100m backstroke - Aaron Peirsol (USA) 52.54
  • 13/08/08: 100m freestyle - Alain Bernard (FRA) 47.20
  • 13/08/08: 100m freestyle - Eamon Sullivan (AUS) 47.05 
  • 13/08/08: 200m freestyle - Federica Pellegrini (ITA) 1:54.82 
  • 13/08/08: 200m butterfly - Michael Phelps (USA) 1:52.03
  • 13/08/08: 200m medley - Stephanie Rice (AUS) 2:08.45
  • 13/08/08: 4x200m freestyle - USA - 6:58.56 - Michael Phelps (1:43.31), Ryan Lochte (1:44.28); Ricky Berens (1:46.29), Peter Vanderkaay (1:44.68)
  • 14/08/08: 200m butterfly - Liu Zige (CHN) 2:04.18
  • 14/08.08: 4x200m freestyle - AUS - 7:44.32 - Stephanie Rice (1:56.60), Bronte Barratt (1:56.58), Kylie Palmer (1:55.91), Linda McKenzie (1:55.91)
  • 15/08/08: 200m breaststroke - Rebecca Soni (USA) 2:20.22
  • 15/08/08: 200m backstroke - Ryan Lochte (USA) 1:53.94
  • 15/08/08: 200m medley - Michael Phelps (USA) 1:54.23
  • 16/08/08: 200m backstroke - Kirsty Coventry (ZIM) 2:05.24
  • 16/08/08: 800m freestyle - Rebecca Adlington (GBR) 8:14.10
  • 17/08/08: 4x100m medley - AUS - 3:52.69 (Emily Seebohm, Leisel Jones, Jessicah Schipper and Libby Trickett)
  • 17/08/08: 4x100m medley - USA 3:29.34 (Aaron Peirsol, Brendan Hansen, Michael Phelps and Jason Lezak)

 SHORT-COURSE:

  •  09/04/08: 400m medley - Kirsty Coventry (ZIM) 4:26.52
  • (two women, Hannah Miley, GBR, and Mireia Belmonte, ESP, also raced in LZR suits and inside previous world record)
  • 09/04/08: 4x100m freestyle - USA 3:08.44
  • Ryan Lochte, Bryan Lundquist, Nathan Adrian and Doug Van Wie(* - the last swimmer here wore the new Tyr suit).
  • (The Netherlands also raced inside previous WR, all in LZRs)
  • 09/04/08: 4x200m freestyle - NED 7:38.90
  • Inge Dekker; Femke Heemskerk; Marleen Veldhuis; Ranomi Kromowidjojo.
  • (the next two team home, GBR, 7:38.96, and AUS, 7:39.01, also raced more than seven seconds inside previous world record).
  • 23/02/08: 200m backstroke: Reiko Nakamura (JPN) 2:03.24.
  • 23/02/08: 200m butterfly: Yuko Nakanishi (JPN) 2:03.12 10/04/08: 50m breaststroke - Jessica Hardy (USA) 29.58.
  • 11/04/08: 200m backstroke - Kirsty Coventry (ZIM) 2:00.91
  • 11/04/08: 50m butterfly - Felicity Galvez (AUS) 25.32.
  • 11/04/08: 50m freestyle - Duje Draganja (CRO) 20.81.
  • 11/04/08: 200m medley - Ryan Lochte (USA) 1:51.56.
  • 11/04/08: 4x100m medley - USA 3:51.36
  • 12/04/08: 100m medley - Ryan Lochte (USA) 51.25
  • 12/04/08: 200m medley - Kirsty Coventry (ZIM) 2:06.13
  • 12/04/08: 4x100m freestyle - NED 3:29.42 
  • (Hinkelien Schreuder, Femke Heemskerk, Inge Dekker and Marleen Veldhuis - 51.43 split, fastest in history). 
  • 13/04/08: 50m backstroke - Sanja Jovanovic (CRO) 26.37
  • 13/04/08: 200m backstroke - Markus Rogan (AUT) 1:47.84
  • 13/04/08: 100m medley - Ryan Lochte (USA) 51.15
  • 13/04/08: 100m butterfly - Felicity Galvez (AUS) 55.89
  • 13/04/08: 50m freestyle - Marleen Veldhuis (NED) 23.25
  • 13/04/08: 4x100m medley men - Russia -3:24.29 
  • (Stanislav Donets; Sergey Geybel; Korotyshkin; Sukhorukov)
  • 25/04/08: 100m breaststroke - Leisel Jones (AUS) 1:03.72
  • 25/04/08: 100m butterfly - Libby Trickett (nee Lenton), (AUS) 55.74 
  • 20/07/08: 800m freestyle - Grant Hackett (AUS) 7:23.42
  • 06/09/08: 50m freestyle - Roland Schoeman (RSA) 20.64