Swim Poll of the Week: 52% Believe an Individual World Record Will Fall By End of Year


This is the Swim Poll of the Week for Thursday October 15, 2020, sponsored by Strechcordz Swim Training Products. In our last poll, we wanted to know: Do you believe an individual world record will fall by the end of the year?

We posed the question earlier this summer if 2020 would be the first year since 1896 that no swimming world records would fall. Through 10 months, it almost came true, until China’s team of Xu JiayuYan ZibeiZhang Yufei and Yang Junxuan took down the mixed medley relay world record last week at the Chinese National swimming championships in Qingdao.

But with one world record down, are any individual records in threat of falling over the next two months?

We’ve almost seen a couple. Italy’s Gregorio Paltrinieri shocked the world with a personal best time in the 1500 at the Sette Colli in Rome, just missing Sun Yang’s 8-year-old world record of 14:31. Paltrinieri was under Sun’s world record pace through 1450 meters before being unable to match Sun’s finishing kick, but nonetheless swimming the second fastest time ever with a 14:33.

Earlier this month, China’s Zhang Yufei moved up to second all-time in the 100 butterfly, narrowly missing Sarah Sjostrom’s mark from the Rio Olympics, as she became the fourth swimmer to join the sub-56 club in that event.

2020 has been a year unlike any other, with the COVID-19 pandemic causing the Olympic Games to be pushed back a whole year to 2021. With no Olympics, and no real opportunities to race because of social distancing laws that made it difficult to find training opportunities, let alone racing opportunities, the days went by, and the world record books remained untouched.

Some national age group records in the U.S. fell to those that were able to stay in shape and find racing opportunities. Some countries as well saw their national records fall, whether they were done in a sanctioned meet or just unofficially off the blocks at practice. But still, we have approached the month of October, and only one world record has fallen.

Are any individual records vulnerable to get broken this year? After China’s somewhat surprising mixed relay world record earlier this week (they were disqualified in the heats at the 2019 Worlds), it is certainly a possibility. But with so many swimmers in different levels of fitness, it is difficult to predict just who exactly could be the first individual to set a world record.

Here are the results for if people think a world record could fall in an individual event this year:

Yes – 52%

No – 48%




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