The year before the Olympics always seems to produce fast swimming. Our top ten list of the most impressive swims of 2015 includes performances set in all three pool courses by both Olympic Veterans and some rising stars from around the world! Each of the swims we’ve selected are very impressive and were chosen to be on this list because they uniquely arouse admiration, awe, and respect on a global level.
10. Ryan Hoffer 41.23 100 Yard Freestyle
At the USA Swimming Short Course Jr. Nationals, Hoffer swam a 41.23 in just 28 strokes! He’s now the 4th fastest performer in history only behind Vlad Morozov, Cesar Cielo and Nathan Adrian. Not bad company to be in as a junior in High School. The next question is: Can he do it long course?
9. Missy Franklin 1:39.10 200 Yard Freestyle
Missy the Missile Franklin did not disappoint in her final college swim meet! At this year’s NCAA Championships she proved just how outstanding she can be in the 200 with a jaw dropping time that is a new U.S Open Record and will go down as one of the most impressive NCAA records in the books.
8. Michael Phelps 50.4 100 LCM Butterfly
At the U.S. Summer Nationals, Michael Phelps proved why he’s the greatest swimmer of all time. His times in the 100m and 200m butterfly are the fastest times in the world since 2009. From his enthusiastic celebration after those swims, you can tell that this is just a preview of what we’ll see in Rio!
7. Mitch Larkin 1:45.63 200 SCM Backstroke
Mitch who? Larkin made huge strides this year in the 100m and 200m backstroke. His barrier breaking and world record swim at the Australian Championships showed the world that he’s a force to be reckoned with in both backstroke events.
6. Matt Grevers 48.92 100 SCM Backstroke
Just weeks after Mitch Larkin broke the 200m backstroke world record, Matt Grevers of the United States answered back at the Duel in the Pool! Grevers breaks a world record that was set in 2009 by Olympic teammate Nick Thoman.
5. Gregorio Paltrinieri 14:08.06 1,500 SCM Freestyle
After winning Gold at the World Championships in Kazan, Gregorio Paltrinieri re-affirmed his place at the top of the distance podium with an outstanding swim in the 1,500 freestyle at the European championships. His 14:08.06 broke distance legend Grant Hackett’s 14 year world record!
4. Sarah Sjostrom 55.74 100 LCM Butterfly
In 2015, the fastest female butterflier in the world is Sara Sjostrom. This year she broke the World Record in both the 50m and 100m butterfly in commanding fashion. She has a lot of speed, and will be the front runner for Gold in 2016.
3. Katinka Hosszu 2:06.12 200 LCM IM
The Iron Lady had a dominating year! In addition to winning the FINA World Cup Circuit, she took down arguably one of the most impressive world records from the 2009 World Championships in Kazan. Her performances this year are certainly an early indicator of the success she’ll have in 2016.
2. Adam Peaty 57.92 100 LCM Breaststroke
The most impressive male performance of 2015 goes to Adam Peaty for his jaw-dropping swim at the British Championships. You have to scratch your head and think back when a World Record was lowered by more than half a second in a race just 100m in length. Adam Peaty set a new standard for breaststrokers to strive for.
1. Katie Ledecky 15:25.48 1,500 LCM Free
We’ve included 5 more swims as impressive Honorable Mentions! What swims would you add to this list? What races are you most looking forward to in 2016?