Let’s take a look back at the World Record progression in the Men’s 100m Breaststroke at the FINA World Championships and Olympic Games over the years.
With less than a month to go to the upcoming 19th FINA World Championships Budapest 2022, excitement is mounting. So much so that aquatics fans snapped up more than 20,000 tickets in the first week. So, as we prepare for the electric crowd inside the Danube Arena, let’s take a look back at the World Record progression in the Men’s 100m Breaststroke at the FINA World Championships and Olympic Games over the years. Check out the qualifying results here.
Nobutaka Taguchi of Japan took up competitive swimming at the age of 12. After competing in his first international competition at the Olympic Games Mexico 1968, Taguchi would go on to become one of the best breaststrokers in the world in the 70s. He picked up numerous medals throughout an impressive career, but the highlight came when he swam a 1:04.94 in the final of the Men’s 100m Breaststroke at the Olympic Games Munich 1972. Taguchi would take home gold and set a new world record.
Just over ten years on, Steve Lundquist was then the one to beat. In the early 80s, Lundquist became the greatest breaststroker in the world. After graduating from Southern Methodist University in 1984 at the age of 23, Lundquist would compete at the Olympic Games Los Angeles 1984, his first Olympic Games. He would set a new world record of 01:01:65 in front of a home crowd, progressing closer to the one minute mark.
Norbert Rózsa & Fred Deburghraeve
In 2021, Russia’s Roman Sludnov would become the first swimmer to break the one minute mark. At the 9th FINA World Championships 2001 in Fukuoka, the 21-year-old shaved 0.03 seconds from his previous best with a time of 59.94. Sludnov would compare his achievement to Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space.
"I don't know if you can compare my achievement to what Yuri Gagarin had done, but I do feel like the first man in space,"
Kosuke Kitajima & Brenton Rickard
Kosuke Kitajima of Japan and Brenton Rickard of Australia would continue to break new ground in 2008 and 2009 respectively. Kitajima claimed a new world record of 58.91 at the Olympic Games Beijing 2008, but it would be surpassed by Rickard a year later. Rickard would clock a 58.58 at the 13th FINA World Aquatics Championships 2009 in Rome.
"It's nice to have a shiny gold one around my neck after all those silvers and bronzes"
Cameron van der Burgh
Three years later at the Olympic Games London 2012, South Africa’s Cameron van der Burgh would set the new record when he hit the wall at 58.46. With no underwater video judging in place at that time, there was talk of multiple underwater dolphin kicks.
In 2019, Great Britain’s Adam Peaty would let the world know that he was in a league of his own. Peaty logged a 56.88 at the 18th FINA World Championships 2019 in Gwangju, becoming the first swimmer in history to break the 57-second barrier. Peaty would complete his ‘Project 56’ and add to an incredible medal tally – eight world titles since his debut at the 16th FINA World Championships 2015 in Kazan. With Peaty having to withdraw from the 19th FINA World Championships due to injury, will we see a new world record at Budapest 2022?