The two swimmers were honoured during an event at the site for the future World Aquatics headquarters in Budapest, Hungary on Monday evening following the conclusion of the World Aquatics Swimming World Cup 2023 tour that took place in the Hungarian capital.  

Image Source: Qin Haiyang decked out in Dior on the red carpet (Aniko Kovacs/World Aquatics)

China’s Qin Haiyang’s crowning moment of 2023 came during the 200m breaststroke finals at the World Aquatics Championships – Fukuoka 2023 when he clocked 2 minutes 5.48 seconds to shave 47 hundredths off the World Record then held by Australia’s Zac Stubblety-Cook.

With Qin’s 200m breaststroke win, he became the first male swimmer in history to sweep the 50m, 100m and 200m titles in any stroke at a single edition of the World Aquatics Championships.

The 24-year-old student-athlete followed up his Fukuoka success by sweeping the breaststroke competitions at the Summer Universiade in Chengdu, China and winning five golds at the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China culminating in his recognition as the most valuable player at these continental championships.

Returning to the international racing scene for the World Aquatics Swimming World Cup series, Qin blitzed to nine wins in nine races on the way to winning the Swimming World Cup Overall Male award last Sunday night.

Image Source: Adam Pretty/Getty Images

Joining Qin as the male finalists for the swimming athletes of the year award were Leon Marchand of France and Ahmed Hafnaoui of Tunisia.

Marchand staked his claim as one of the faces heading into the Paris 2024 Olympic Games by winning the 200m butterfly and 200m individual medley events in Fukuoka. In the latter race, Marchard eclipsed the last World Record on the books held by Michael Phelps who was on hand in Fukuoka to award the World medal in the 200m IM event.  

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The reigning Olympic 400m freestyle champion, Hafnaoui won both the 800m and 1500m freestyle races at the Fukouka Worlds in addition to silver in the 400m freestyle.

Image Source: McKeown on the red carpet with Chad le Clos (left) and Noe Ponti (Aniko Kovacs/World Aquatics)

Women’s World Swimmer of the Year McKeown broke the 50m and 100m backstroke World Records this past weekend in Budapest on the way to winning the World Aquatics Swimming World Cup women’s overall title.

With these efforts, the 22-year-old became the second swimmer and first woman to hold the all-time best performances in the 50m long course pool.

This comes after McKeown’s standout performances this past July where she became the first swimmer to sweep the 50m, 100m and 200m backstroke titles at a single World Aquatics Championships.

Image Source: Clive Rose/Getty Images

Nominated with McKeown for the female finalists for the swimmer of the year award were Mollie O’Callaghan of Australia and Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden.

O’Callaghan was the most decorated swimmer at the World Aquatics Championships in Fukuoka, where she won five golds, the 100m and 200m freestyle events and in three relays, and added another relay silver this past July.

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Sjostrom made it five World titles in a row in the women’s 50m butterfly in Fukuoka, where she also moved to the top of the all-time podium finish list with her 22 medals (12 gold, 7 silver, 3 gold) at the World Championships.