Swim of the Week is brought to you by arena, a SwimSwam partner.
Disclaimer: Swim of the Week is not meant to be a conclusive selection of the best overall swim of the week, but rather one Featured Swim to be explored in deeper detail. The Swim of the Week is an opportunity to take a closer look at the context of one of the many fast swims this week, perhaps a swim that slipped through the cracks as others grabbed the headlines, or a race we didn’t get to examine as closely in the flood of weekly meets.
Less than five months ago, SwimSwam’s arena Swim of the Week honor was handed out to a young, relatively unknown teenager named Diogo Ribeiro.
Back in April, Ribeiro had broken the super-suited Portuguese National Record in the men’s 50 butterfly in a time of 23.69, and subsequently reset it two more times to bring it all the way down to a swift 23.28 within a span of three weeks.
And despite that being an incredibly fast clocking for a junior, Ribeiro has made incredible process in the short time since.
This summer, despite not competing at the 2022 World Championships in Budapest, Ribeiro has been faster than that April swim on five occasions, culminating with a historic sub-23 effort at the World Junior Championships last weekend.
Ribeiro, having brought his National Record down to 23.07 at the European Championships in August, leading him to a bronze medal, came through with a 22.96 clocking in the World Junior final.
WOW 🇵🇹 Diogo Ribeiro set a new World Junior Record in the 50m Butterfly!
The previous record was held by Andrei Minakov (⏱️23.05)#FINALima2022 pic.twitter.com/Ecao5V9SNm
— FINA (@fina1908) September 4, 2022
That made him the first junior-aged swimmer under the 23-second barrier, breaking Andrei Minakov‘s two-year-old World Junior Record of 23.05 and shooting up to 11th in the world rankings this year.
Ribeiro’s 50 Fly Best Time Progression, 2022
Best Time Entering 2022: 24.02, December 2021
April 3 – 23.69
April 3 – 23.54
April 19 – 23.28
August 11 – 23.24
August 11 – 23.18
August 12 – 23.07
September 3 – 22.96
Ribeiro is still only 17, but his eligibility to break World Junior Records will end at the end of this year, as he’ll turn 18 in October.
Perhaps the most eye-popping statistic of Ribeiro’s swim is the fact that he’s known brought the Portuguese National Record, which stood at 23.72 for 13 years, down by more than three-quarters of a second in less than half a year.
He is far from a 50 fly specialist, as he added gold medal efforts in Lima in the 50 free (21.92) and 100 fly (52.03), and broke Portuguese Records in the 100 free (48.52) and 100 fly (51.61) at last month’s European Championships.
Given how quickly he’s risen from prospect to legit senior international medal contender, Ribeiro will be a name to watch in the coming years.
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