SwimSwam Pulse: 73% Believe 200 Free Will Be Next 2009 World Record To Fall

SwimSwam Pulse is a recurring feature tracking and analyzing the results of our periodic A3 Performance Polls. You can cast your vote in our newest poll on the SwimSwam homepage, about halfway down the page on the right side, or you can find the poll embedded at the bottom of this post.

Our most recent poll asked SwimSwam readers which world record set in 2009 will be the next to go down:

Question: With David Popovici taking out the men’s 100 free mark, which individual world record from 2009 will be the next to fall?


Men’s 200 free – 1:42.00 — 36.7%
Women’s 200 free – 1:52.98 — 36.4%
Men’s 50 free – 20.91 — 17.1%
Men’s 400 free – 3:40.07 — 4.2%
Men’s 800 free – 7:32.12 — 2.2%
Men’s 200 back – 1:51.92 — 1.9%
Women’s 200 fly – 2:01.81 — 1.4%

It felt as though the world record in the men’s 100 freestyle was on the chopping block for a few years, with Caeleb Dressel and Kyle Chalmers both coming within earshot in 2019 and 2021, but it was Romania’s breakout star David Popovici who managed to get his hand on the mark first.

After claiming the 2022 world title in June with both Dressel and Chalmers absent from the field in the final, Popovici blasted his way to a new world record of 46.86 at the European Championships in August, lowering Cesar Cielo‘s 13-year-old mark of 46.91 set at the 2009 World Championships.

With that swim from Popovici, there are now just seven individual long course world records stemming from 2009, the year in which the now-banned polyurethane suits resulted in an onslaught of all-time swims.

This led to the poll question: which record will be the next to fall? The results look vastly different than they would’ve had Popovici not done what he did at Euros.

The world record in the men’s 200 free has been viewed as one of the most untouchable on the books, only surpassed by the women’s 200 fly and maybe the men’s 800 free in the eyes of many.

But Paul Biedermann‘s 1:42.00 mark from 2009 now appears to be within reach, as in addition to his performance in the 100 free, Popovici also reeled off a 1:42.97 swim in the 200 in Rome.

That makes him the fastest swimmer in history in a textile suit, and given that he had only broken 1:45 once coming into this year, it’s clear that Popovici’s rapid rate of improvement puts Biedermann’s record in jeopardy.

The men’s 200 free came away with 36.7 percent of votes, narrowly edging out the women’s 200 free, which had 36.4 percent.

The women’s 200 free mark stands at 1:52.98, set by Federica Pellegrini, but has been seriously approached of late by Australian Ariarne Titmus, who clocked 1:53.09 last year and was 1:53.31 a few months ago.

With Dressel having been 21.0 three times, Cielo’s mark of 20.91 in the 50 free received the third-most votes at 17.1 percent. No one else in the world has been anywhere near the 21-second barrier in recent years, so that subsection of readers likely believe Dressel will be the one to get down there sooner rather than later.

The men’s 400 free, also held by Biedermann, followed at just over four percent, followed by the men’s 800 free, men’s 200 back and women’s 200 fly.

Below, vote in our new A3 Performance Poll, which asks: Which women’s team that finished outside of the top five will finish highest at the 2022 NCAA Championships?

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A3 Performance is an independently-owned, performance swimwear company built on a passion for swimming, athletes, and athletic performance. We encourage swimmers to swim better and faster at all ages and levels, from beginners to Olympians.  Driven by a genuine leader and devoted staff that are passionate about swimming and service, A3 Performance strives to inspire and enrich the sport of swimming with innovative and impactful products that motivate swimmers to be their very best – an A3 Performer.

The A3 Performance Poll is courtesy of A3 Performance, a SwimSwam partner.

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