Speedo Performance of the Week, Presented By Pace Club: Rikke Moller Pedersen’s Sub-2:20 in 200 Breast

PHOENIX, Arizona, April 15. IT’S not unusual for swimmers to chase world records this time of the year. We’ve seen it happen many times, so Rikke Moller Pedersen’s 2:19.61 in the 200 long course breaststroke last week is not exceptional because it came within five tenths of her own world record, but because it’s her second time under the hallowed 2:20 barrier.

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After Rebecca Soni became the first under 2:20 in 2012, many were saying it would take many years for someone else to join that elite club. I will admit I was one of those people. But Pedersen wasn’t waiting that long, and at last year’s world championships, she smashed through the barrier with a 2:19.11 for the world record in the semifinals. She couldn’t get under 2:20 again in finals, but it made her hungry for this year, and now she joins Yuliya Efimova as the only two swimmers who have gone under 2:20 twice.

Soni has retired and Efimova is currently under provisional suspension for a positive drug test, so Pedersen is the only one carrying the flag for the women’s 200 breaststroke at the moment. While it’s a strong likelihood that she’ll get under 2:20 at the European championships this summer, will she post a 2:18? That’s too fast to imagine, but then again, 2:19 was otherworldly this time two years ago and now we have five performances in the 2:19 range.

So congratulations, Rikke, you have earned the Speedo Performance of the Week.

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Author: Jeff Commings

Jeff Commings is the host of several shows on SwimmingWorld.TV, including "The Morning Swim Show," which features interviews with people making headlines in aquatic sports. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in journalism and was a nine-time NCAA All-American.

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