Caeleb Dressel & Sarah Sjostrom Win 2019 FINA Best Athletes Awards

Foto Fabio Ferrari/LaPresse 21 Dicembre 2019 Las Vegas - USA sport nuoto 2019 ISL - International Swimming League. Nella foto: DRESSEL Caeleb Photo Fabio Ferrari/LaPresse December 21, 2019 Las Vegas - USA sport swimming 2019 ISL - International Swimming League. In the picture: DRESSEL Caeleb
Caeleb Dressel - Photo Courtesy: Fabio Ferrari/LaPresse

Caeleb Dressel and Sarah Sjostrom have been named 2019 FINA Best Athletes of the Year.

Dressel enjoyed a record-breaking year during which he won six gold medals and two silver medals at the World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea, to become the first swimmer to ever win eight medals in a single edition.

The 23-year-old, who is coached by Gregg Troy at the University of Florida, also downed Michael Phelps’ 10-year world record in the 100 fly, cutting 0.32secs to set a new mark of 49.50secs.


Caeleb Dressel – Photo Courtesy: Gian Mattia D’Alberto/LaPresse

He won gold in the 50 free and fly, 100 free, 100 fly, men’s 4×100 free and the mixed 4×100 free relay.

There were also silvers in the mixed medley relay and men’s 4x100m medley relay when Duncan Scott overhauled former Olympic champion Nathan Adrian in the final metres to grab gold for Great Britain.

The American also set a new world 50m freestyle short-course record of 20.24 at the inaugural grand final of the International Swimming League in Las Vegas in December.

It is the second time Dressel has won the FINA award having also been bestowed in 2017 following his stellar achievements at worlds in Budapest, Hungary, where he won seven gold medals.


Sarah Sjostrom – Photo Courtesy: Gian Mattia D’Alberto/LaPresse

Sjostrom became the first woman to have won five medals in individual events at a single world championships.

The Swede won the 50m fly for the third time – the first woman to do so – and finished second in the 100 fly and 50 free as well as claiming bronze in the 100 and 200 free.

The 26-year-old was also named overall MVP following the conclusion of the ISL after she helped propel Energy Standard to the team prize following victory in the skins, a back-to-back races which operate on a knockout basis and with the two remaining swimmers racing each other in a head-to-head final.

Kristof Rasovszky-hungary

Kristof Rasovszky – Photo Courtesy: Twitter, @fina1908

World champions KristofRasovszky and Ana Marcela Cunha were named in the open water category with the latter receiving the award for the third consecutive year.

Rasovsky, of Hungary, won the 5km world title in Gwangju and the overall FINA marathon world swim series and it followed a highly-successful 2018 during which he won two golds and one silver medal at the European Championships in Glasgow, Scotland.

Fourth place in the 10km secured qualification for Tokyo 2020.


Ana Marcela Cunha – Photo Courtesy: ANOC World Beach Games


Cunha won the 5km and 25km women’s events in South Korea and earned a spot for Tokyo with fifth over 10k while also winning the marathon swim series.

It is the sixth time the Brazilian has been awarded the FINA honour after previous wins in 2010, 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2018.




In diving, there was a Chinese double with Xie Siyi winning the men’s award and Shi Tingmao the women’s for the fifth consecutive year.

Xie claimed the award for the first time after he won both the 3m springboard individual and synchro at worlds, the latter alongside Cao Yuan.

He was also second in the overall 3m individual rankings at the FINA Diving World Series as well as first in the synchro.

Shi won gold in both the 3m individual and synchro at worlds and came third in the diving world series.

Gary Hunt, of Great Britain, and Rhiannan Iffland, of Australia, won the high diving awards after both claimed world and world cup titles in 2019.

Russian pair Svetlana Romashina and Svetlana Kolesnichenko shared the victory for the Best Female Artistic Swimmer of the Year.

They both won the Duet Technical and Duet Free events in Gwangju, with Romashina (winner in 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2016) also taking gold in the Solo Free and Kolesnichenko prevailing in Solo Technical.

Fellow Russian Aleksandr Maltsev took the men’s award for the third time after triumphing in the mixed Duet Technical and Duet Free in Gwangju.



  1. avatar

    Ariarne Titmus won four medals, not five, at Gwangju.

    • avatar
      Craig Lord - Swimming World Editor-in-Chief

      Thanks Brill. I see Liz had corrected that fairly swiftly, before your comment was approved… All well.