FLASH! Emre Sakci Blasts New World Record in SCM 50 Breaststroke

SAKCI Huseyin TUR Men's 100m Breaststroke Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates 16/12/21 Etihad Arena FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) Photo Andrea Masini / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto
Emre Sakci at the 2021 Short Course World Championships -- Photo Courtesy: Andrea Masini / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

FLASH! Emre Sakci Blasts New World Record in SCM 50 Breaststroke

At last week’s Short Course World Championships, Turkey’s Emre Sakci posted the top time in the men’s 50 breaststroke semifinals at 25.52, but he was disqualified, likely due to an illegal dolphin kick motion into either his turn or his finish. He was then unable to swim in the final, and the USA’s Nic Fink won gold in 25.53, slower than Sakci’s pre-DQ semifinal time.

Now, Sakci has returned with a much quicker effort at Turkey’s national championships. On Monday evening, he swam a 24.95 in the event to crush the world record by three tenths. The previous world record had belonged to South Africa’s Cameron van der Burgh at 25.25 since November 2009, at the height of the polyurethane suit era, and it was untouched until Belarus’ Ilya Shymanovich matched it at last month’s European Short Course Championships in Kazan.

Prior to Monday, Sakci’s best time had stood at 25.29, set last year in Budapest during the ISL season. The 24-year-old from Izmir, Turkey, has only won two individual international medals in his career, a pair of silver medals in the 50 breast at the European Short Course Championships in 2019 and 2021, so this world record marks the biggest accomplishment of his career thus far.

Sakci was also disqualified in the 100 breaststroke prelims in Abu Dhabi, so he did not get the opportunity to swim in any finals for the entire meet. He was not the only big-name swimmer to be disqualified at this World Championships. Women’s 50 breast world-record holder Alia Atkinson lost out on her opportunity to swim in the event’s final after she was DQ’ed for the same dolphin kick motion in the semifinals, although she later rebounded to place fourth in the 100 breast in the final swim of her career before retirement.

Full results from Turkey’s national championships are available here.