Fritz Bedford Takes Down Two Backstroke Masters World Records

Fritz Bedford
Photo Courtesy: Barbara Hummel

Fritz Bedford raised the men’s backstroke bar in the 50-54 age group to new heights last weekend at the seventh annual UVAC Leaf Peepers Masters Mini Meet.

Bedford, 52, swam a 58.47 in the short course meters 100 backstroke, an eye-popping 1.32 seconds under the previous world mark of 59.79 formerly held by Japan’s Hiroyoshi Maetoge. Later in the meet, Bedford raced to a 26.69 in the 50 backstroke, taking more than half a second off his own world record of 27.28. Notably, Bedford’s time is faster than the existing world record in the men’s 45-49 age group of 27.02 set by Chris Stevenson.

In between his record-setting swims, Bedford clocked 1:01.58 in the 100 IM, a time that ranks as fifth fastest ever in the 50-54 age group and less than a second away from the world record of 1:00.96 by David Sims. All three of Bedford’s swims were his fastest ever in Masters, dating back to his 2009 debut.

Backstroke is a popular stroke in Bedford’s family. He is the older brother of B.J. Bedford, a 2000 Olympian who won gold in the 400 medley relay and participated in the finals of the 100 backstroke.

Barbara Hummel contributed to this report.


  1. avatar

    This is just unbelievable. Congratulations to Fritz.

  2. avatar

    Amazing Fritz! Well done..As a fellow Masters Backstroker I would really like to know the frequency and volume that you do..maybe S.W Mag can do an interview for us? cheers