Gwangju 2019 In The Mirror: Numbers & Links To SW Coverage Of The World Championships

(L-R) Nathan Adrian, Leah Smith, Allison Schmitt, Matt Grevers and Caeleb Dressel of the United States of America (USA) pose with the trophy for the best Team at the Swimming events at the Gwangju 2019 FINA World Championships, Gwangju, South Korea, 28 July 2019.
Team USA take the Trophy: (L-R) Nathan Adrian, Leah Smith, Allison Schmitt, Matt Grevers and Caeleb Dressel - Photo Courtesy: Patrick B. Kraemer

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World Swimming Championships (Gwangju 2019 In The Mirror)

We hope you enjoyed our coverage of the World Championships and the efforts of Liz Byrnes, Andy Ross, David Rieder, John Lohn and Craig Lord and appreciated the work unseen put in by our colleagues in the USA, including Brent Rutemiller, Taylor O’Brien, Dan D’Addona and others. Here’s an overview of the numbers and links to all the finals in Gwangju.  

The racing is done, the USA is the top team once more, weaker than it has often been but dominant yet and bolstered by the pioneering efforts of Caeleb Dressel, Regan Smith, Simone Manuel and Lilly King, the illness of Katie Ledecky significant to her and to the overall team outcome.

Budapest 2017 marked one of the most dominant American shows of force in the history of world championships, challenging but nor surpassing the best outcome ever, that at Melbourne 2007, when Michael Phelps won seven golds, including 5 solos and 4 world records and there were no mixed relays: 20 gold, 13 silver and 3 bronzes for 36 in all before a time of further bloating of the program and the likes of mixed relays.

In Budapest it was 18 gold, 10 silver and 10 bronze for 38 for the USA; in Gwangju, it was 14 gold, 8 silver, 5 bronze, for 27.

The only team that came close was Australia, the Dolphins having a tremendous meet, with 5 gold, 9 silver, 5 bronze for 19 medals overall.

As Swimming World‘s John Lohn noted, there is much potential back home and no need to panic in terms of Tokyo 2020. Fact: the USA, for all the weaknesses real and relative, remains the global swimming powerhouse.

Caeleb Dressel of the United States of America (USA) celebrates after winning in the men's 100m Butterfly Final during the Swimming events at the Gwangju 2019 FINA World Championships, Gwangju, South Korea, 27 July 2019.

Caeleb Dressel – Photo Courtesy: Patrick B. Kraemer

The overall League of Swim Nations has not shifted significantly, the following numbers close to what we’ve seen anytime in the past 20, and on some measures, 30 years:

  • 12 countries won gold medals, 21 countries won medals, and 35 countries had final swims.
  • The USA top and Australia was next best when it came to the highest number of titles, total medals and final swims.
  • Australia topped the relay count, with four gold, two silver and one bronze medals, the USA with three gold, four silver and one bronze medals. Among women, the Australian 4x200m quartet stole the show; among men, Great Britain’s historic last-night win in the 4x100m medley shone through.
  • The outstanding splits of the championships were a 57.57 world record USA lead on backstroke from Regan Smith in the women’s 4x100m medley; a 1:54.27 Commonwealth record from Ariarne Titmus leading Australia to a world-record win in the 4x200m freestyle; a 51.10 from Australia’s Cate Campbell in the 4x100m mixed medley, 46.14 from Britain’s Duncan Scott on freestyle and 49.28 by America’s Caeleb Dressel on butterfly in the men’s 4x100m medley.
Caeleb Dressel of the United States of America (USA) walks in before competing in the men's 50m Freestyle Semifinal during the Swimming events at the Gwangju 2019 FINA World Championships, Gwangju, South Korea, 26 July 2019.

Caeleb Dressel – Photo Courtesy: Patrick B. Kraemer

Caeleb Dressel of the United States of America (USA) reacts after winning in the men's 50m Freestyle Final during the Swimming events at the Gwangju 2019 FINA World Championships, Gwangju, South Korea, 27 July 2019.

Caeleb Dressel – Photo Courtesy: Patrick B. Kraemer

The outstanding solo efforts of the championships came from Dressel – the biggest hauler of the meet, with 5 gold and 2 silver – Adam Peaty, Kristof Milak, Anton Chupkov, and Regan Smith, with special mention of Katie Ledecky and an 800m free swim that was one of the most significant of her stellar career – and her Stanford teammate Simone Manuel, who hauled the biggest tally of medals among women with 4 gold and 3 silver. The medal tallies included mixed relays and mean that Olympic and World Championships comparisons are even less relevant than they have ever been.

Among relays, the Australia women’s 4x200m free quartet and the foursome from the USA who followed inside previous world-record time, and the Great Britain’s 4x100m medley squad that delivered an historic conclusion to the men’s events produced outstanding performances.

More analysis to come down the lane line, including, today, John Lohn’s overview of the global powerhouse’s 2019 championships and prospects ahead. For now…

The numbers. The Biggest Outcomes. The Links to Swimming World Coverage.

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Adam Peaty – world-record follow-up – Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

World records (10):

MEN

WOMEN

MIXED

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Simone Manuel – Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

There were doubles for:

  • Simone Manuel (USA) 50, 100m free
  • Lilly King (USA) 50, 100m breaststroke
  • Katinka Hosszu (HUN) 200, 400IM
  • Caeleb Dressel (USA) 50, 100m freestyle
  • Adam Peaty (GBR) 50, 100m breaststroke
  • Caeleb Dressel (USA) 50, 100m butterfly
  • Daiya Seto (JPN) 200, 400IM

The Top Points Performances of Gwangju 2019

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Regan Smith – Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

Saving the best for last: The 57.57 world record set in the 100m backstroke by Regan Smith when leading the USA to gold in the 4x100m medley in the last race of the championships topped the points performances league.

The men’s events produced a significantly higher standard, measured by points, than the women’s events across all events at the championships, relative to the world records in the respective events.
Here are the top 10 of points performances, measured by the State of Swimming World Rankings on the basis of 1,000 points standing for the world record going into the meet (all swims are measured on that  pre-meet basis not on the basis of a new world record from semis being the new 1000 and reducing the impact of the subsequent but slower swim in the final)
Kristof Milak of Hungary celebrates after winning in the men's 200m Butterfly Final during the Swimming events at the Gwangju 2019 FINA World Championships, Gwangju, South Korea, 24 July 2019.

Kristof Milak celebrates victory in Gwangju in world-record time – Photo Courtesy: Patrick B. Kraemer

Men

  • 1:50.73WR Kristóf Milak HUN – 200m butterfly 1010
  • 49.50WR    Caeleb Dressel USA – 100m butterfly 1009
  • 56.88WR    Adam Peaty GBR – 100m breaststroke 1007
  • 2:06.12WR Anton Chupkov RUS – 200m breaststroke 1006
  • 57.14        Adam Peaty GBR – 100m breaststroke 1000
  • 46.96        Caeleb Dressel USA – 100m butterfly 998
  • 47.08        Kyle Chalmers AUS – 100m freestyle 995
  • 26.06        Adam Peaty GBR – 50m breaststroke 994
  • All on 991 points:
  • 26.11       Adam Peaty GBR – 50m breaststroke
  • 21.04       Caeleb Dressel USA – 50m freestyle
  • 14:36.54  Florian Wellbrock GER – 1500m freestyle
  • 52.17        Xu Jiayu CHN – 100m backstroke
Regan Smith of the United States of America (USA) celebrates a New World Record after competing in the women’s 200m Backstroke Semifinal during the Swimming events at the Gwangju 2019 FINA World Championships, Gwangju, South Korea, 26 July 2019.

Regan Smith reacts to new world record – Photo Courtesy: Patrick B. Kraemer

Women

  • 57.57SWR  Regan Smith USA – 100m backstroke 1013
  • 2:03.35WR Regan Smith USA – 200m backstroke 1008
  • 2:03.69      Regan Smith USA – 200m backstroke 1004
  • 55.83         Maggie Macneil CAN – 100m butterfly 991
  • 52.04         Simone Manuel USA – 100m freestyle 991
  • 58.50         Kylie Masse CAN – 100m backstroke 990
  • 2:07.02      Katinka Hosszu HUN – 200m medley 990
  • 2:07.17      Katinka Hosszu HUN – 200m medley 988
  • 3:58.76     Ariarne Titmus AUS – 400m freestyle 988
  • 58.60        Kylie Masse CAN – 100m backstroke 988
  • 58.60        Minna Atherton AUS – 100m backstroke 988
Caeleb Dressel (L) of the United States of America (USA) and Sarah Sjoestroem of Sweden pose with the trophy for the best male and female swimmer at the Swimming events at the Gwangju 2019 FINA World Championships, Gwangju, South Korea, 28 July 2019.

Caeleb Dressel (L) of the United States of America (USA) and Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden pose with the FINA trophy for the best male and female swimmer of the championships –
Photo Courtesy: Patrick B. Kraemer

The Swimming Medals Table:

Of more than 200 FINA-member nations, just 21 made the podium, 12 among them including at least one gold in their tallies. The gap between the top 30 nations in the pool and the rest remains of gulf and canyon proportions, no evidence that development work has had any impact at the pointy end of business in the past half century. (See comparative tallies below medals table)

1  United States 14 8 5 27
2  Australia 5 9 5 19
3  Hungary 4 0 0 4
4  Russia 3 7 6 16
5  Italy 3 2 3 8
6  China 3 2 2 7
7 Great Britain 3 1 3 7
8  Japan 2 2 2 6
9  Canada 2 0 6 8
10  Sweden 1 2 2 5
11 South Africa 1 1 2 4
12  Germany 1 1 0 2
13  Brazil 0 3 2 5
14  Greece 0 1 0 1
Netherlands 0 1 0 1
 Norway 0 1 0 1
Switzerland 0 1 0 1
 Ukraine 0 1 0 1
19  France 0 0 2 2
20  Egypt 0 0 1 1
New Zealand 0 0 1 1
Totals (21 nations) 42 43 42 127
Adam Peaty of Great Britain poses with his Gold medal after winning in the men's 100m Breaststroke Final during the Swimming events at the Gwangju 2019 FINA World Championships, Gwangju, South Korea, 22 July 2019.

Golden smile from triple-crown winner Adam Peaty Photo Courtesy: Patrick B. Kraemer

Number of Nations Making the world titles podium:

  • 2019: 21
  • 2017: 22
  • 2015: 23
  • 2013: 22
  • 2011: 20
  • 2007: 23
  • 2005: 22
  • 2001: 19
  • 1998: 18
  • 1991: 17

Swimming World Coverage of Gwangju 2019 FINA World Aquatics Championships

Ariarne Titmus beat Katie Ledecky

Ariarne Titmus – Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

Day 1

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Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

Day 2

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Lilly King – Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

Day 3

Federica Pellegrini of Italy celebrates after winning in the women’s 200m Freestyle Final during the Swimming events at the Gwangju 2019 FINA World Championships, Gwangju, South Korea, 24 July 2019.

Federica Pellegrini – Photo Courtesy: Patrick B. Kraemer

Day 4

Team Australia celebrates after winning in the women's 4x200m Freestyle Relay Final during the Swimming events at the Gwangju 2019 FINA World Championships, Gwangju, South Korea, 25 July 2019.

Aussie gold in WR time  – Photo Courtesy: Patrick B. Kraemer

Day 5

Anton Chupkov (R) of Russia celebrates a New World Record after competing in the men's 200m Breaststroke Final during the Swimming events at the Gwangju 2019 FINA World Championships, Gwangju, South Korea, 26 July 2019.

Anton Chupkov – Photo Courtesy: Patrick B. Kraemer

Day 6

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Katie Ledecky – Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

Day 7

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Great Britain 4x100m medley relay Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

Day 8

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The Brits – a selfie – Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

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Team USA takes the last gold – Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

Rieder’s Richter Scale:

3 comments

  1. avatar
    Chuck Kroll

    Outstanding coverage all around including the above wrap-up. Thank you Swimming World staff for all of your efforts for those of us in the World of Swimming. Cheers all!

  2. avatar

    Fantastic work! Congrats for all members of the team!

  3. avatar
    Dan

    Thank you very much for the insightful summary.