New South Wales State Open Championships: Flash! Eamon Sullivan Blazes By Alexander Popov’s World Record

SYDNEY, Australia, February 17. DURING the final day of competition at the New South Wales State Open Championships, held in Sydney, Australia, Eamon Sullivan took down the oldest world standard in the men's record books. By the end of the splash-and-dash 50 freestyle event, Sullivan erased Alexander Popov from the ledger.

After posting a 22.52 during prelims, Sullivan became the fastest swimmer on the planet with a blistering 21.56. That knocked off the 21.64 set by Popov on June 16, 2000 in Moscow, Russia.

Ashley Callus (22.50) and Jonathon Newton (22.61) joined Sullivan in the race as they placed second and third in the historic swim.

"I felt really, really good in the warm up and I was working towards being under 22 (seconds) for the first time," Sullivan told Swimming Australia. "I looked up and saw the point 56 at the end and thought it was 22.56 before I realized it was a one instead of a two at the start. I was just getting used to being the fastest man in Australia and now I am the fastest in the world."

With the world record, Sullivan becomes the first Australian to hold the men's 50 free record.

Courtesy of USA Swimming
23.70 Klaus Steinback FRG Freiburg 7/23/1979
23.66 Chris Cavanaugh USA Amersfoort 2/2/1980
22.83p Bruce Stahl USA Austin 4/10/1980
22.83p Joe Bottom USA Honolulu 8/15/1980
22.71 Joe Bottom USA Honolulu 8/15/1980
22.54p Robin Leamy USA Brown Deer 8/15/1981
22.52 Dano Halsall SUI Bellinzona 7/21/1985
22.40 Tom Jager USA Austin 12/6/1985
22.33 Matt Biondi USA Orlando 6/26/1986
22.33 Matt Biondi USA Clovis 7/30/1987
22.32* Tom Jager USA Brisbane 8/13/1987
22.23 Tom Jager USA Orlando 3/25/1988
22.14 Matt Biondi USA Seoul 9/24/1988
22.12 Tom Jager USA Tokyo 8/20/1989
21.98p Tom Jager USA Nashville 3/24/1990
21.81 Tom Jager USA Nashville 3/24/1990
21.64 Alexander Popov RUS Moscow 6/1/2000
21.56 Eamon Sullivan AUS Sydney 2/17/2008

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