The Olympic 12 months is right here. Once more. Possibly. And we’re kicking off the 12 months 2021 with a countdown of the highest 100 girls and high 100 males in world-level swimming heading into the Olympic 12 months.
Who’re the highest 100 female and male swimmers you could find out about, you could watch, with the largest occasion in swimming lower than 6 months away.
We’ll break down the checklist into a number of installments, so keep tuned as we proceed with our lists.
We’ve positioned a heavy precedence on particular person Olympic medal potential and world document potential, however we’ve additionally weighed potential for influence at different world-level occasions like Brief Course Worlds, the ISL season, and the World Cup. These lists are, by nature, subjective. If you happen to disagree, depart your ideas/ranks within the feedback.
Males’s #100 – #76
We’re not into our high gold medal contenders but. However this crew simply inside the highest 100 are potential minor-medal-contenders, plus some names who may make huge waves at Brief Course Worlds or within the Worldwide Swimming League.
That is additionally a comparatively younger group, with a variety of fast-risers who won’t be medal favorites proper now, however may rise quickly up the lists because the 12 months goes on. The flip facet of which are some former junior standouts who haven’t popped in just a few years, however have the potential to make waves in the event that they return to type.
#100: Nao Horomura – the Japanese butterflyer regarded like a rising star early on this Olympic cycle with a 1:53.9 within the 200 fly at age 18. However since that 2017 swim, he has by no means damaged 1:55 and wishes a breakthrough 12 months to get previous this plateau.
#99: Christian Diener – Diener is certainly extra of a brief course specialist who in all probability isn’t an Olympic medal risk within the crowded backstrokes. However he deserves inclusion on this checklist for his main ISL and quick course meters influence. Diener was a top-50 ISL scorer in 2020 and #2 within the league within the 50 again.
#98: Takeshi Kawamoto – the #35 general ISL scorer final 12 months, Kawamoto is a fairly versatile flyer and backstroker. He’s higher within the 50/100 of each strokes, so his Olympic medal likelihood is lower in half with out the 50s within the combine, however like Diener, his ISL season was too good to depart off the checklist.
#97: Andrii Govorov – Govorov is just about a one-event specialist. However he’s the world record-holder in that 50 fly, and has a fairly intensive medal resume there between Worlds and Euros in lengthy course and quick course. He’s additionally a strong ISL contributor.
#96: Qin Haiyang – Qin stays the world junior record-holder within the 200 breast (2:07.35) and 200 IM (1:57.06), however hasn’t bettered these occasions since 2017. Now 21, Qin actually wants a marquee senior-level swim within the Olympic 12 months.
#95: Wojciech Wojdak – the addition of the lads’s 800 free to the Olympic program helps Wojdak, who gained World Champs silver in that race in 2017. However he hasn’t damaged 7:50 in almost three-and-a-half years, so a bounce-back is required to contend in Tokyo.
#94: Pawel Juraszek – the Polish record-holder has been 21-mid within the lengthy course 50 free in every of the previous few years, and did go 20.Eight in brief course meters in 2020. It wouldn’t be stunning to see Juraszek make the Olympic 50 free closing.
#93: Andrea Vergani – Vergani has form of yo-yoed out and in of worldwide relevance, successful Euros gold with a 21.Three within the 50 free in 2018 earlier than taking a three-month suspension for marijuana. Like Juraszek, he’s obtained a shot to make the Olympic 50 free closing, which is absolutely all you could contend for a minor medal in an unpredictable dash race.
#92: Hwang Sun-Woo – as a 17-year-old, Hwang erased Korean swimming legend Park Tae-hwan from the nationwide document books with a 48.25 100 free. In all probability extra related from an Olympic medal perspective, Hwang went 1:45.9 within the 200 free and might be a fast-riser into what’s a comparatively wide-open Olympic gold hunt if Solar Yang is certainly suspended.
#91: Shinri Shioura – Shioura is the Japanese and Asian record-holder within the 50 free and has been a constant presence on the world dash stage. At age 29, he seems to nonetheless be growing his velocity, together with his career-best 50 free coming in 2019.
#90: Ji Xinjie – Ji is a 23-year-old with unimaginable freestyle vary. In 2019, he went 1:45.Four and three:45.6 within the 200 and 400 frees, respectively. However he’s additionally gained worldwide medals into the 800 and 1500 frees, and will have alternatives for a number of Olympic finals with 2021.
#89: Katsumi Nakamura – Nakamura is an excellent 100 freestyler, and within the fairly elite firm of swimmers who’ve been 47-point. He’s by no means gained a person medal at Worlds or the Olympics, however ought to have a shot on the 100 free closing in entrance of his house nation in Tokyo this 12 months.
#88: Kirill Martynychev – Simply 18 years outdated, Martynychev is a rising distance swimmer who gained the 1500 free on the European Junior Championships in 2019. He’s on the cusp of breaking 15 minutes in that race, and is sub-8:00 within the 800 which ought to supply two photographs at an Olympic closing.
#87: Thomas Neill – Australia’s Neill gained three distance free medals at World Juniors in 2019. This previous 12 months, he set the world junior document within the quick course 400 free with a 3:38.0. Neill is simply 18 and rising quick, and he additionally advantages from the inclusion of the 800 free within the Olympic program.
#86: Jordan Wilimovsky – a twin risk between pool and open water swimming, Wilimovsky is one in every of 20 swimmers already certified for the Tokyo Olympics within the open water 10Ok. He’s additionally a strong contender to make the U.S. Olympic group within the 1500, if he desires to repeat his 2016 standing as a pool/open water Olympian.
#85: Zac Stubblety-Cook – Stubblety-Prepare dinner is a part of a crowd of fellows who’ve been 2:07-low within the 200 breast. That’s his prime medal alternative. However the Australian additionally simply broke a minute within the 100 breast final month, so his velocity is certainly growing.
#84: Luke Greenbank – a former youth standout, Nice Britain’s Greenbank was the 2019 World Champs bronze medalist within the 200 again. He had a pleasant 2020 in brief course meters and retains enhancing in each the 100 and 200 backs. The lads’s backstrokes are brutally crowded, however Greenbank has pretty much as good a shot at a medal as anybody exterior of the highest few names.
#83: Yasuhiro Koseki – Koseki is a wonderful breaststroker throughout all three distances, and between each lengthy course and quick course. He’s the Japanese record-holder within the 100 breast, and went 58 in each 2018 and 2019 earlier than hitting a career-best in brief course meters in 2020. He seems to have turned his focus a bit away from the 200 breast, although, and Japan’s depth there’ll in all probability make him only a one-event Olympic closing contender.
#82: Franko Grgic – Grgic will flip 18 this month, and might be a little bit under-discussed after a quiet 2020. He broke a world junior document within the 1500 free, going 14:46 on the age of 16 whereas successful a World Juniors gold medal in 2019. He was sixth on the planet that 12 months for swimmers of all ages, and in 2020, solely Gregorio Paltrinieri bettered Grgic’s time.
#81: Thomas Ceccon – one other former youth standout, Ceccon is making his mark on the senior stage for Italy. Most notable was in all probability his national-record 52.Eight within the 100 again this 12 months, however Ceccon can also be an ideal freestyler (48.6) who feels on the cusp of an enormous worldwide breakout this 12 months.
#80: Zane Grothe – Grothe had an unimaginable run from late 2017 by way of the summer season of 2018 in each quick course and lengthy course. His distance free occasions stalled a little bit in 2019 and 2020, however he’s nonetheless one of many frontrunners to make the U.S. Olympic group, and he has good velocity right down to the 200/400 vary.
#79: Nicolo Martinenghi – a former youth standout, Martinenghi missed a while in 2018 resulting from a groin damage. He’s absolutely returned to type, although, pulling down finest occasions in 2020 within the 100 breast (58.7) and 50 breast (26.5). Martinenghi can also be a strong ISL scorer along with an Olympic medal contender within the 100 breast.
#78: Blake Pieroni – Pieroni is a relay stalwart with 13 Olympic/Worlds medals over his profession, however none of them particular person. He faces a stiff problem to make the U.S. Olympic group in a person occasion, after splitting 47.Four and 47.Three at 2019 Worlds, it’s clear he’s serving to elevate these medal-winning relays, not simply tagging alongside for the trip. He was additionally #53 in ISL scoring for 2020.
#77: Michael Andrew – ever a polarizing swimming determine, Andrew is simply too good and too versatile to rank any decrease than this. The Olympic format (with out stroke 50s) limits his medal upside a little bit, however Andrew continues to be a contender to make Olympic finals in any of the 50 free, 100 breast, and 200 IM, amongst others. He’s additionally a former quick course world champ within the 100 IM and may have huge impacts within the ISL and at Brief Course Worlds in 2020.
#76: Jacob Heidtmann – the 26-year-old Heidtmann was a fairly constant scorer within the ISL in 2020. However he additionally completed 2020 because the world’s #4-ranked lengthy course 400 IMer. With 2016 Olympic expertise already beneath his belt, Heidtmann has an opportunity to medal in 2020.