Who were the most dominant swimmers of 2021 in their respective events?
Of course, defining “dominant” can be tricky. The Swimming Stats Instagram page posted a few lists, featuring swimmers who managed to establish a high number of swims among the top 10 performances of the year in long course meters.
The swimmers who appear with many of the fastest swims of the year are usually those who have won the main titles and finished the year in first place, i.e. very dominant swimmers.
Of course, there are a few exceptions. For example, at the 100 female butterfly, Zhang yufei has four of the ten fastest races of the year. But it was Maggie MacNeil who won Olympic gold and finished the year with the fastest time in the world – which was his only appearance among the top 10 fastest strokes of 2021 in that event.
But this is a rare exception. Taking into account the Olympic events, the most dominant swimmer in 2021 in terms of number of strokes among the 10 fastest performances is Katie Ledecky in the women’s 800 free. She has completed eight of the 10 fastest races of 2021, which is not surprising given that she is arguably one of the most dominant swimmers in history, undefeated in the event for over a decade. ‘a decade, and the three-time Olympic champion.
If we also consider non-Olympic events, Benedetta pilato established no less than nine of the 10 fastest races of the year in the women’s 50 breaststroke, including setting the world record. However, many swimmers did not even compete in the 50m swimming events in 2021, choosing to focus solely on the Olympic events, so it is not entirely fair to rank this as high as the exploits of Ledecky, for example.
In five events, there were swimmers who registered seven of the 10 fastest races of the year: Emma McKeon in the women’s 100 freestyle, Katie Ledecky in the women’s 800 free, Zhang yufei the 200 female butterfly, Peaty adam in the men’s 100m breaststroke and Kristóf Milák in the men’s 200m butterfly. It should be noted that Peaty and Milák were probably the two most widely favored to win Olympic gold medals in their men’s events, and they were the only two swimmers to record the seven fastest performances of the year. in Olympic events – undisputed domination.
Swimmers with the most strokes in the top 10 fastest performances in 2021:
- 50 breaststroke women: Benedetta pilato, 9
- 800 freestyle women: Katie Ledecky, 8
- 100 breaststroke men: Peaty adam, seven
- 200 butterfly men: Kristof Milak, seven
- 100m freestyle women: Emma McKeon, seven
- 1500 free women: Katie Ledecky, seven
- 200 butterfly women: Zhang yufei, seven
- 50 m free men: Caeleb Dressel, 6
- 100 butterfly men: Caeleb Dressel, 6
- 400 freestyle women: Katie Ledecky 6
- 200 female back: Kaylee mckeown, 6
- 50 butterfly women: Melanie Henique, 6 years old