Ahead of Olympic Summer, Swimming World’s Latest World Male Rankings
How can we compare the world’s best swimmers across all different events? We can consider world records, gold medals, head-to-head record, versatility and a million other factors. During the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot comes down to how swimmers have taken advantage of their sparse opportunities to race major events. Add all that together, and you get this list of the top 25 male swimmers in the world just a few months out from the 2021 Olympic Games.
Taking a step back from that narrow lens of the present, the landscape of events change over time and not at a consistent rate. No events have seen a greater shift than the men’s breaststrokes, where Adam Peaty has led the charge in the 100-meter distance into 57 territory and now into the 56s, while Anton Chupkov is at the helm of the 2:06 club in the 200 breast. Given the massive improvements in the breaststroke events, it should come as no surprise to see a significant overrepresentation of breaststrokers on this list.
A lot is left to unfold in the next few months prior to the Olympic Games, and these rankings will surely shift after the European Championships later this month and the U.S. and Australian Olympic Trials in June. And remember, this list is just one opinion with no right answer. If you disagree, you probably have a point. These rankings focus on long course ability with an eye towards the Olympics, but each such…