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  • Dec

    Our Top 5 Swim Performers of 2017!

    As we look ahead to 2018, it’s also time to look back and put together our annual list of the year’s top swim performers. With a memorable World Championships staged in Hungary this year as the highlight, there was a lot to choose from.

    In some cases some performances outside of Swimming Worlds may have broken a tie or moved an athlete up or down on our ranking – but for us, amazing performances on a big stage speak volumes! Here’s our Top 5 Performers list for this year.

    5 – Tie, Lilly King/Katinka Hosszu

    Yes, we know that calling it a tie is a cop-out. But both King and Hosszu had excellent credentials this year and we could have even included Chase Kalisz with his 200m/400m IM double at Worlds. But Hosszu not only won gold in both individual medleys in Budapest, but she also snagged a silver and bronze in other races – all with the pressure of performing in front of the home crowd. Finishing second in the FINA World Cup standings was icing on the cake and edges her above Kalisz who would have been next to add to our list. As for Lilly King, she set a world record in winning the 100m breaststroke at worlds and also won the 50m event. While she didn’t win a medal in the 200m, her fourth place showed she’s destined to be one of the best all-around breaststrokers of all time, if she can keep her trajectory.

    4 – Katie Ledecky

    It’s not often you see Ledecky listed fourth in a ranking anywhere and the American freestyler was selected as the AP Female Athlete of the Year in the U.S. As she has been for the past few seasons, Ledecky is often measured against her own lofty expectations and for the first time since 2012, she went a calendar year without setting some sort of world record. Still she won the 400m, 800m and 1500m at Worlds with ease with a silver in the 200m her only blemish. It’s just that our top three finishers all had a “wow” factor that Ledecky didn’t seem to produce. Or maybe we’re all just so used to her dominating and impressing us with every swim!

    3 – Adam Peaty

    Peaty is the only athlete on the his list who specializes in one discipline – the sprint breaststroke events – but the excitement he generates when he steps on the pool deck and the times he recorded this year land him third on our list. They have also made Peaty a household name back at home in the UK. He’s the kind of athlete that raises the profile of our sport. Peaty won the 50m and 100m breaststroke at World Championships, but the way he did it by breaking world records and twice swimming sub-26 second times in the 50m is what left our jaws open. He also won gold and set the European record in the 100m at the European Short Course Championships this month to cap off the season.

    2 – Caeleb Dressel

    Dressel had never been to Europe before but after the World Championships, everyone in Europe now knows Caeleb Dressel. His 7-gold medal performance matched a feat only one other male has achieved: the great Michael Phelps. While Dressel had the benefit of two extra relays, the tough schedule also meant he had to go out and swim two finals within 30 minutes of each other, as he won the 50m freestyle and 100m butterfly on the penultimate night of competition. He nearly eclipsed Phelps 100m fly record and then completed his trifecta with a gold in the 4x100m mixed freestyle relay, becoming the first swimmer ever with three gold medals in one session. For many onlookers, Dressel was the single biggest breakout star at Worlds setting high expectations for the future.

    1 – Sarah Sjostrom

    We like multi-event swimmers here at and winning 3 golds and one silver across the freestyle and butterfly sprint events (50m/100m) put Sjostrom among our best performers of the year. But setting two world records in the process (50m butterfly and 100m freestyle) along with Sjostrom’s dominance on the FINA World Cup circuit all year put her at the very top of our list and gave her our vote for 2017 Top Performer of the Year in the pool.

    Here’s to more top performances in 2018!

    Email Address Invalid. Please enter an email address in the format: xx@yy.zz
    3 years ago.
    I think this is a great article. Never heard of Sarah Sjostrom before. But my favorite swimmer is Katie Ledecky.
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