Thomas Ceccon Shocks The Field With 51.60 100 Backstroke World Record


Thomas Ceccon of Italy pulled off a world record-breaking performance in the men’s 100 backstroke, clocking a 51.60 to take out the mark of 51.85 that Ryan Murphy hit back in 2016 at the Olympics.

Ceccon, of course, also reset the Italian, European, and World Championships records with that swim. Evgeny Rylov of Russia held the European record previously at a 51.98, while Thomas Ceccon had the Italian record at a 52.12 from earlier at this meet. The World Championships record in this event was reset during semi-finals by Apostolos Christou of Greece who hit a 52.09.

Ceccon broke the world record by a quarter of a second, splitting 0.01 seconds slower than Murphy did on the opening 50 and then 0.26 seconds faster on the back half. Murphy broke the world record in 2016 during the 4×100 medley relay at the Rio Olympics.

Splits Comparison

50 25.14 25.13
one hundred 51.60 (26.46) 51.85 (26.72)

Ceccon’s best time coming into this meet was a 52.30 from the Tokyo Olympics where he finished 4th overall in the final. He’s now dropped more than a second from his best time since the beginning of 2021, having entered last year with a PB of 52.84 from December 2020.

Ceccon was the world junior record champion in this event back in 2019 when he won the event with a 53.46, having also hit a 53.37 time during the medley relay there. That means that in the 3 years between the 2019 World Junior Championships and the 2022 World Championships, he’s gone from a 53.37 to a 51.80. That’s a 1.57 second drop.

Thomas Ceccon Time 100 Backstroke Best Time Progression

month best time
August 2019 53.37
December 2020 52.84
July 2021 52.30
June 2022 51.80

This is Ceccon’s first individual medal at a long course World Championships meet, having previously won bronze at this meet in the 4×100 freestyle relay. He also won two Olympic medals last year, taking silver in the 4×100 free and bronze in the 4×100 medley with his fellow Italians.

Ceccon is now the 5th man in history to crack the 52-seconds barrier. Notably, Hunter Armstrong of the USA became the 6th man to do so during the 100 backstroke final by swimming a 51.98 to take the bronze medal.

All-time 100 Men’s Backstroke Performances

  1. Thomas Ceccon (ITA) – 52.60 (2022)
  2. Ryan Murphy (USA) – 51.85 (2016)
  3. Jiayu Xu (CHN) – 51.86 (2018)
  4. Aaron Piersol (USA) – 51.94 (2009)
  5. Evgeny Rylov (RUS) / Hunter Armstrong (USA) – 51.98 (2021/2022)
  6. Kliment Kolesnikov (RUS) – 52.00 (2021)

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