The 50m breaststroke world record is monitored and ratified by FINA, the world governing body for competitive swimming. In long course meters the WR has been tracked since 2001 for the men, and since 1996 for women.
The 50m breaststroke is not an Olympic event. It is, however, competed at the FINA World Aquatic Championships which is held every two years at varying venues across the globe.
MEN’S 50m BREASTSTROKE WORLD RECORD
The first WR on record for this event was Anthony Robinson of the US, who swam a 27.49 in March of 2001. Ed Moses, also of the US, promptly bested it (27.39) at a time trial two days later at the same pool.
Since then the record has only been broken 5 more times, with three of those being Cameron van der Burgh of South Africa. He was able to post a 26.67 at the FINA World Aquatic Championships in Rome during August of 2009.
Of course, then Adam Peaty of Great Britain came along.
Also the world record holder in the 100m breaststroke, Peaty has lowered the mark several more times, most recently swimming a blistering 26.10 during the preliminaries, and then a 25.95–becoming the first man under 26 seconds–during the semi-finals at the 2017 FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary.
The short course world record for the men’s 50m breaststroke is also held by Cameron van der Burgh. His time of 25.25 was posted in November of 2009 during the Berlin stop on the FINA World Cup Series tour.
SEE ALSO: FINA’s Rules for Swimming Breaststroke
WOMEN’S 50m BREASTSTROKE WORLD RECORD
Another South African features prominently on the women’s side, with Penelope Heyns being the first world record holder fo rthis event when she swam a 30.83 in August of 1999 at the Pan Pacific Championships in Sydney, Australia.
Also, similarly to the men, it hasn’t been broken that many times in its existence. Ruta Meilutyte of Lithuania swum a 29.48 at the FINA World Aquatic Championships this past summer in Barcelona (right after Yuliya Yefimova of Russia had posted a 29.78, breaking the two year old mark set by Jessica Hardy of the USA).
Yulia Yefimova of Russia currently has the WR for short course meters in this event. She swam a 28.71 at the Tokyo stop on the World Cup series in November of 2013.