Which Champions Will Keep Their Crowns In Kazan? The Form Guide: Men’s Breaststroke

Magyar might: Daniel Gyurta at the eye of the storm, Marco Koch furthest from the camera [photo: Patrick B. Kraemer]

In our series looking ahead to the World Championships, we’ve started to consider which titles will be defended and how the holder is shaping up. After men’s freestyle and backstroke, we turn to breaststroke

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In our series looking ahead to the World Championships, we’ve started to consider which titles will be defended and how the holder is shaping up. After men’s freestyle and backstroke, we turn to breaststroke



Are you going to do one for the relays as well?

Craig Lord

Yes, Verram, beyond the women.


4 in a row for Daniel !


The shorter breaststroke distances is where the most recent progress has been made, courtesy of Mr. Peaty, who at this point appears extremely competitive. I am hoping that Mr. Sprenger will be able to recover form by the time of the world championship. The 200m race has many candidates and predicting its outcome is very intriguing. And the world record appears very fragile. I really hope that Mr. Kosuke can bring this race back to Japan’s fold. But I also look forward to great performances from Mr. Koch, Mr. Peaty and, especially, Mr. Willis, who I believe is due for more international recognition. And, as always, Mr. Gyurta will prove very difficult to beat.


Early and somewhat predictable prediction :

Peaty – Peaty – Gyurta


Bigger Prediction

50 – Peaty, França, Van Der Burgh
100 – Peaty, Van Der Burgh, França
200 – Gyurta, Balandin, Koseki


I’ll go out on a limb here

Peaty – Peaty – Peaty (if he competes in all 3 events)

Bad Anon

Will put my money on Cameron for the 50 and 100. He’s a very gutsy swimmer and if anyone can upset Peaty its him



Mel Marshall has made it clear that Peaty will most probably swim all 3 events – I’d go Murdoch for the 200 if Peaty scratches.

50 – V.d Burgh, Peaty, Franca.
100 – Peaty, V.d Burgh, Murdoch.
200 – Gyurta, Peaty, Koch.


@for33: I agree with you, the 200 is intriguing to consider. Peaty and Gyurta swim the breaststroke so differently, I would love to see them race in neighboring lanes. I think Gyurta would win, but I highly respect Peaty for swimming all 3 rather than specializing in the sprints.

@Dee: I’m terrible at predictions, but I generally agree with you except that I would put Koseki second and Willis third in the 200.


I think the Brits will simply blitz the breastroke events.. They may well get the breastroke treble…


Peaty is obviously amazing, but remains to be seen how consistent he is and how he handles the pressure of the big stage.


Men 200 breast is certainly one of the most difficult to predict this year.

I am confident it will take at least 2:09.50 to final, and all finalists have chance to medal.
Just look at these names who all have swum 2:08 in the past 2 years:
Gyurta, Murdoch, Koch, Balandin, Koseki, Cordes, Peaty, Sinkevich, Sprenger, Von Lehm, Titenis, Fink, Mattson, Khomenko

Meanwhile, there’s still others who can potentially swim a 2:08 too: Tateishi, Li

While I think gold will be fought between Gyurta and Murdoch, (with Koseki as wild card) the rest of the swimmers above have equal chance for bronze.



Murdoch will probably not be swimming the 200 as he didn’t qualify in the event. You missed Jamieson, Yamaguchi & Willis as men at or under 2.08, too! So many of them thesedays… 2.06 is coming!



I’d say his consistency is pretty assured – under 59s four times in his career now, including his 57.92. seventeen times under 60s, too – sixteen of them in the last year… the other from July 2013. To put that into perspective, Gyurta has been under 60s just five times in his entire career. Granted he is focused on the 200, but it is an impressive statistic nonetheless.

Pressure of the big stage is another matter entirely… we’ll see, his performances at Commies & Euros were encouraging.


It sucks to be a top british or japanese breaststrokers if you’re not the top two in the country.

Here’s the names of Japanese and British 200 breaststrokers who have swum 2:10 or faster in the past two years and yet doesnt get the chance to swim in Kazan:

Jamieson, Willis, Yamaguchi, Benson, Kohinata, Ippei Watanabe, Tait, Oshikiri, Takahashi, Holderness, Hayato Watanabe, Ikeshita, Wilby,

And here’s the last name on 2:10 club; Daiya Seto
Wow.. I forgot that he swum 2:10.99 last year
With his fly prowess and amazing breast, he has decent free, and if he can improve his back, he will be very very hard to defeat in 400 IM.



I thought Jamieson and Willis did not qualify for Kazan?
And since Murdoch is already on the team, he will swim 200 breast anyway?

And yamaguchi is not on the japanese team, right? tatetishi will?

In my post, I only wrote who will be in Kazan.

Craig Lord

aswimfan: Adam Peaty and Andrew Willis finished 1-2 at trials and both were named for the team. For Willis, that is his only swim – so swim it he will, barring illness etc. And coach Marshall says Peaty will swim the 200.
During trials:
He will also take on the 200m, his coach Mel Marshall confirmed to SwimVortex, even though that means no swim for Commonwealth champion Ross Murdoch, third at nationals, with Andrew Willis second to Peaty, all three men on 2:08s.
“I feel for Ross,” says Marshall, “but that’s what happened. He’s a 2:06 swimmer [to be] and he’s been ill and that knocked him but he’ll be back and his 100 (59.1) was terrific.”
Ross would only get the 200 swim if one of those two pulled out, which looks unlikely as things stand. You are right in so far as Ross being on the team and therefore available to step in if circumstances demand it/allow it

Craig Lord

Yes, hard to defeat, aswimfan – and teammate Hagino is the man who can – look to the 200s across the board and the weak points in swims as we know them – if they can both be at best on the day, a thriller ahead:

1:56.57 1:54.23 [br: 1:11 split, Seto 1:09.5] 1:45.23 Hagino

1:54.08 [bk: 1:03 split, Hagino 1:02] 2:10.99 1:47.71 Seto


Personally i would favour Peaty to scratch 200.
1. Because i dont think he’s as hot favoured to win 200 as he is in 100.
2. because i want Ross to swim in that event and i think Ross has a better chance.
But i hope Peaty will get both 50 and 100 in world record times.


@ Dee: good point re: consistency…, wonder how rested he was to bust that 57. I assume fully. That means he needs needs to re-establish his base, but enough time to do that. Still say we Yanks have an edge for worlds due to a longer period of uninterrupted training, with the exception of some NCAA swimmers who had to prepare for those meets.


I think the 200 is between Koseki and Gyurta. If Koseki can drop a couple more tenths in his 100, he can break the 200 world record.

Craig Lord

s/c will have little relevance to the spread of strengths come the long-course battle, roy. s/c is almost always an unfinished cake when it comes to comparing the best with the best. i.e.. Phelps best: 4:01.49, his 2nd career best slower than his l/c world record

Craig Lord

Roy, yes, lots of examples of similar.


CL, Thanks for the explanation regarding Willis.
I forgot the selectors picked Andrew Willis despite not swimming under the Qualifying time.

So, no Murdoch?
I feel Murdoch has bigger chance than any other british breastroker to medal in 200. Theoretically, Peaty can still not swim 200 in Kazan, and Murdoch will take over, as long as they decide before the deadline.



In principle I agree with you regarding Belmonte and her SC and LC times. However, sorry to be nit picking, but 15:19 in SCM 1500 should not translate to 15:30.
It should translate to around 15.40.

Hackett is 14:10 and 14:34, and even bigger gap between his SCM and LCM, although some may argue (including Hackett himself) that he should have been able to take it even lower to sub 14:30

CMIIW, but Hackett’s 14:10 is currently the oldest of ALL WRs, textile or rubber, SCM or LCM, men or women.
And to think that it’s a SCM WR which should get broken more easily is remarkable.


And I do agree with giving 1500 gold to Ledecky already.
Face it folks, we won’t be seeing the electrifying duel between Ledecky and Friis like in Barcelona.

Friis owes it to Bowman for this.

Craig Lord

Yes, aswimfan, theoretically, any member of the team can swim any event once on the team if the head coach and all involved agree that the best way forward. On what we know so far, it will be Peaty and Willis in the 200 this August.


Murdoch would probably have been the swimmer Gyurta was most worried about; he’ll be very confident of the defence now. I like the fact that Peaty is competing in the 200. Obviously speed is his strength, but right now it’s probably wise to keep working on the endurance needed for 200s, then maybe drop the event in Olympic year (maybe).

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