During the penultimate night of the 2023 European Short Course Swimming Championships, Switzerland’s Noe Ponti won the 50 butterfly gold medal in a time of 21.79. His swim narrowly missed the world record by 0.04 seconds, but moved him up to #3 all-time. With his performance, he lowered his previous best time (and national record) of 21.96 from the 2022 World Championships in Melbourne.
Top 10 All-Time Performers, Men’s 50 SCM Butterfly:
With this 50 fly title, Ponti completes the sweep of all three butterfly distances at these championships. He won the 100 butterfly earlier in the competition, posting a time of 48.47 to take down the European record. He won the 200 butterfly on day four, hitting the wall in 1:49.71 to narrowly miss his national record of 1:49.42 from Melbourne.
While his 21.79 50 fly was mighty impressive, what was arguably even more impressive was the fact that he lined-up for the 100 IM semi-finals just 3 minutes after his gold medal performance.
He touched equal 4th in the first semifinal, posting a time of 53.31. He ended up tying for 8th after the completion of the second semifinal, and competed in a swim-off to end the session.
In the swim-off, Olympic bronze medalist Ponti touched ahead of Ramon Klenz of Germany by nearly a second. His time of 51.57 obliterated the Swiss national record, which he set last month at the Bolzano International meet (52.49).
With Ponti just missing the 50 butterfly world record, the world record drought in the short course pool for 2023 continues. No world record has yet to be broken in short course meters in 2023, and if no record is broken for the remainder of this year, it would be the first time ever that at least one didn’t go down.
Tomorrow looks to be the best chance to see a world record, as this is the last big short course meters meet of 2023. Tomorrow’s event schedule is as follows:
Men’s 100 IM Final
Men’s 50 Breaststroke Final
Women’s 200 Freestyle Final
Men’s 200 Backstroke Final
Women’s 400 Freestyle Final
Men’s 400 IM Final
Women’s 50 Breaststroke Final
Men’s 100 Freestyle Final
Women’s 50 Butterfly Final
Men’s 800 Freestyle Final
Mixed 4×50 Medley Relay Final
Out of those 11 events, the most realistic shot at a world record could come in the form of Daniel Wiffen in the 800 freestyle. Wiffen, who holds a personal best time of 7:25.96, would need to drop 2.54 seconds to match the record. He dropped more than that in his individual 400 to open the meet, and he dropped about 5 seconds in his 1500. In the 1500, he clocked a time of 14:09.11 to become the 3rd fastest performer in history. All signs point to him being capable of producing the world record swim, and it could be the last chance for one to fall in 2023.
Watch Ponti’s Record Breaking 50 Fly Here (courtesy of @NelsonCarterJr on Twitter):