An update: Here’s the link to the updated 2015 rankings
We have already seen who are the most successful swimmers overall – male and female, in the history of the Swimming World Championships. It is time now to embark on the second half of our journey through the SWC’s: a journey that this time will take us to the most successful individual performances in a single championship.
For the making of the rankings you will see here I used those excel files I created, based on that awesome FINA handbook (and updating it with the results from recent SWC’s). Swimming is different from Track & Field because of the real possibilities for swimmers to win multiple medals in a single SWC. In T&F it’s rare to see athletes win 3 medals in a single championship, and it’s really unique to see an athlete grab 4 medals. In swimming, it’s not unusual. One has to be pretty fucking awesome to win 4, 5 or 6 medals, but it is possible, and you don’t even have to be an all-time legendary swimmer to achieve that, as you will see shortly. Continue reading