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Swimmers beat the seemingly unbeatable records

Even without high-tech bodysuits, world bests fall at London Olympics

August 3, 2012

An astonishing 43 world records were broken at the 2009 world swimming championships in Rome, all using the rubberized bodysuits later banned by the sport's governing body. Some said at the time that those Rome records may last a very long time indeed.

But just three years later in London, several Olympic swimmers proved the pessimists wrong. A total of seven world records have been broken in the pool as of Aug. 3. (Rebecca Soni bettered the women's 200-metre breaststroke mark twice, in both the semifinal and final.) Four other swimmers came within 0.25 seconds of setting new marks.

See more about the performances below.

Olympic swim records

* Soni set a new world record with a time of 2:20:00 in her London semifinal, before breaking that record by 0.01 of a second in the final.
** Seebohm posted this time during a heat. Eventual gold medallist Missy Franklin came within 0.23 seconds of the record in the final.

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