It is only March 2023 and we have seen numerous fast times this year. Most of the time, these fast times are isolated to the US collegiate SCY scene, but we have had great LCM times, now being led by the recent Kaylee McKeown 2:03.14 200 back WR. Although the time of year was shocking, the athlete was not, as Kaylee is the 100 back WR holder, therefore the 200 back WR was not out of the question. However, reports of her not being rested for this record create even more excitement as the women’s 200 back is a heavily contested event. Recently on Social Kick the question was asked, how fast can the 200 back WR go … at the end I’ll give my thoughts, but put your answer in the comment below.
For those who haven’t followed one of our analyses, these analyses are for fun and to spark debate. There are some inherent flaws in this race analysis:
- Videos are taken from YouTube videos (often with subpar angles)
- There are analyzed with Kinovea
Watch 200 Back WR – 2:03.17 LCM Kaylee McKeown
200 Back World Record Analysis
First 15 Meters
As most Olympic-level backstroke swimmers do, Kaylee broke the surface at 15-m in 6.57 seconds. Her velocity at this moment was 2.28 m/s.
15 Meters – 25 Meters
Kaylee took 9 strokes over this distance in 6.25 seconds with a velocity of 1.60 m/s.
25 Meters – 35 Meters
Kaylee took 10 strokes over this distance in 6.32 seconds at a velocity of 1.58 m/s.
35 Meters – 50 Meters
Taking 13 strokes into the wall, McKeown slowed a little into the turn, with a velocity of 1.47 m/s over the last 15 m, and swam the distance in 10.2 seconds.
First 50 Meters Analysis
Hitting the wall at 29.34, McKeown is out quickly but was behind the previous 200 back WR split of Regan Smith of 29.06. Over the first 50 meters, she took 32 strokes. Her distance per stroke was 1.09 meters/stroke and her rate was 0.20 seconds/stroke (0.40 seconds/cycle).
50 Meters – 65 Meters
Off the turn, McKeown breaks the water at 10.49 meters in 4.63 seconds. She takes 5 strokes and hits the 15-meter mark in 8.05 seconds. Her velocity was 1.87 m/s.
65 Meters – 75 Meters
Into the 75-m mark, she is at a velocity of 1.62 m/s. She takes 10 strokes over this distance.
75 Meters – 85 Meters
Over this distance she takes 9 strokes with a velocity of 1.55 m/s.
85 Meters – 100 Meters
Into the wall, she takes 14 strokes, slowing her velocity slightly to 1.45 m/s.
Seconds 50 Meters Analysis
Kaylee split 31.39 seconds over the second 50 meters. She took a total of 38 strokes. She had a distance per stroke of 1.04 meters/stroke and her stroke rate was 0.26 seconds/stroke.
100 Meters – 115 Meters
Off the turn, McKeown breaks the water at 10.2 meters in 4.4 seconds. She takes 5 strokes and hits the 15-meter mark in 7.81 seconds. Her velocity was 1.92 m/s.
115 Meters – 125 Meters
Into the 125-m mark, she is at a velocity of 1.70 m/s. He takes 9 strokes over this distance.
125 Meters – 135 Meters
Over this distance, she takes 10 strokes in 6.23 seconds with a velocity of 1.55 m/s.
135 Meters – 150 Meters
Into the wall, she takes 13 strokes, in 10.21 seconds at a velocity of 1.52 m/s.
Third 50 Meters Analysis
Outside of the first 50, this was Kaylee’s fastest 50 with a split of 31.11 seconds. She out split Smith’s previous 200 back WR by 0.36 on this lap. She took 37 strokes over this distance and had a stroke rate of 1.08 meters/stroker and a stroke rate of 0.28 seconds/stroke.
It seems Kaylee made a concerted effort to increase her speed this lap, as noted by her increase in stroke rate. However, unlike most, her distance per stroke also improved this 50. She did seem to slow into the wall, possibly impacting her next turn’s velocity.
150 Meters – 165 Meters
Off the turn, McKeown breaks the water at 10.16 meters in 4.45 seconds. She takes 5 strokes and hits the 15-meter mark in 8.1 seconds. Her velocity was 1.85 m/s.
165 Meters – 175 Meters
At the 175-m mark, she took 9 strokes in 6.25 seconds at a velocity of 1.60 m/s.
175 Meters – 185 Meters
Over this distance, she takes 10 strokes in 6.66 seconds with a velocity of 1.50 m/s.
185 Meters – 200 Meters
Into the wall, she takes 14 strokes, in 10.05 seconds at a velocity of 1.49 m/s.
Fourth 50 Meters Analysis
Splitting a 31.30, Kaylee finished 0.21 seconds faster on the last 50 than Smith’s previous record (and 0.57 seconds faster on the second 100). She took 38 strokes over this distance and had a stroke rate of 1.05 meters/stroker and a stroke rate of 0.27 seconds/stroke.
The first part of this lap was inferior to the third 50, perhaps due to her slowing into the turn, however, she was able to close the last 50 very fast.
200 LCM Back WR Analysis
Demonstrating an amazing second 100, Kaylee put on a display in an early March meet. Her ability to maintain her stroke rate and distance per stroke allowed her to finish so quickly and display again, it’s not who goes out fastest, but who maintains their speed.
Theoretical Improvements for Kaylee McKeown’s 200 Back World Record
There is room to improve for every swimmer. Here are the notable improvements from Kaylee McKeon:
- Continual improvement in underwater dolphin kick distance. As we see in SCY, athletes are able to hold their dolphin kicks further underwater, then it greatly improves their velocity. If she could increase to 12-13 – meters off each turn, she can improve her time by 0.4 – 0.8 per 50 – meters. The question will then be, could she maintain her second 100 – meter swimming velocity with taking in less oxygen?
- On her second and third 50, Kaylee slowed into the turn. We know velocity into the turns is critical for ‘sling-shotting’ herself out of the turn and for the upcoming 50-meters. If she can maintain her speed and ability to tuck into her turns, she could improve her time by an additional 0.1 seconds per lap.
With these improvements, she can improve another ~1.4 – 2.6 seconds, taking him under the current WR.
There are likely more technical improvements with her swimming biomechanics, but there weren’t angles to properly assess this.
My name is Joan I’m the developer of Kinovea that apparently you are using for these analyses.
After reading your post I want to add a new tool to the program for counting cycles as you are doing here (for ex. “seconds per stroke”). Do you have input about how such a tool should work?
Many sports are fundamentally cyclic in nature so this should be a nice thing to have all around but it seems to me that swimming will make a particularly good reference use-case.
I’m thinking the basics would be to have a counter object and you hit a keyboard shortcut to add one cycle. Then configuration options to show the raw count, the period (seconds/cycle) or the frequency (cycles/second), in definable units. This would be purely time-based, no distance involved yet.
After reading your post I figure it would be nice to be able to define larger segments of time to compare the evolution of the average speed.
Do you have more design ideas for this?