Before writing this piece, I was facing a dilemma. Should I include the best at the moment or the best in history? This isn’t a small matter and it is comparable to other I’ve had to face: grill chicken indoors or outdoors, play air-guitar with mates or have a karaoke night, and browsing 9gag, or checking out

I won’t tell you what my choices were, but for this list, I’ve decided to go with a little bit of column A and some of column B. For this list, we have included men and women that are currently among the best in Europe, but have also proven their worth on the world stage, setting the bar pretty high for future generations of competitive swimmers. The list is hardly complete, as I have focused my attention mainly onto the shorter races for the purposes of this article. Otherwise, this post would be two or three times longer.


At the time of writing this article, the fastest 50 freestyle swimmer you can find in Europe is Andrea Vergani. This 21-year old Italian has always been near the top, and now he has proof that he is among the best, if not the best.

Adam Peaty would give him a run for his money, though. He specializes in breaststroke and has been named Swimmer of the Year for the past several years in a row. Be ready to see him again in our future posts – he has broken several world records in 50m and 100m breaststroke.

Sebastian Sabo is without a match when it comes to 50m and 100m butterfly races. He shortly dabbled in water polo, before making a name for himself in competitive swimming. He was born in Frankfurt, though he moved with his family to Serbia when he was a toddler. He is currently preparing for Tokyo 2020 Olympics.


Sarah Fredrika Sjöström is yet another name without which the list wouldn’t have made much sense. She is a versatile swimmer and can handle herself in various environments and modes of competition, though her most famous styles are the butterfly, freestyle, and backstroke – in that order. Sjöström is not only the best right now, but she has also firmly positioned herself as the greatest European female swimmer. Time and time again, Sarah would jump into the pool and break a world record, often one of her own!

Katinka Hosszú, or Hosszú Katinka, is among the best women in Europe and the world with individual medley times few can compete against. In fact, the Iron Lady, as she is nicknamed, has been advised to retire several times, but she still perseveres. What does she have to show for it, you may ask? How about several world records and a few Olympic ones, as well? Do not take her on in 25m and 50m races – you will not win.

Last, but not least, is Ranomi Kromowidjojo. She is a Dutch swimmer who specializes in freestyle and the butterfly. Among her achievements is the fact that she was an excellent junior swimmer, with several European Swimming Championship medals in 2005 and 2006. More importantly, she became an Olympic champion in Beijing before she turned 18. Now, that is an impressive item on a resume, isn’t it?

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