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Fact of the Day

Sep 21, 1998

Yale Star Breaks Weissmuller's 17-year-old Record
Competing in the Yale University Annual Swimming Carnival in the Payne Whitney Exhibition Pool, July 31st ,1944, Alan Ford (19) broke Johnny Weissmuller's 100 yards freestyle record of 51 seconds set on April 15th. 1927, with a clocking of 50.6 seconds.

This was the second time in two weeks that the wiry 5ft-9in swim sensation from Balboa in the Canal Zone had broken Weissmuller's seemingly unassailable mark. Swimming two weeks earler in a Yale vs Springfield College Meet, Ford had startled the swimming world when he recorded 50.7 seconds.

But this was not all; before that summer of 1944 was over, Ford, now known as "The Balboa Bullet", had became the first to crack the 50 seconds mark with an "almost unbelievable" time of 49.7 seconds.