Minna Atherton’s star continues to shine on the international stage after the 19-year-old became the first female swimmer to record sub 55 seconds in the 100m backstroke across the short course format.
The Brisbane Grammar athlete clocked a new word record time of 54.89 on Saturday as she competed for the London Roar in the International Swimming League in Budapest – also marking the League’s first world record.
Lining up in a stacked field, Atherton was up against Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu, who had held the world record of 55.03 since 2014.
Speaking post-race, Atherton couldn’t contain her excitement, or her beaming smile.
“It’s amazing, I can’t really believe it yet,” she said.
“I’m really excited and super happy with that swim, especially after my relay swim, I’m stoked.”
Atherton has had a breakout season in 2019, competing at the FINA World Championships (long course) in South Korea, which saw her take home one individual silver in the 100m backstroke and one as part of the Women’s 4x100m Medley Relay.
Her Australian – and London Roar – teammates also continue to dominate the competition, with Emma McKeon producing a stunning swim in the 100m butterfly. Clocking a time of 55.39 saw her become the fastest female in the event in 2019.
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Watch the 100 Backstroke race in full below.
Note: Any records set at ISL events are currently pending FINA ratification.