Minna Atherton continues to shine on the international stage after she became the first female swimmer to record sub 55 seconds in the 100m backstroke across the short course format. Atherton set a new word record time of 54.89 seconds on Saturday as she competed for the London Roar in the International Swimming League in Budapest, which marks 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. “It’s amazing, I can’t really believe it yet,” Atherton said after the race. “I’m really excited and super happy with that swim, especially after my relay swim, I’m stoked.” 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.
Atherton has had a breakout season this year, 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.
The Brisbane Grammar athelete had participated in various international competitions and won medals in some of the races, including three bronze medals at the World Short Course Championships, one gold model and two silver medals at the 18th FINA World Championships. Atherton won gold in both the 100m and 200m backstroke at the 2015 World Junior Championship. She also broke the junior world record in the 50m backstroke at the Queensland Sprint titles.
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