Australian age group standout Minna Atherton tied American Claire Adams’ junior world record time of 59.58 Wednesday night in order to claim gold and also break the championship record in the event.
Adams’ record that she set at the 2015 US National Championships has not yet been ratified by FINA who instead recoginizes the mark as Atherton’s 59.83 from prelims. Swimswam recognized Adams’ record heading into the competition.
Atherton was out first to the 50-meter wall with a 28.70 split being the only swimmer under 29-seconds. Atherton had no plans to slow down, tying the second fastest last 50 split of the field with a 30.88 in order to hold on to her lead and snag the win.
Behind her was Adams’ whose record she tied. Adams ended up settling for silver with a 1:00.19 despite being a heavy favorite to win prior to the start of competition.
New Zealand’s Bobbi Gichard rounded out the top three behind her in 1:00.42. That left Canadian Danielle Hanus just off the podium as she stretched into the wall for a 1:00.44 finish.
Not only was Atherton’s time spectacular for a junior swimmer; it ranks her ninth internationally this year tied with Adams. That makes her the third fastest Australian behind world leading Emily Seebohm and world number two Madison Wilson.