Disclaimer: BlueSeventy Swim of the Week is not meant to be a conclusive selection of the best overall swim of the week, but rather one Featured Swim to be explored in deeper detail. The BlueSeventy Swim is an opportunity to take a closer look at the context of one of the many fast swims this week, perhaps a swim that slipped through the cracks as others grabbed the headlines, or a race we didn’t get to examine as closely in the flood of weekly meets.
Despite a 2015-2016 season that saw a couple swimmers regularly breaking 59 seconds in the women’s 100 back, the early goings of the 2016-2017 campaign were showing signs of post-Olympic fatigue. From September until December, not a single swimmer worldwide cracked one minute in the women’s 100 backstroke, with China’s Wang Xueer leading the world ranks at 1:00.03.
But last week, a pair of swimmers jumped below the minute mark as the world starts to heat up en route to the 2017 World Championships.
First, Australia’s Madison Wilson went 59.97 at the Victorian Open Championships in Melbourne, becoming the first swimmer of the new year to crack the barrier. But one day later, Denmark’s Mie Nielsen topped even that, going 59.81 to pick up the win at the Flanders Cup in Belgium.
Nielsen had a great meet all-around. She won the 50 back in 28.39, plus beat out the always-tough Katinka Hosszu for a 100 free title, 54.99 to 55.40. For Nielsen, not typically known as a freestyler, that time ranks just outside the top 10 in the world so far this season.
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