Maggie MacNeil Wins Olympic Gold, Lowers Americas Record With 55.59 100 Fly


Maggie MacNeil won Olympic gold in the women’s 100 butterfly with a 55.59 to lower the Canadian, and Americas (fastest swim recorded by any swimmer representing a country in North or South American) records. The defending world champion delivered beat silver medalist Zhang Yufei by just 0.05 seconds while Emma McKeon took 3rd in a 55.72.

MacNeil downed her own Canadian record of 55.83 which she set when she took gold at Gwangju 2019. She took the Americas record from American Torri Huske who held it at a 55.66 from the 2021 US Olympic Trials. MacNeil was out 0.27 seconds faster on her first 50 in the Olympic final than she was in 2019 and came back 0.03 seconds faster to undercut the record.

Split Comparison

MacNeil – Tokyo 2020 Huske – 2020 US Trials MacNeil – Gwangju 2019
50 26.50 25.65 26.77
100 55.59 (29.09) 55.66 (30.01) 55.83 (29.06)

Interestingly, Maggie MacNeil was in 7th place at the 50 and all competitors other than Sarah Sjostrom were ahead of her at the halfway mark.

MacNeil pulled off the win after having placed 5th overall during prelims with a 56.55 and a 6th place finish in the semi-finals round where she was a 56.56. That means that MacNeil nearly dropped a full second from the semis to finals.

This swim for MacNeil makes her the second-fastest woman in the history of the event behind world record-holder Sarah Sjostrom who holds a 55.48. Sjostrom swam that time at the 2016 Olympic Games to take gold. Sjostrom was racing alongside MacNeil here but fell to 7th place overall with a 56.91.

All-Time Women’s 100 Butterfly Performances

  1. Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) – 55.48 (2016)
  2. Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) – 55.53 (2017)
  3. Maggie MacNeil (CAN) – 55.59 (2021)
  4. Zhang Yufei (CHN) – 55.62 (2020)
  5. Zhang Yufei (CHN) / Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) – 55.64 (2015/2021)
  6. Torri Huske (USA) – 55.66 (2021)
  7. Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) – 55.68 (2016)
  8. Emma McKeon (AUS) – 55.72 (2021)
  9. Torri Huske (USA) / Zhang Yufei (CHN) 55.73 (2021/2021)

MacNeil’s co-medalists also threw down times that now sit within the top 10 in history with Yufei’s 55.64 for silver tying Sjostrom’s 2015 swim for 5th overall while McKeon’s bronze medal-winning 55.72 is 9th. 4th place finisher Torri Huske also had a top 10 performance, tying another swim done by Zhang Yufei of 55.73 earlier this year for 10th overall.

Considering the number of times Sjostrom, MacNeil, Huske, and Yufei appear in the top 10, 5 women now share the 11 fastest times in the history of the event.

This is Maggie MacNeil‘s second Olympic medal in 2 days, adding to her 4×100 freestyle silver that she won with teammates Penny Oleksiak, Kayla Sanchez, Rebecca Smith, and Taylor Ruck.

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2 months ago

What a fantastic race and incredible competitor!

2 months ago

not at all surprising

Reply to  Chris
2 months ago

Were you watching the race? It was anyone’s game

Reply to  Jackman
1 month ago

She didn’t breathe the last four strokes or so to pull out the win. Impressive!

Reply to  Jackman
1 month ago

I had zero doubts: most powerful swimmer out there currently.

B1G Daddy
1 month ago

Go Blue!

1 month ago

This was such an amazing race, those TIMES! All the top four women were insanely good, and swam their bests (very close to their bests for Zhang and Huske) in the Olympic final. Love how these five women are the best ever in this event.

Gutted for Sarah but I know she will come back stronger! Consolation that her WR still stands despite the onslaught.

Coach Chackett
1 month ago

Maggs seemed to go faster off the dive, slow into the turn, underwater very impressive off the wall and up into the lead.

She won the world title, NBC seemed confused that she won and had trouble getting her on camera.

Canada gold for Michigan swimmer.

1 month ago

‘so happy to see this outcome. She has been so consistently fast for the last two years it would have been a shame if she didn’t get the win here. ‘hate to see Huske go 55 and miss the podium though. I hope she picks up some great hardware in the relays.

1 month ago

Big. Meet. Swimmer. Period. The bigger the meet, the faster she swims. I told my non swimmer friends to watch the swimmer in Lane 7, she’ll probably win and she did. Great win!

1 month ago

No mention of the finals result in this article (all 8)

Reply to  Tim
1 month ago

We are covering all events in-depth in our live recap here:

We typically pull out separate posts for continental or major national records, like we did here.