In the women’s 100m backstroke final on Tuesday in Singapore, Australian 15-year old Minna Atherton swam 59.58 that tied the (yet unratified) World Junior Record that belonged to American Claire Adams from the U.S. National Championships earlier this month. Adams took silver in the race in 1:00.19.
That record, despite being the supreme record globally for juniors, might not be even the most satisfying and domestically-newsworthy that Atherton took from the swim, though. She also shaved .01 seconds from the Australian National Record for 15-year olds held by superstar Emily Seebohm.
Seebohm’s old record of 59.59 was set in March of 2008; four months later, she would go on to win a gold medal as the leadoff leg of Australia’s 400 medley relay at the Olympic Games, and in the process swam 59.33 to break the Australian 16-year olds age record.
Seebohm’s illustrious resume, despite some intermittent health issues, now includes two Olympic gold medals and four World Championships. Most recently, she was the 2015 World Champion in the 100 back, 200 back, and as part of Australia’s 400 free relays a month ago in Kazan, Russia.
Atherton, who just turned 15 on May 17th, will have at least until next year’s Australian Olympic Trials to further improve her time and record. Seebohm remains the world leader in the event, but Atherton has a big opportunity at those trials, as she’s now the third-fastest Australian of the 2014-2015 season: Madison Wilson was 58.94 at the Australian Championships in March.