Mitch Bowmile contributed to this report.
The 16-year-old cut .03 from her previous mark, a 59.37 set at the Queensland Championships in December.
Today, Atherton first tied the mark at the Junior World Championships in Singapore, going 59.58. Less than a month earlier, American Claire Adams had also been 59.58 at the U.S. National Championships. Atherton ultimately eked out the Junior World title over Adams in Singapore. See the Junior World Record progression below:
- Claire Adams, USA: 59.58 (August 7, 2015)*
- Minna Atherton, AUS: 59.58 (August 26, 2015)*
- Minna Atherton, AUS: 59.37 (December 16, 2015)
- Minna Atherton, AUS: 59.34 (July 2, 2016)
Atherton finished second at the meet behind this season’s fastest-swimmer-in-the-world Emily Seebohm, who swam her race in 59.20.
Atherton holds her spot at eighth in the world rankings.
She should have another year and a half to keep chipping away at the record. FINA determines ages for its Junior World Records based on December 31st of the year – so the 16-year-old Atherton will turn 17 next year, and only in the year 2018 will she officially age up, meaning all her swims that year will be considered to be at the senior level, per FINA’s definition.