Minna Atherton Breaks Junior World Record at Local Brisbane Meet

Australian 15-year old Minna Atherton has quietly broken a Junior World Record twice while swimming this weekend at a local meet in Brisbane, Queensland.

While most of Australia’s top swimmers were across the country racing in Perth, the Brisbane Grammar swimmer stayed closer to home and swam 27.73 in prelims and 27.49 in finals of the women’s 50 back.

That twice breaks the old record of 27.81 done by New Zealand’s Gabriele Fa’Amausili which was done a the 2015 World Junior Championships. Atherton was in the pool for the old record: she placed 2nd to Fa’amausili in that race by just .02 seconds to come up shy of the record then.

Atherton is now a half-second faster than her teammate and World Champion Emily Seebohm was at the same age.

The meet was a sprint-based meet, and Atherton also won the 50 free (27.00) and placed 2nd in the 50 fly (28.94).

The time, while not in an Olympic event, will give the young Atherton one last boost of confidence heading toward the Australian Olympic Trials in April. That time by Atherton would’ve placed her 3rd at last year’s World Championships and makes her the 10th-fastest swimmer in the history of the event.

At those trials, Atherton will face the aforementioned Emily Seebohm, who won both the 100 and 200 back at last year’s World Championships; plus 100 back silver medalist Madison Wilson.

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bobo gigi

At this pace of improvement, she will swim 58.50 in the 100 back at Australian trials and can qualify for Rio.
Looks like Australia is the new home of the backstroke industry. Is it temporary or not?
Alex Walsh will be the American answer to Minna Atherton in the coming years and the battle will be great to watch.

commonwombat

Bobo, 50m is 50m and not 100m. Let’s actually just see what she does the next time she races over that distance rather than just prognosticating times out of thin air. Whilst I would agree that her PB of 59.37 is likely to take a significant dive south and a sub59 could be on the cards at Trials; 58.50 is an awful long way to go. Furthermore, both Seebohm & Wilson are both swimming distinctly quickly this season (Wilson pulling out major PB over 200) and do you really expect them to roll over and give Atherton a free shot ? Atherton IS, probably, very unfortunate that her nationality is Australian at this particular time as she WOULD almost certainly… Read more »

Robbos

CW, you say US, I think at this rate a sub 59 by a fair way, Atherton may come 3rd in Australian trial, but if American that same time would win the American trials or at worse 2nd & hence qualify.

commonwombat

Rob, again I must stress that a phenomenal 50 does not always equate to a great 100 in any stroke. 59.37 to 59.00 in itself is one helluva jump in swimming terms. I’d say 58high would be the most likely “best case scenario”. What this shows is that she most certainly has the front end speed but can she hold on sufficiently coming home against 2 swimmers who both have much superior 200s and who will most likely finish far stronger than her ? Why did I mention US as the exception ? Quite simply for the reason that they DO possess 2 swimmers with faster PBs than her. Granted neither have been sub59 in the past few years but… Read more »

Robbos

No problems CW, I understand your stance.
I’m with Bobo, Atherton is a 200 swimmer too, she has improved a lot in the 50 & can see a similar improvement to 58.5, which I personally think this would easily qualify for the US team.

Sean S

Based on that 50 free time it seems like she could go faster if she dove in and rolled over onto her back during the streamline.

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Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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