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.