Minna Atherton Misses 200 Back World Record by .02


  • Saturday, November 23 – Sunday, November 24, 2019
  • 5:00-7:00 PM Local Time (12:00 noon – 2:00 PM, U.S. Eastern Time)
  • London Aquatics Centre – London, England
  • Short Course Meters (SCM) format
  • European franchises: Aqua Centurions, Energy Standard, Iron, London Roar
  • Start Lists

Australian 19-year old Minna Atherton almost took out her 2nd World Record in as many meets on Saturday at the International Swimming League European Derby event in London.

Instead, she had to settle for the 2nd-best time in history and a new Australian and Commonwealth Record, plus 9 first-place points, via a 1:59.25 in the 200 back. That broke her old Australian and Commonwealth Records of 1:59.48 that she set at her team’s last meet in Budapest.

Also in Budapest, Atherton broke the World Record in the 100 backstroke, swimming 54.89.

Katinka Hosszu still holds the World Record in the event, .02 seconds faster than Atherton’s Saturday swim. Atherton has improved at every meet this season, in spite of tempering expectations pre-race by talking about how heavy her training is, so that World Record could be in danger in Las Vegas.

Atherton continues to go out fast in this 200 back and use her speed, but on Saturday she actually split quite differently than Budapest, moving more of her energy to the 2nd 50 before fading a little harder late in the race.

Splits Comparison:

1st 50 2nd 50 3rd 50 4th 50 Total Time
Minna Atherton London 27.62 30.13 30.90 30.60 1:59.25
Minna Atherton Budapest 27.68 30.82 30.80 30.18 1:59.48
Katinka Hosszu World Record 28.17 30.19 30.41 30.46 1:59.23

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So close! Hope she rests more for Vegas and takes another crack.


red hot crack*


It’s a shame she isn’t in this kind of form near a full taper SCM meet.


There are 8 seconds from LC time and SC time. So, 1.59 in short is 2.07 in long.


Eh, conversions are approximations and can be really off if a swimmer is substantially better or worse at short course. For the record, Atherton’s been 2:06 in long course.


exactly ….too approximate to make any sort of accurate conversion


that sounds like too much. I would think more like 6 seconds.


If 8 seconds was accurate than the scm WR 200 free should be about 1:34…so yeah, conversions.

Corn Pop

So then the rest of Isl this year are 2.09 & slower . Minna is the ( only ) outstanding swimmer in this league. She has been unbeaten in world class times in all 3 meets . If she gets the same money as the rest of the loafers .then Isl is a communist plot . Now it is taking over Las Vegas & all the high rollers on the table will be reduced to $90 winnings . I think it should be renamed the Bernie Swim Series .

Corn Pop

Only 7 Bernie ppl on SwSw. In 8 hours . My man Josif Bidenko still in there with a chance .


One of the softest record in SCM list. #2 was 2006 2:02.05 and then in 2015 three Japanese swimmers follow that not many people have heard about. I’m very disappointed by Atherton. Hope she will be better in Law Vegas.

Old Man Chalmers

im disappointed in the effort you put into this comment


I think it’s more because the current world record is being held by his “favourite” swimmer Hosszu lol

Old Man Chalmers

funny how that works, hosszu gets mvp in budapest so he cslls her performances weak, saying that atherton was stronger across the board. now atherton went 0.2 faster in the 200 here than her budapest time, and her performance is disappointing?


You are reading too much of Yozhik. Be careful, it can be addictive.


You are absolutely right. This record shouldn’t be in Hosszu’s name. It should be Smith or Franklin or Baker or Masse etc. Any real backstroker. How in the world Hosszu can be backstroke world record holder? In particular stroke she is world recorder holder only when nobody of real swimming aces cares about that.

Old Man Chalmers

so the olympic champ in the 100 back and olympic silver medalist, lc world championship silver and bronze medalist in the 200 back isn’t a real backstroker. you’ve outdone yourself this time, yozhik. i’m holding you to the standard of this comment now


Thank you for promotion 😀
BTW, do you remember who she lost in Rio? It was Maya DiRado, the swimmer who was never even close to the world record. And you probably remember that Rio gold medalist was 2sec slower than the one in London.
If you may notice I’m not talking about medals. Hosszu had plenty of them. I was talking about World records. That is about quality. I hope you understand what it means. World record holders in 100BK Masse and Baker let Hosszu win the Olympic medal with pretty much modest time by world record measures. Well, luck is an essential part of sport competition.
Give her these IM competitions. The competition of whose weak stroke is the weakest.

Old Man Chalmers

hahaha baker and masse get up at 5am and train hard everyday for 4 years, just to go easy on someone else at the big dance. these revelations have made my day


Baker – 58.75
Masse – 58.76
Next seasons:
Masse – 58.10 (2017) WR
Baker – 58.00 (2018) WR

Old Man Chalmers

thanks, now i have a flawless explanation for every swimming result ever. what are you going to say next, that chalmers was capable of going 47.08 in 2017 and went as far as pulling out of worlds to give dressel a chance?

About Braden Keith

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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