Minna Atherton Swims 54.89 SCM 100 BK, First ISL World Record Swim


  • Group B, Match 2
  • Saturday, October 26 – Saturday, October 27, 2019
  • 6:00-8:00 PM Local Time – UTC+2 (12:00-2:00 PM, U.S. Eastern Time)
  • Duna Arena, Budapest, Hungary
  • Short Course Meters (SCM) format
  • ESPN3 Live Stream Links:
  • Group B: Iron, LA Current, London Roar, New York Breakers
  • Start Lists (pre-meet)
  • Full day 1 results

Just under an hour after she broke the Australian, Oceania, and Commonwealth records, 19-year-old Minna Atherton has now broken the world record in the SCM 100 back. The Aussie teen is now the first woman to break 55 seconds with her winning event time of 54.89.

Atherton has swam the 100 back 4 times over the past week, slowly getting faster for each and every swim. She first swam a 55.45 leading off the 400 medley relay, following that swim up with a 55.42 in the individual event last week in Lewisville.

This week, she first led off the medley relay with a 55.12, which originally set the new Aussie/Oceania/Commonwealth records. Most recently in the individual event, Atherton crushed the field for the London Roar with her winning time of 54.89.

Her time as taken over Hungarian Katinka Hosszu‘s former world record time of 55.03 from the 2014 World Championships.

This is now the first world record achieved at an ISL meet. Atherton’s world record, however, will be officially ratified by FINA since it is within the latter five ISL meets.

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In an extremely loaded field (women 100 and 200 back), absolutely bursting st the seams with stars, Minna is sending a message— at only 19, she will be dangerous in Tokyo.


Regan & her will put the highlights in the back races


Amazing race, it was a pleasure to watch!!!


I think Regan will have some competition


It’ll be interesting to see how this translates to LCM for Minna. Her underwarters are as close to perfect as they can get.


Well, she got under 59 seconds twice this year in the 100, so hopefully she can continue to improve her swim speed.


She needs to consistently be below 59 before she thinks about challenging Regan


I don’t know much about Regan since I don’t follow US swimming. Was she consistently under 59 before breaking WR?


Yes. 58 2017 jr worlds, 58 several times in 2018, 58.45 two months before her world record


Ah, all the signs were there then. Still dropped a ton of time though!


Regan Smith’s time in the women’s 100 meter backstroke in the preliminaries and final of the 2019 Counsilman Classic would have won gold at the 2019 FINA World Aquatics Championship.



Great swim no doubt, but Regan was light years ahead of her last Summer and she’s even younger. Regan has hardly been sitting still since her amazing LCM World Records last Summer. Whatever improvement Atherton may have experienced, they may have already been covered Regan.


True, but swimmers don’t all progress at the same speed. Some don’t start getting good until their 20s, while others might flame out after their teens. Still others might plateau for a long period of time or even get worse for years on end before getting better again, so it’s hard to say. With that being said, I would say that Regan is ahead because of her dominant LCM times, but extrapolating future progress from that is a bit sketch.

About Nick Pecoraro

Nick Pecoraro

Nick Pecoraro has had a huge passion for swimming since his first dive in the pool, instantly becoming drawn to the sport. He was a breaststroker and IMer when competing, but still uses the sport as his go-to cardio. SwimSwam has become an outlet for him to continue showing his …

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