In the prelims of the women’s 50 backstroke at the FINA Junior World Championships, New Zealand’s Gabrielle Fa’amausili broke her own Junior World Record in the penultimate heat in 28.09. Firing back immediately, however, was Australia’s Minna Atherton, who would have the final say.
Atherton clocked a 28.00, shaving a couple tenths off her previous best of 28.32 to claim the new Junior World Record and the Championship Record. Prior to this morning’s event, the Junior World Record held by Fa’amausili was also the Championship Record. She had set the mark at 28.14 in 2013.
Atherton now owns the Junior World Record mark in both the 50 and 100 back. That 28-flat ranks her as the 10th fastest swimmer in the world for 2015. She’s also the 3rd fastest Australian this year behind backstroke star Emily Seebohm (27.47) and Madison Wilson (27.83).
After winning the 200 last night, she’s now got a shot to sweep the backstroke events if she can beat out Fa’amausili in the final. Fa’amausili now sits as the 16th fastest swimmer of 2015 and holds the fastest time of anyone representing New Zealand this year. She has 2 more chances to reclaim her records from Atherton and will look to defend her gold medal. We could certainly see both of these women push each other under the 28 barrier at this meet.