Race Video: Emily Seebohm Breaks Aussie NR to win 200 Back in Budapest


Emily Seebohm of Australia broke a national and Oceanian record in her gold-medal performance in the women’s 200m backstroke final on Saturday. Seebohm, who finished a disappointing 12th in this event in Rio, was fourth at the 100 and third at the 150. But she had another gear reserved for the final 50 meters, and blew by everyone to get the touch, just ahead of host nation’s Katinka Hosszu, for a record-breaking 2:05.68. Team USA’s Kathleen Baker secured the bronze medal with her third-place 2:06.48.

Watch the entire race, courtesy of NBC Sports.

Write-up from James Sutherland:


  • World Record: Missy Franklin, 2:04.06, 2012
  • Championship Record: Missy Franklin, 2:04.76, 2013
  • Junior World Record: Regan Smith, 2:07.19, 2017
  1. Emily Seebohm, AUS, 2:05.68
  2. Katinka Hosszu, HUN, 2:05.85
  3. Kathleen Baker, USA, 2:06.48

Emily Seebohm roared home in 31.38, successfully defending her 200 back world title in 2:05.68, a new Australian and Championship record. She wins Australia’s first gold medal of the meet.

Katinka Hosszu led with 50 to go, and held on for silver with a new national record of her own in 2:05.85. Kathleen Baker takes the bronze in 2:06.48, her second individual medal of the meet.

Coming in for 4th was another Australian, Kaylee McKeown, as she breaks Regan Smith‘s Junior world record from yesterday in 2:06.76. Canadians Kylie Masse (2:07.04) and Hilary Caldwell (2:07.15) ended up 5th and 6th.

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Ice age swimmer

Why is the championship record crossed off in the article above?


If you read the article it stated that the 4th placegetter Kaylee McKeown broke it (Regans record) in the final . Kudos to both girls .


Apologies – it may have been edited .


So what was the real championship record? Y’all have had it listed at 2:04 in multiple posts, but have also said repeatedly that Seebohm broke it today.


Great job Katinka! This field was much stronger than Rio.


Completely unexpected for Hosszu to be under 2:06. Nothing during previous 6 days of competition predicted such fast time. I think Seebohm and Hosszu haven’t seen each other. Otherwise the race would be even more dramatic and possibly faster. I also think that Hosszu hasn’t focused in her preparation for WC on World records at IM but 200back was of major concern. Well, Seebohn same as DiRado said “NO”, But in contrast to Olympic race it looked like Hosszu wasn’t disappointed with the result. Therefore I don’t know how think about this result at 200back and what time to expect tomorrow at 400IM. Great race for Emily Seebohm, but her splits are really weird if to put it calmly. To… Read more »


Emily says it works best for her to do a fast 50 then drop off for middle laps then a fast last 50 .

McKeowns swim is the bonus because they are training her up to be a 400 imer & now she a killer back leg like Katinka .


Yes very interested to see how she goes in the 400IM, still very young, but should have a decent Breaststroke leg considering her sister.


I don’t think the splits are weird- they are inspired. She did much the same thing to win Kazan. It is how Pelligrini won the 200m as well- have the speed to the wall, you don’t win the race in the first 300m….


But 1.2 sec ? I saw Efimova swimming in similar manner 200 in semi. She showed best time. But in the final it was completely different strategy, with much faster first 150.

Peter L

She won the World Championship. She can split the race however she likes 😉


She can split the race however she likes in any case. And you know why? Because she’s adult and there is none of anybody’s else business. But It is not the point of discussion. The way Seebohm approaches the 200 distance is very unusual. Therefore people like me who doesn’t know much about her are asking questions if this is an optimal strategy. Does she always splits this way? Or because of her previous health problems is afraid to hit the wall. So it is sort of negative split when one is uncertain about the speed in the middle of the distance. Answering this question will be more appreciated than the empty statement you made.


She split very similarly in Kazan, too.

Budapest: 29.46 32.26 32.58 31.38
Kazan: 29.50 32.19 32.98 31.14

It seems she consciously slow down in the third 50, especially when you watch her race in Kazan. I just think that she has found the optimal formula for herself in swimming 200 back. Coming from 10 years experience competing internationally as one of world’s top female backstrokers, I guess. Like Pellegrini, what works for them may not work for anyone else.

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swim/swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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