Regan Smith Breaks World Jr Record in 200 BK, 9th Fastest Performer All-Time


Regan Smith broke her own World Junior Record in the heats of the women’s 200 back this morning in Gwangju. She took .42 seconds off her previous record of 2:06.43, posting a 2:06.01. The time not only makes her the fastest junior swimmer of all-time, it was also makes her the 9th fastest performer of all-time. Missy Franklin holds the World Record at 2:04.06 from the 2012 Olympics in London. Smith is now the 3rd fastest American all-time, behind only Franklin and Maya DiRado (2:05.99).

Smith’s previous best of 2:06.43 was set at last Summer’s US Nationals, and coincidentally was swum exactly one year ago today. Here is a split comparison between her previous WJR when she was 16, and this morning’s swim as a 17-year-old:

2019 World Champs Prelims 2018 US Nationals Final
50 29.44 29.80
100 31.50 (1:00.94) 31.91 (1:01.71)
150 32.34 (1:33.28) 32.13 (1:33.84)
200 32.73 32.59
FINAL TIME 2:06.01 2:06.43

Smith took the race out way faster this morning, actually flipping slightly under WR pace on the first 50, but was back a little slower than last July. She took the top seed for semifinals tonight by well over two seconds.

Franklin’s swim was done in the year she turned 17, so by age she would have been eligible for World Junior Records, but the swim happened before FINA recognized World Junior Records, and so was not officially recognized as such. Aside from Franklin, Smith is the fastest ‘age eligible’ swimmer that we know of in the event.

Fastest Women’s 200 Meter Backstrokers in History:

  1. Missy Franklin, USA – 2:04.06 (2012)
  2. Kirsty Coventry, Zimbabwe – 2:04.81 (2009)
  3. Anastasia Fesikova, Russia – 2:04.94 (2009)
  4. Emily Seebohm, Australia – 2:05.68 (2017)
  5. Margherita Panziera, Italy – 2:05.72 (2019)
  6. Katinka Hosszu, Hungary – 2:05.85 (2017)
  7. Kylie Masse, Canada – 2:05.94 (2019)
  8. Maya DiRado, USA – 2:05.99 (2016)
  9. Regan Smith, USA – 2:06.01 (2019)
  10. Belinda Hocking, Australia – 2:06.06 (2011)

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1 year ago

Missy says Hi

Reply to  Wondering
1 year ago

Regan says bye in 2020

1 year ago

Is she planning on going out sub 1:00 in finals? Would be crazy to see

The michael phelps caterpillar
1 year ago

I had a swimmer go faster once, but she got DQ’ed after testing positive for PEDs that night. Not fair! Corruption!