Regan Smith Scares World Record with 6th-Fastest 100 Back in Semifinals

by Riley Overend 23

June 19th, 2022 International, News

2022 FINA WORLD AQUATICS CHAMPIONSHIPS

Women’s 100 Back, Top 8 from Sunday

  1. Regan Smith (USA) – 57.65
  2. Kylie Masse (CAN) – 58.57
  3. Claire Curzan (USA) – 58.96
  4. Kira Toussaint (NED) – 59.16
  5. Medi Harris (GBR) – 59.61
  6. Letian Wan (CHN) – 59.63
  7. Xuwei Peng (CHN) – 59.69
  8. Emma Terebo (FRA) – 1:00.06

Regan Smith put Kaylee McKeown’s 100 backstroke world record on notice during the second semifinal race on Sunday.

Smith surged ahead of McKeown’s world record pace on the first 50 (28.08) before losing a bit of steam down the stretch and finishing first in 57.65 — the sixth-fastest performance ever.

The 20-year-old American had only gone faster twice before, both coming in relay races. The first time was at the 2019 World Championships, when she led off the 4×100 medley relay with a then-world-record 57.57 (she got off to an even faster start in that swim, reaching the turn in 27.74). Last summer, she split 57.64 leading off the 4×100 mixed medley relay in Tokyo.

At April’s International Team Trials, Smith split 28.06/29.70 to set a U.S. Open record with a 57.76, which made her the first woman under 58 seconds in 2022.

Comparative splits:

  Regan Smith, 2019 Kaylee McKeown, 2021 Regan Smith, 2022
1st 50 27.74 28.10 28.08
2nd 50 29.83 29.35 29.57
  57.57 57.45 57.65

McKeown scratched from Sunday’s morning session to focus on the 200 IM final later in the day, where she earned a silver medal in 2:08.57 behind Alex Walsh’s 2:07.13. The reigning Olympic champ snatched the world record from Smith at last year’s Australian trials.

Now all eyes will be on Smith in Monday’s 100 back final to bring home her first Worlds gold in the event, and just maybe reclaim the world record in the process. Topping the podium means holding off Canadian Kylie Masse, who edged Smith for silver last summer in Tokyo. 

Fastest 100 Back Performances All-time:

  1. Kaylee McKeown– 57.45 (2021)
  2. Kaylee McKeown– 57.47 (2021)
  3. Regan Smith– 57.57 (2019)
  4. Kaylee McKeown– 57.63 (2021)
  5. Regan Smith– 57.64 (2021)
  6. Regan Smith– 57.65 (2022)

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12 plus gold in budapest
7 months ago

damn it i’m so sad we won’t see her 200 BK

Awsi Dooger
7 months ago

Rowdy takes a lot of heat but early in that second 50 picked up on how smooth and relaxed Regan looks in this meet.

She might be a worlds swimmer at this stage and perhaps forever. Huge meet but without intense pressure to make the team like trials, or global scrutiny like the Olympics.

RJP
Reply to  Awsi Dooger
7 months ago

I’m not even american but people complaining about anerican when you guys is just worse.

You really base her performance from just 1 olympics. Also when she’s only 20 now. If thats the logic then Cate Campbell only a worlds swimmer because she always choke at olympics. I mean what ??

Last edited 7 months ago by RJP
Madman2028
7 months ago

Prediction Masse wins with a WR.

Swimfan
Reply to  Madman2028
7 months ago

Prediction masse gets third

Smith-King-Huske-Curzan
Reply to  Swimfan
7 months ago

I second that motion.

Troyy
Reply to  Madman2028
7 months ago

She doesn’t look as good as last year let alone WR shape. Smith looks way better so she’ll have to choke to lose.

Madman2028
Reply to  Troyy
7 months ago

Well normally yes but she’s been slowing down at the end of the race normally Masse has been taking a different approach where she goes all out in all 3 races but this time I think she’s learned from Maggie and has decided to take it easy. I think Smith doesn’t have the same confidence and has been going all out in all of her races. With that said I also wouldn’t be surprised to see Smith rip a 57 low

SuperSwimmer 2000
Reply to  Madman2028
7 months ago

You’re drunk on maple syrup.

ReneDescartes
Reply to  Madman2028
7 months ago

Looking forward to you saying, Opps, sorrey!

jamesjabc
7 months ago

Looks like Smith is back. Definitely wouldn’t be surprised for the WR to go back to her.

Jason
7 months ago

RS is in fine form, who knows what she will do in the final.

I must say though it’s frustrating as a Aussie seeing so many of our swimmers opting out of pet events. Kaylee has 3 of the 4 top times in the 100BK yet prioritized the 200IM. I know she said it was due to her focus on the event with the view to adding it to her schedule in the future. I just see a theme here, Kyle not swimming the 100m Free (despite putting up the fastest split in the relay), Titmus not going to worlds after her WR last month ((openly said it was about managing mental health) and even Emma skipping the WC’s.… Read more »

SwimFan
7 months ago

With no country roster limits, this final probably has 6 Americans in it, right? White, Bacon, Berkhoff, & Smoliga. American women’s backstroke is just on a different world

green
Reply to  SwimFan
7 months ago

A 1:00.02 advanced 7th at US Trials and a 1:00.06 advanced 8th here, for comparison

DCSwim
Reply to  green
7 months ago

US women deeper than Bushman’s Hole

Caleb
Reply to  green
7 months ago

trade some for a couple of those 100/200 freestylers

Smith-King-Huske-Curzan
Reply to  Caleb
7 months ago

The would require the resurrection of Simone Manuel. Time to take the Nesty plunge.

Is Abby Weitzeil still training at Cal? If so, it’s time for a change of scenery.

therealAJC
Reply to  SwimFan
7 months ago

If only there was a 4×100 backstroke relay??

Kevin
Reply to  therealAJC
7 months ago

I loved those meets in High School and college. There was always 1 and sometimes 2 meets a year where everything was a relay. It was just so much fun. Really loved the short course 4×100 IM relay has to be the best way to do a 400 IM ever.

The backstroke relays were a blast too because you got to do a normal relay exchange then roll over before breaking the surface. Of course you had the progressive and pyramid relays too. So in HS there were 50 – 100 – 150 relays for the strokes at one of the meets, the other did the traditional 4×50 and 4×100 strokes. There was one meet where there was a… Read more »

M d e
Reply to  therealAJC
7 months ago

Seebohm, Mollie O, Kaylee, Minna.

Troyy
Reply to  M d e
7 months ago

Wilson would be better Minna

jamesjabc
Reply to  SwimFan
7 months ago

That says a lot more about the number of top swimmers who are absent than it does about US trials

Ferb
Reply to  jamesjabc
7 months ago

“90% of life is showing up.”

-Woody Allen

About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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