Commonwealth Games: Kylie Masse Sets Games Record for 50 Back Gold; Mollie O’Callaghan Takes Silver for Sixth Birmingham Medal

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Kylie Masse -- Photo Courtesy: Andrea Staccioli / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

Commonwealth Games: Kylie Masse Sets Games Record for 50 Back Gold; Mollie O’Callaghan Takes Silver for Sixth Birmingham Medal

Four years ago on the Gold Coast, Kylie Masse won Commonwealth Games gold medals in the 100 and 200 backstroke. Although she ended up second in both of those events this time around in Birmingham, England, Masse now owns a complete set of backstroke golds after a golden effort in the 50 backstroke final. The 26-year-old Canadian showed her speed when winning the world title in the 50 back in June, and she was able to hold off a pair of Australian challengers in claiming the top spot here.

Masse touched in 27.31, lowering the Commonwealth Games record of 27.47 she set in the semifinals. Previously, the record had belonged to Georgia Davies with a 27.56 from 2014. Masse was the silver medalist in this event in 2018 behind Australian veteran Emily Seebohm.

“I was definitely going for it,’” Masse said, according to Swimming Canada. “It’s such a fun event, to not really think and go as fast as you can. I just reminded myself on the blocks to stay strong.”

Finishing second here was Australia’s Mollie O’Callaghan, who continued her remarkable summer with the first backstroke medal of her career. O’Callaghan had already won five medals this week but all in freestyle races. Here breakout year has included come-from-behind wins in the 100 free at both the World Championships and at these Commonwealth Games, and she also captured silver medals in the 200 free at both meets while playing key roles on Australia’s relays.

McKeown, meanwhile, took bronze in 27.58, just edging out England’s Lauren Cox (27.61) and Wales’ Medi Harris for the last spot on the podium. The medal was McKeown’s fourth individual honor of the week after sweeping the 100 and 200 back and taking second in the 200 IM.

After finishing the race, all three medalists still had more work to do on the final night of racing. Masse was set to lead off the Canadian women’s 400 medley relay, while McKeown (back) and O’Callaghan (free) were to provide the bookends of the relay for the favored Aussie squad.

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