Luma Lanes Performance of the Week: FLASH! Kelsi Dahlia Takes Down 100 Butterfly World Record to Open ISL Final

Kelsi Dahlia (photo: Mike Lewis)
Kelsi Dahlia -- Photo Courtesy: Mike Lewis / ISL

FLASH! Kelsi Dahlia Takes Down 100 Butterfly World Record to Open ISL Final

Performance of the Week sponsored by Luma Lanes.

After narrowly missing the U.S. Olympic team, Kelsi Dahlia returned for the third ISL season with a vengence. Prior to the ISL final, the Cali Condors star had won the 100 fly in six of her seven appearances, and she broke the ISL record with a 54.89 in the fourth playoff match. In the final, Dahlia faced off against a phenomenal field that included world-record holder Sarah Sjostrom and Australian star Emma McKeon, who won seven medals at the Tokyo Olympics.

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Against that outstanding field, Dahlia was dominant. She was out in 25.85, a tenth under Sjostrom’s world-record pace (25.96). McKeon was just a tenth behind at that point, but Dahlia exploded off the walls and pulled away on the second 50. Dahlia finished in 54.59, clipping Sjostrom’s 2014 world record of 54.61 by two hundredths.

“It’s so surreal. I don’t think it will hit me for a bit. It’s really special,” Dahlia said in an on-deck interview after the race. “That was an amazing heat. They were all great competitors. I was just sticking to my race plan. I wanted to get the match off to a great start for the Condors.”

McKeon, representing the London Roar, ended up finishing over a second behind Dahlia in 55.66, and McKeon’s London teammate Marie Wattel took third in 56.01. Sjostrom ended up fourth in 56.17.

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