FLASH! Maggie Mac Neil Lowers Her 50 Back World Record To 25.25 En-Route To Gold

Maggie MacNeil: Photo Courtesy: Andrea Masini / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

A Special Thanks to Deep Blue Media for providing the images from this meet

Deep Blue Media

FLASH! Maggie Mac Neil Lowers Her 50 Back World Record To 25.25 En-Route To Gold

Maggie Mac Neil lowered her own 50 back short-course world record to 25.25 at the World Championships in Melbourne.

The Canadian set the previous mark of 25.27 en-route to gold at the Abu Dhabi edition last year and on Friday she led throughout, splitting 12.32/12.93.

It was her fourth medal of the meet so far and her second individual title following 50 fly gold.

Claire Curzan set an American record of 25.54 for silver giving her the third and fourth-fastest times in history following the national mark of 25.60 in the semis.

Mollie O’Callaghan lowered her Oceania mark from Thursday’s semis to 25.61 for bronze which is seventh all-time, elevating the Australian to fourth fastest woman in history.

Kylie Masse and Louise Hansson, silver and bronze medallists in Abu Dhaib, were fourth and fifth respectively in 25.81 and 26.00.

Mac Neil said:

“I’m ecstatic.  I knew it would be hard to swim a best time. I just really wanted to see the improvement even just a couple of hundreds.

“I am learning so much and I was able to fix all those little errors tonight.

“Swimming Canada has definitely risen over the past few years and to see this tonight is amazing. It’s great to bring this medal back to Canada.

“It’s great to be swimming with Kylie (Masse).  She is one of my best friends.”

It was a second medal of the meet for Curzan who said:

“It was fun! I knew the field was stacked with those ladies and honestly, the goal was just to have fun and I had a blast. So I think that was a success.”

The 18-year-old has enjoyed a successful year with two golds among five medals at the long-course worlds in Budapest in June.

The Stanford University athlete is accustomed to swimming yards in collegiate competition and she nodded to her coaches on helping the team adjust to metres.

“The coaching staff here has been really great in helping make that transition.

“I think we’re kind of used to it flags-wise because the distance from the flags is the same as long course, but the coaches definitely help, and I have done this meet before a year ago.

“It was definitely easier to make the transition since I’ve done it before.”

O’Callaghan has had a medal-laden 2022 with three golds among six in Budapest followed by five titles in a seven-strong haul at the Commonwealth Games.

The 18-year-old has won five so far in Melbourne with two in the backstroke – 100 silver and 50 bronze – for the freestyle specialist.

She said:

“Yeah, it’s surprising my first record is a 50 backstroke so it’s kind of weird for me.

“Typically, I don’t do the backstroke, it’s not my playground, I do it for fun.

“This meet was just about having fun having no pressure just enjoying it for once instead of being like, oh my god, I got the weight of the world on me.

“I’m just going in it and learning new things, fix some new skills and coming off like, I guess the majority of us are coming off a break. Finishing school, surgery.

“Yeah, everything. So, it’s been…it’s been quite epic.”

There was a nod of the head to her coach Dean Boxall, saying:

“It’s all Dean’s (Boxall) work to be honest; I just follow what he says. And I just really focus on trying to fix my skills and stuff during training and working on the things that work best for me and typically I do quite a bit of kick so I try and work hard on it.

“I try and do my best but I definitely give all the praise to Dean for working it all out and making me perform the way I do.

“It’s really hard to put a finger on it but I guess it’s Dean.”


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