World Championships: Kylie Masse Wins 50 Backstroke for Third World Title; Berkoff, Pigree on Podium

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Photo Courtesy: Andrea Staccioli / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

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Kylie Masse has earned multiple world championships, including becoming the first Canadian swimmer to defend a world title, claiming gold in the 100 backstroke in 2017 and 2019.

She then won the Commonwealth Games gold in both backstroke events and claimed gold in the Pan Pacific Championships in 2018.

But she still enters many races as an underdog as she came of age with a new wave of elite backstrokers, a generation full of world championship and Olympic medal contenders.

After earning Olympic medals in the 100 and 200 backstroke in Tokyo, she was outdueled by Regan Smith of the U.S. in the 100 backstroke this week in Budapest at the World Championships, unable to make it three world titles in a row in the event.

But Masse’s week was far from over.

The most decorated Canadian Olympian dominated the 50 backstroke on Wednesday, toughing the wall in a stunning 27.31 to claim her third individual world championship, this one coming in a new event.

USA’s Katharine Berkoff won the silver in 27.39, just eight hundredths of a second behind Masse.

France’s Analiza Pigree earned a spot on the podium with a swim of 27.40, just a hundredth of a second behind Berkoff.

Another Canadian star was just off the podium as Ingrid Wilm was four in 27.43.

USA’s Regan Smith and Australia’s Kaylee McKeown tied for fifth at 27.47, not quite able to put together medal contending swims in this race.

Great Britain’s Medi Eira Harris, who won the swim-off to get4 th e final spot int he finals, finished seventh in 27.72, while Kira Toussaint of the Netherlands took eighth in 27.80.

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