FLASH! World Championships, Day Six Women’s Finals: Maggie Mac Neil Goes 54.05 to Add 100 Fly World Record

Torri Huske of United States of America, Margaret Macneil of Canada react after winning the gold medal ex aequo in the 50m Butterfly Women Final during the FINA Swimming Short Course World Championships at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre in Melbourne, Australia, December 14th, 2022. Photo Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto
Torri Huske, left, and Maggie MacNeil; Photo Courtesy: Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

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

Deep Blue Media

World Championships, Day Six: Maggie Mac Neil Goes 54.05 to Add 100 Fly WR

There was nothing to separate Torri Huske and Maggie Mac Neil in the final of the women’s 50 butterfly. It took something outstanding from Mac Neil in the final.

The Canadian delivered a savage third 25 to take control of the race, obliterating the world record with a time of 54.05 seconds. That’s more than a half-second lopped off the world record set last year by Kelsi Dahlia at 54.59.

She needed it to hold off Huske, the precocious young American who had her by seven tenths of a second in front at the midway point. She turned in 25.08, with Louise Hansson second in 25.61 and Mac Neil at 25.78. But MacNeil covered the next 25 meters, with her unparalleled underwaters, in 13.63, clawing back all of that deficit on Huske.

“It’s kind of crazy,” MacNeil said. “I was relatively close in Toronto so I knew that that was something I was aiming for this week, but to break it by that much, I was really surprised.”

It adds to a stellar week for Mac Neil, who tied Huske for gold in the 50 fly in a best time and Canadian record and lowered her world record in winning the 50 backstroke. She’s added bronze medals in the women’s 400 medley relay and the mixed 200 medley relay, both in national-record times. The 14th world record to fall at the meet, it meant Mac Neil was greeted by another check for $25,000 at race’s end.

Mac Neil won the event at last year’s meet and is also the reigning Olympic champ. Huske won the event at Worlds this summer in Budapest.

Huske is having an exemplary meet as well. Having turned 20 earlier this month, she augmented her gold in the 50 fly with gold in the women’s 200 free relay and silvers in the women’s 400 free relay and 200 medley relay.

Bronze went to Hansson, who delivered a stellar swim in her own right in 54.87. Fourth place was Angelina Kohler, the German rallying from seventh at 75 meters to fourth in 56.20. Spots four through seven were clustered within three tenths, but none seriously threatened Hansson’s podium spot. Hansson also won bronze in the 100 individual medley and the women’s 200 medley relay.

Claire Curzan, who qualified fifth from semifinals, scratched out of the final. She is the top seed in the final of the 200 back later in the session and is slated to lead off the American women’s 400 medley relay. That granted Ai Soma, as the first alternate, a spot in the final. Soma finished fifth in 56.27.

  • World record: Kelsi Dahlia, USA 54.59 (2021)
  • Championship record: Sarah Sjostrom, Sweden 54.61 (2014)
  • World junior record: Claire Curzan, USA 55.39 (2021)


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