World Championships: Kylie Masse, Regan Smith Poised For Another Showdown in 50 Backstroke

world-championships-MASSE Kylie CAN Women's 100m Backstroke Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates 16/12/21 Etihad Arena FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) Photo Andrea Masini / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto
Photo Courtesy: Andrea Masini / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

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World Championships: Kylie Masse, Regan Smith Poised For Another Showdown in 50 Backstroke

Canada’s Kylie Masse is still on a roll — and so is Regan Smith. It added up to a stellar race in the 100 backstroke and the 50 backstroke looks to follow suit with the two stars battling for supremacy once again.

After claiming the silver medal in the 100 backstroke at the World Championships, she surged to the top seed in the 50 backstroke during Tuesday’s prelims.

In the semifinals, it was more of the same as Masse got her hand on the wall first in 27.22 to take the top spot heading into tomorrow’s finals in the 50 backstroke.

USA’s Regan Smith and France’s Analia Pigree were right on her heels, tying for the second spot at 27.29, just seven hundredths of a second behind.

Smith, who won the 100 backstroke title at these World Championships, looks to continue her success at the World Championships, too.

Masse was happy with where she was at after the 100.

“I’m really happy to stand on the podium, it’s always an incredible feeling to compete at World Championships and fight for the podium with these girls – this is something I’m really proud of,” Masse said after that. “Last year was really challenging so I’m happy to be here and swim again.”

Now, she is looking to chase down her own title.

Meanwhile, Canada’s Ingrid Wilm took the fourth spot in 27.39, just ahead of USA’s Katharine Berkoff (27.40). Australia’s Kaylee MeKeown took the sixth spot (27.58) with Kira Toussaint of the Netherlands close behind at 27.58.

Italy’s Silvia Scalia and Great Britain’s Medi Eira Harris tied for the eighth seed during the semifinals and competed in a swim-off to see who made the final. Harris won the swim-off in 27.56, ahead of Scalia (27.65).

With the top seven contenders within a half second of each other, including five within two tenths, the final is poised to be extremely fast as the quickest backstroke sprinters in the world look to get their hand on the wall first.

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