Atherton breaks 55 seconds for new shortcourse 100m backstroke world record

Budapest (AFP) –


Australia's Minna Atherton set a new shortcourse world record in the 100m backstroke at the International Swimming League (ISL) meet on Sunday, becoming the first woman to dip below 55 seconds.

The 19-year-old clocked 54.89sec to break the previous mark of 55.03sec set by Hungarian golden girl Katinka Hosszu at the 2014 world championships.

"I'm really happy with that, especially since I just missed it in the relay (earlier in the day)," said Atherton. "It will be exciting to see what is coming up in the future."

Also starring on Sunday was Britain's Adam Peaty, a 2016 Olympic gold medallist and eight-time world champion.

He followed up his 50m breaststroke win on Saturday with victory in the 100mm.

"It's been brilliant, absolutely amazing," said Peaty as he reflected on his first appearance in the ISL season.

"I've never ever felt an energy like this, and I think it really helps bringing all the different cultures, all the different team members around the world together."

The inaugural season of the ISL features six meetings in all with a series finale in Las Vegas in December.