Last week, 18 year old, Minna Atherton broke the short course world record in the 100m backstroke at the International Swimming League.
She flew home to be the first female ever to break 55seconds in the 100m backstroke (short course), 54.89. A blistering time, which puts her in prime position not only for a spot on the Australian Swim team at next year’s Olympic Games, but also a spot on the podium and if she follows her current form, we could see her return home with some shiny new bling, in the gold medal variety.
The questions here is, do we want to call it so soon? Will she now feel the pressure of having to win at next years Olympics and to take home that gold medal? Minna is a teenager with plenty of talent, but also an extremely hard worker. Her coach David Lush at the Brisbane Grammar School has been working hard with his squad to ensure they’re peaking at the right time, especially in the lead up to Tokyo. Minna is the ex-training partner of swimming veteran, Emily Seebohm. Earlier this year, Seebohm, made the move to train under Michael Bohl on the Gold Coast. (Former coach of Stephanie Rice, Megan Nay and Bronte Barratt, just to name a few.)
I know the Olympic Trials aren’t till mid next year, but I’m already so excited that there will be the best backstroke showdown we’ve seen in years! There are 3 backstrokers in particular that have really caught our eyes. The young gun from the Sunshine Coast and silver medallist at the recent World Championships, Kaylee McKeown, you’ve then got the most recent world record holder in Minna Atherton, but let’s not forget about 3 time Olympian, (going for her 4th Olympics) Emily Seebohm. If Em, makes this next Olympics, she will be the second swimmer in history to make 4 Olympic Games, behind Leisel Jones.
So, where to from here? Well, I dunno about you, but I’m grabbing my popcorn and as a keen swimming enthusiast, I’m eagerly awaiting the results to roll in from the World Cups, the International Swim League and then of course, all the national championships which will take place early next year.