American Regan Smith smashes world record in women’s 100-meter backstroke at US Olympic swimming trials

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Team USA is already making a splash ahead of the Summer Games. 

Three-time Olympic medalist Regan Smith is heading to her second Games next month after her dominating win in the women’s 100-meter backstroke at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials in Indianapolis on Tuesday night. 

But she’ll be showing up with some well-earned bragging rights. 

Smith, 22, smashed the world record with her first place finish, touching the wall in 57.13 seconds. During the semifinals the night before, Smith broke her own American record with a time of 57.47. 

“It was part of the plan,” Smith said after the race. “I am so proud of myself. Backstroke is hard for me sometimes, but to fight back like this and get that back means a lot.” 

Smith made it look easy, beating Australian Kaylee McKeown’s record of 57.33 set last year. 


Regan Smith at medal ceremony

Smith’s first Olympics in Tokyo saw the former Stanford swimmer win bronze in the women’s 100-meter and silver in the women’s 200-meter butterfly. She also won silver in the women’s 4×100-meter relay. 

This followed a breakout year for the Minnesota native, who set the world record in the 100-meter backstroke at the 2019 world championships when she was just 17. 

Regan Smith swims

“This is incredibly rewarding,” Smith said Tuesday. “When I was a teenager, I had not done much. There was no pressure on me. I was always the youngest. No one expected much from me. I could go into it fearless.”

“It’s about time,” she added. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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