In a remarkable display of athletic prowess, Regan Smith shattered the women’s 100-meter backstroke world record during the U.S. Olympic swimming trials at Lucas Oil Stadium on Tuesday night. The 22-year-old swimmer clocked an astonishing 57.13 seconds, surpassing the previous record of 57.33 set by Australian swimmer Kaylee McKeown in 2023.

Setting a New World Record

Smith’s achievement marks her reclaiming the world record she initially held in 2019. McKeown had broken Smith’s record in 2021 and improved it further in 2023. “It was part of the plan,” Smith shared with NBC Sports, reflecting on her journey to regain the title. “I’m so proud of myself; backstroke is hard for me sometimes. To fight back like this and get that back, it means a lot.”

This record-breaking performance not only highlights Smith’s exceptional talent but also secures her spot for the 2024 Paris Olympics. This near world-record performance set the stage for her triumph the following day. Smith’s consistent dedication and rigorous training have culminated in her return to the pinnacle of her sport.

“We’re gonna take a couple minutes here to be really proud of what I accomplished,” Smith said post-race. “And then it’s back to work. I’ve got more things I want to accomplish this week.”

Her impressive feat at the trials was accompanied by a strong performance in the 100-meter butterfly, where she advanced to Sunday’s final but finished third behind Gretchen Walsh, the new world record holder, and Torri Huske, a two-time Olympian. Despite not qualifying in the 100-meter butterfly, Smith’s focus and determination remain undeterred as she prepares for the upcoming events.

Upcoming Events and Competitions

At the Olympic trials, Smith is also competing in the 200-meter backstroke and the 200-meter butterfly, events that promise to showcase her versatility and endurance as an elite swimmer. Her rigorous training regime and competitive spirit are expected to drive her performance as she aims to add more accolades to her already impressive career.

Katharine Berkoff, who finished second in the 100-meter backstroke final with a time of 57.91 seconds, is also poised to join Smith on Team USA for the Paris Olympics. Berkoff’s semifinal performance of 57.83 seconds marked her as only the fifth woman ever to break the 58-second barrier, highlighting the competitive depth of American swimmers in this discipline.