Olympic Trials See the Breaking of Yet Another World Record, Mark is 100 Back Set by Regan Smith

Regan Smith broke both the American and world records while formally qualifying for her second Olympic Games.

At the U.S. Olympic swimming trials at Lucas Oil Stadium on Tuesday night, Smith broke and recovered the world record in the women’s 100-meter backstroke, dropping the time to 57.13.

The previous best was established in 2023 by Australian swimmer Kaylee McKeown, who recorded 57.33. In 2019, Smith had the world record for the 100 back, but McKeown broke it in 2021 and then lowered it once more in 2023.

Regarding regaining the world record, Smith told NBC Sports, “It was part of the plan,” “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.”

Smith nearly set the world record on Monday night when she ran a time of 57.47, breaking her own American mark and advancing to the trials final. The 22-year-old former Stanford swimmer, who is guaranteed a spot in the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris, now has all of the aforementioned.

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

Smith is also participating in the 200-meter backstroke and 200-meter butterfly events at the Olympic trials. She had attempted to qualify for Paris in the 100-meter butterfly before, but although making it to the final on Sunday, she was unable to do so, placing third behind Gretchen Walsh, the new world record holder and first-time Olympian, and Torri Huske, the Olympian thrice.

With a time of 57.91, Katharine Berkoff placed second in the 100 back final on Tuesday and is expected to represent Team USA in the competition in Paris. According to NBC Sports’ Rowdy Gaines, Berkoff qualified during Monday’s semifinal with a time of 57.83, making history as only the fifth woman to break the 58-second barrier.