Masse wins 100m backstroke world gold in record time

Swimming (File)
Swimming (File)

Budapest - Kylie Masse of Canada stormed to women's 100m backstroke gold in a new world-record time at the world aquatics championships on Tuesday -- and struggled to believe she had won.

The 21-year-old clocked 58.10 seconds, breaking Gemma Spofforth's previous mark of 58.12sec from the 2009 championships in the era of the now-banned neoprene suits.

"I was making sure I was reading the right name and the right time, I was lost for words immediately after -- I'm still in shock," admitted Masse.

"I knew it was there, and that I was close to it after our trials in April.

"It was a goal. I was aiming to do it here and if not, there are plenty of other meets next year where I could take a shot at it again.

"I came in with a focus on myself and what I had been working on all season, I also wanted to soak up the atmosphere of it all."

Masse said winning the bronze medal at last year's Rio Olympics gave her the belief to be world champion.

"It was a dream come true to make the Olympics team and then make the podium after that," she said.

"I got a lot of confidence in myself, competing in finals on an international level.

"It's incredible to be part of this Canadian generation.

"Last summer, we got a lot of confidence in ourselves as a team (in Rio).

"In years to come it's momentum, for swimming Canada in general, it was inspiring for younger generations to get into sport."

Kathleen Baker of the United States took silver, 0.48sec back, while Emily Seebohm of Australia brushed off a cold to claim bronze, 0.49 behind.

"It's awesome, I kinda thought she would do it," said Seebohm, the 2015 world champion, of Masse's record.

"I didn't come in saying 'I'm going to defend my title', but to rather enjoy racing these girls, they're fantastic, there's great depth in the backstroke.

"If I hadn't got a cold last week, I could have been a bit stronger on that last leg, but I'm proud to be back on the podium after Rio," she added having finished seventh in the 2016 Olympic final.

"I did a big job to turn it around from the hole that I was in, it's my best time since 2015."

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