North Carolina-born swimmer Kathleen Baker set a world record in the 100m backstroke in finals at the 2018 Phillips 66 National Championships. Baker won in record 58.00 seconds, lowering the world mark of 58.10 set by Kylie Masse of Canada at last year’s world championships in Hungary. Baker finished second to Masse in Budapest. Also Read - PV Sindhu Reveals Turning Point of Her Career, Says Beating Olympic Champion Li Xuerui Gave me Confidence
“I’m sort of on cloud nine right now,” said Baker, known for keeping her goal times in her cell phone as a daily reminder. Also Read - Wrestling: Sushil Kumar And Yogeshwar Dutt Olympic Medals Motivated me, Says Sakshi Malik
With this effort, the 21-year old swimmer Baker also took possession of the American record, bettering the time of 58.33 set by Missy Franklin in 2012. Franklin didn’t enter the backstroke events at nationals after having surgery on both shoulders 1 1/2 years ago.
The Rio Olympic silver-medallist completed a sweep of the backstroke events in Irvine, having tied Smith for the 200 title. Olivia Smoliga was second in 58.75 and 16-year-old Regan Smith took third in 58.83, a junior world record.
Baker, who tied for first with Regan Smith in the 200m backstroke this week, clocked a blistering 27.90sec over the first 50m and held on for the victory.
She notched the first world record of the championships, the selection meeting for next month’s Pan Pacific Championships in Tokyo. The two meets together are the qualifiers for the World Championships in South Korea next year.
Baker biggest achievement came with a silver medal performance at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics in the 100m backstroke event.
(With Agency Inputs)