Bond University swimmer Minna Atherton has set a new world record and cemented herself as a gold medal contender for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
The Georgina Hope Rinehart Swimming Excellence Scholarship student became the first woman in history to break the 55 second barrier in the 100m backstroke short-course event.
Atherton asserted herself as one of the premier swimmers on the planet, claiming the 50, 100 and 200m treble – including the world record – at the International Swimming League in Budapest.
“Minna’s world record was amazing, she has been going really close over a number of swims and deservedly got the result,” Bond’s sport’s director of swimming, Kyle Samuelson said.
“I am proud of the Bond University presence in the ISL across the last two weekends. All three athletes have raced with outstanding results coming against world class competition.
“To have Minna, Elijah and Alex all win their main events shows just how seriously our student-athletes take representing any team they are a part of.”
Bond University dominated on the world stage to lead London Roar to victory in the new International Swimming League.
Freestylers Alex Graham and Elijah Winnington finished first and second in the 200 metres, while Winnington also claimed the 400 metre event.
The ISL was Atherton’s first major hit-out since the backstroker won silver at the FINA world championships in South Korea in July.
“The ISL is very exciting for swimming,” Atherton said.
The 19-year-old knows she’ll need to keep improving after emerging on the world stage.
“Worlds was my first senior long-course team, apart from the Commonwealth Games.” she said.
“Coming away with the silver was amazing.
“I didn’t know what to expect, because you never know how fast everyone else is swimming, but I did expect a PB because I had been swimming really well.
“Obviously everything leads to the Olympics, everything we do is looking at Tokyo.
“It’s on my mind all the time.”