Australia is on the board at the swimming world championships.
Emily Seebohm won the Aussies’ first gold medal on the seventh day of the eight-day meet, ensuring the formerly dominant swim nation doesn’t go winless at an Olympics or worlds for the first time since 1986.
Seebohm, who swept the backstrokes at the 2015 Worlds, won in a national record 2:05.68 in Budapest on Saturday. She edged Hungarian Katinka Hosszu by .17, with American Kathleen Baker taking bronze.
Baker also took silver in the 100m back at the Olympics and earlier this week.
Seebohm bounced back from a poor Rio Games, where she was seventh in the 100m back and 12th in the 200m back. She was diagnosed with endometriosis later in 2016 and underwent surgery in December. She also had wisdom teeth removed in January.
Given that, her tears on the pool deck after Saturday’s victory were understandable.
“I guess for me it was really hard after Rio, I knew there was a lot going on in my body, and I really pushed through in Rio,” Seebohm said, according to Swimming Australia. “I had to rush back into the water and train really hard for this and I’m just amazed at what I have achieved tonight.”
The Aussies won seven combined silver and bronze medals this week before Seebohm’s breakthrough. Still, they could finish behind China for second place in the medal standings.
Australia has fought with China and Japan as the world’s second-best swim nation for the last several years. This comes after an era where the Aussies challenged the U.S. for pool supremacy in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Women’s 200m Backstroke Results
Gold: Emily Seebohm (AUS) — 2:05.68
Silver: Katinka Hosszu (HUN) — 2:05.85
Bronze: Kathleen Baker (USA) — 2:06.48
4. Kaylee McKeown (AUS) — 2:06.76
5. Kylie Masse (CAN) — 2:07.04
6. Hilary Caldwell (CAN) — 2:07.15
7. Daria Ustinova (RUS) — 2:07.35
8. Regan Smith (USA) — 2:07.42
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