Is there a more competitive event than the Women's 100 Back? Natalie Coughlin was the first woman to break a minute back in August of 2002. Six years later she was the first to break 59. If you don't go sub 59 you won't make the Finale this year. If you don't break 58, you probably won't be on the podium.
Women's 100 Back
So much can change in just 4 years. I'm sure most people will forget that Katinka Hosszu is currently the Olympic Champion in this event. Four years later I'm not sure she will even compete in this event. The young global talent pool is over flowing...
*Katinka Hosszu (HUN) is the reigning Olympic Champion
*Kylie Masse (CAN) won the world title in 2017
*Kylie Masse (CAN) won the world title in 2019
Considering she is the only woman to ever break 58 seconds, Regan Smith is currently the front runner for this event. She didn't make the 100 Back at 2019 World's but broke the World Record at the very same meet leading off the relay.
Nobody has BOTH the speed and endurance that Regan Smith showed last summer. If you aren't under 28 seconds over the first 50 in this event, your chances of winning will be slim to none.
Though the one person that could pull that trick off is Windsor, Canada's finest: Kylie Masse. The reigning Olympic Champ nearly negative splits her 100 Backstroke. Her differential when she went 58.10 was a paltry +1.08.
Most of the premier backstrokers right now are hovering at +2.00. When Kathleen Baker went 58.00 her differential was +2.20. Regan's WR swim was +2.09.
This time around, if Masse is out too slow, she won't have a chance against Regan. There just isn't enough time.
Pre Olympic Trials Predictions
1. Regan Smith (USA) 57.88 (27.90 + 29.98) + 2.08
2. Kathleen Baker (USA) 57.98 (27.86 + 30.12) +2.26
3. Kaylee McKeown (AUS) 58.02 (28.32 + 29.70) +1.38
Watch Out For
Russians typically run under the radar in America but keep your eye on this one. She will just be turning 18 as the Tokyo Olympics get under way.
Last summer she went a PB in the 50 LCM Back with a 27.51. That is a lot better than her 59.46. She is a much better long course swimmer than short course swimmer.
What is more difficult to teach: speed or endurance?
Considering all she has gone through (doping false positive), the fight back to the top of the mountain has already been a success. Over the last year Kira has gone best times in the following events:
50 SCM Back
100 SCM Back
200 SCM Back
50 LCM Back
100 LCM Back
200 LCM Back
50 SCM Free
100 SCM Free
200 SCM Free
50 LCM Free
100 LCM Free
While her greatest strength has always been her underwater dolphin kick, her 27.49 50 LCM Backstroke from October is the only thing I care about right now.