Maggie MacNeil won Olympic gold in the women’s 100 butterfly with a 55.59 to lower the Canadian, and Americas (fastest swim recorded by any swimmer representing a country in North or South American) records. The defending world champion delivered beat silver medalist Zhang Yufei by just 0.05 seconds while Emma McKeon took 3rd in a 55.72.
MacNeil downed her own Canadian record of 55.83 which she set when she took gold at Gwangju 2019. She took the Americas record from American Torri Huske who held it at a 55.66 from the 2021 US Olympic Trials. MacNeil was out 0.27 seconds faster on her first 50 in the Olympic final than she was in 2019 and came back 0.03 seconds faster to undercut the record.
|MacNeil – Tokyo 2020||Huske – 2020 US Trials||MacNeil – Gwangju 2019|
|100||55.59 (29.09)||55.66 (30.01)||55.83 (29.06)|
Interestingly, Maggie MacNeil was in 7th place at the 50 and all competitors other than Sarah Sjostrom were ahead of her at the halfway mark.
MacNeil pulled off the win after having placed 5th overall during prelims with a 56.55 and a 6th place finish in the semi-finals round where she was a 56.56. That means that MacNeil nearly dropped a full second from the semis to finals.
This swim for MacNeil makes her the second-fastest woman in the history of the event behind world record-holder Sarah Sjostrom who holds a 55.48. Sjostrom swam that time at the 2016 Olympic Games to take gold. Sjostrom was racing alongside MacNeil here but fell to 7th place overall with a 56.91.
All-Time Women’s 100 Butterfly Performances
MacNeil’s co-medalists also threw down times that now sit within the top 10 in history with Yufei’s 55.64 for silver tying Sjostrom’s 2015 swim for 5th overall while McKeon’s bronze medal-winning 55.72 is 9th. 4th place finisher Torri Huske also had a top 10 performance, tying another swim done by Zhang Yufei of 55.73 earlier this year for 10th overall.
Considering the number of times Sjostrom, MacNeil, Huske, and Yufei appear in the top 10, 5 women now share the 11 fastest times in the history of the event.
This is Maggie MacNeil‘s second Olympic medal in 2 days, adding to her 4×100 freestyle silver that she won with teammates Penny Oleksiak, Kayla Sanchez, Rebecca Smith, and Taylor Ruck.
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