After shattering a world record in the pool recently, swimming legend Susie O’Neill has decided to compete in the individual 50m butterfly at the World Aquatics Masters Championships in Japan on August 7.
Her return to the pool for the event will mark her first international competition butterfly race since the Sydney Olympics in 2000.
O’Neill recently set the new world record in the 50-meter butterfly for the 50-54 age category, completing the distance in a remarkable 28.95 seconds.
After the incredible feat, O’Neill was inspired to give competitive swimming another go, explaining to Sunrise recently that she is going to “give it one last go”.
“We had to qualify (for the event) a couple of weeks ago,” O’Neill explained.
“I did the 50 fly, broke the world record for the 50-54 age group.
“So my big news is I’m gonna also, for the last time, swim an individual event at the World Masters. I’m going to do the 50 fly over in Japan in a couple of weeks for my 50th birthday.
“The fact that my times are kind of competitive in my age group, which I was shocked about (and I’m) not just saying that, I was actually shocked, I thought, ‘oh well, I’ll give it one last go’. I’m in pretty good nick.
“Leading up to 50th I have been swimming a lot and going to the gym, etc, etc. So, why not?
“I’m definitely going to give it 100 per cent and see what happens.”
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Fans wasted no time in showering O’Neill with praise for her decision to make a comeback and compete in the upcoming World Aquatics Masters Championships.
“She’s BACK!” one fan wrote.
“This will be the event of the year!!!”
“Yessssss!! So excited to see this. I’m very invested now!”
“Good on you Susie!”
“Yes yes yes Susie!!! Go you good thing,” commented another.
O’Neill achieved considerable success in the pool, winning multiple medals and setting numerous records. She won the 200m butterfly event at the 1996 Summer Olympics and the 200m freestyle event at the 2000 Summer Olympics. She also holds an impressive record of 35 Australian titles, 8 Olympic medals (including 2 gold), and 24 gold medals in other major international competitions.
In her first international appearance at the 1990 Commonwealth Games, she won both a gold and a silver medal. Throughout her swimming career, she consistently added to her collection of medals at every international competition, concluding with her final Olympics. At the 2000 Olympic Games Trials, in front of a supportive home crowd, she broke a long-standing world record set by another renowned swimmer, Mary T. Meagher, in the 200m butterfly event.
O’Neill retired from competitive swimming after the 2000 Sydney Olympics, leaving behind an incredible legacy that continues to resonate with the swimming community.