Susie O’Neill shatters another world record in triumphant return to competitive swimming

Aug 08, 2023
Following her triumphant return to the pool, fans flooded social media platforms with an outpouring of praise and admiration for O'Neill's remarkable performance. Source: Getty Images.

Former Olympic champion Susie O’Neill has marked her return to competitive swimming in spectacular fashion after breaking yet another world record in the 50m butterfly at the World Aquatics Masters Championships in Japan on Monday, August 7.

In her first competitive swim since the Sydney Olympics in 2000, O’Neill finished in an astounding time of 29.08 seconds, smashing the previous record of 29.27 set by FINA Masters Swimming world record holder Erika Braun.

“I felt like vomiting at the end to be honest,” O’Neill admitted to Nova 106.9 following the race.

“In the olden days, I was nervous before the race, but I was calmer when I went out behind the block.

“This was like the opposite – I was calm before, but as I walked out behind the blocks I got a bit dishevelled compared to normal. Really jittery.”

Although she was feeling “really jittery” leading into the swim, O’Neill said she experienced a “massive surge of adrenaline” that she believes helped her deliver such a stellar performance.

Despite some pre-race nerves, O’Neill enjoyed her return to the pool, telling reporters that it “was so much fun”.

“I met so many people in the marshalling area that I knew. For example, there was a Canadian girl in that race, and we swapped clothes in 1989 when we came to Japan for the Pan Pacific Games,” O’Neill said.

Following her triumphant return to the pool, fans flooded social media platforms with an outpouring of praise and admiration for O’Neill’s remarkable performance.

O’Neill’s latest achievement follows her previous world record time of 28.95 at the Chandler Aquatic Centre in Brisbane during the lead-up to the Worlds and although many fans may be keen to see her return to the pool permanently, the swimming sensation has assured supporters it will be a one-off.

“This will be a one-and-done. It’s more just to go over and have a bit of fun for my 50th, compete in the relay with the (Nova) boys,” she said.

In addition to her latest feat, O’Neill’s swimming career has been marked by a series of remarkable achievements. She secured multiple medals and set numerous records, including victories in the 200m butterfly event at the 1996 Summer Olympics and the 200m freestyle event at the 2000 Summer Olympics. Her collection includes an impressive 35 Australian titles, 8 Olympic medals (2 gold), and 24 gold medals from other major international competitions.

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