The future is bright for swimming in Canada, and Kylie Masse gave the nation another reason to celebrate on Tuesday when she set a new world record in the pool.
Masse’s time of 58.10 seconds in the 100-metre backstroke during the world swimming championships in Budapest, Hungary, broke British swimmer Gemma Spofforth’s record (58.12 seconds) set in 2009.
Even Masse herself was surprised by her time.
“I was definitely shocked,” said Masse, 21, during an interview on Prime Time Sports on Wednesday. “Sometimes in backstroke I can see the score clock, the board, but I actually didn’t see it in that race yesterday.
“It didn’t quite feel perfect. I don’t think a race can ever feel that perfect, but it definitely felt good,” said Masse, who won the race thanks to an impressive late surge. “When I touched the wall, it was super exciting.”
This was not the first time the LaSalle, Ont., native grabbed the attention of the swimming world. After being left off the team for the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto, Masse earned Olympic bronze in the 100-metre backstroke, adding another piece of hardware to Canada’s impressive haul in the pool led by teammate Penny Oleksiak.
Masse credits a stronger mental game and increased confidence for her recent run of success.
“I definitely think the mental side plays a huge role in your performance,” she said. “I think something that I learned over the last little bit is just really to find that confidence within you and just have fun with it all and soak up the whole experience. Because realistically, all the training that has been done, all the work has been done before the competition and it’s just on that race day that you just have to perform your race.
Masse also discussed her training regimen, life after Rio, and what her future may hold in the sport of swimming during Wednesday’s PTS appearance.
“I’m definitely going to go for 2020,” she said.
Listen to the full interview here: