30 Aug 2015

Fa’amausili defends world title

2:31 pm on 30 August 2015

The Auckland swimmer, Gabrielle Fa'amausili, has successfully defended her backstroke title at the World Junior Championships in Singapore.

Gabrielle Fa’amausili swims to gold in Singapore, 2015.

Gabrielle Fa’amausili swims to gold in Singapore, 2015. Photo: MW Media

In a battle between the 15 year old stars of the future, Fa'amausili edged out Australia's Minna Atherton by two one hundredths of a second to claim the gold medal in the 50 metre backstroke final.

The United club swimmer from Auckland repeated the title she won as a 13 year old two years ago in Dubai.

She managed to turn the tables on Atherton who had won the 100m and 200m titles earlier in the meet and set a new junior world record in the 50m in the semifinal.

Fa'amausili won in 27.81seconds, which is the eighth fastest time overall in the world this year and breaks her New Zealand open record, going under the 28 second mark for the first time.

"It feels just amazing. I just can't believe the result and I am just super happy with it,"

Fa'amausili said.

The teenager, who took more than 03.s off her previous best and national record, said much of the credit goes to her new coach Igor Polianski, the 1988 Olympic backstroke champion and a double world champion.

Her compatriot Bobbi Gichard, who won the bronze medal in the 100m backstroke final, finished fourth in the 50m final in 28.40s, which lowered her personal best for a second time at the meet.

Final results: Women 50m backstroke: Gabrielle Fa'amausili (NZL) 27.81s, 1; Minna Atherton (AUS0 27.83, 2; Danielle Hanus (CAN) 28.26, 3. Also: Bobbi Gichard (NZL) 28.40, 4.