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From: Canada's Margaret MacNeil (centre) is flanked by Kylie Masse (left, silver medal) and bronze-medallist Louise Hanson of Sweden at the podium after the 50-metre backstroke final in Abu Dhabi. Image Credit: AP

Abu Dhabi: Canada’s Margaret MacNeil had a day to remember at the Fina World Swimming Championships (25m) as the 21-year-old set a new world record to win the women’s 50-metre backstroke final on Monday night.

At Yas Island’s Etihad Arena, MacNeil, who had clinched gold in the 4x100m freestyle and 4x50m mixed freestyle earlier in the week, added to her haul with victory, clocking 25.27 seconds. She finished ahead of her compatriot Kylie Masse (25.62) and Sweden’s Louise Hansson (25.86).

Japan’s Daiyo Seto won his fifth world short course title in the 400-metre individual medley with a time of 3:56.26, equalling the competition record by Great Britain’s James Hickman, who also won five in the 200-metre butterfly.

Speaking at this evening’s post-race press conference, Seto, 27, said: “This event is my favourite and I really wanted to win it for the fifth time, so I am really happy to have done that. Now I want to win my sixth world title and hope to be an Olympic champion at the Paris 2024 Games.”

He added: “A lot of the swimmers in the race are younger than me so it was challenging but it was awesome to win.”

Santos creates history

Meanwhile, Brazil’s Nicholas Santos proved age is just a number as the 41-year-old stormed to victory in the men’s 50-metre butterfly.

Santos recorded 21.93 seconds to edge Trinidad and Tobago’s Dylan Carter (21.98) and Italy’s Matteo Rivolta (22.02) to become the first swimmer to win a medal at the world championships (long or short course) after turning 40.

Other winners on the penultimate day included Canada’s Sidney Pickrem (women’s 200-metre medley) and China’s Tang Qianting (100m breaststroke), USA and the Russian Swimming Federation shared gold in the men’s 4x50m medley relay, clocking a new championship record of 1:30.51 while Canada won gold in the women’s 4x200-metre freestyle.