Local Olympian Sets World Record In 100-Meter Backstroke
Forsyth County native Kathleen Baker won a silver medal in the backstroke at the Rio Olympics two years ago. Now she's logged another world record, the second such milestone she’s set this year.
Back in March, Baker broke a five-year-old American record in the 200-meter backstroke by half a second.
Now she has set the world-record pace in the 100-meter backstroke at 58 seconds during Saturday’s U.S. national championships. That bested the mark of 58.10 set by Kylie Masse of Canada at last year's world championships in Hungary. Baker finished second to Masse in Budapest.
"I'm sort of on cloud nine right now," said Baker, known for keeping her goal times in her cell phone as a daily reminder.
"Right now it's a 58.10 and I just broke that so now I'm going to put 57.99 down," she said, laughing.
In addition to her silver medal for the backstroke at the Rio Olympics, she also won gold as part of the 4-by-100-meter medley relay lineup.
The 21-year-old Baker has accomplished all that despite a diagnosis of Crohn’s Disease, which causes inflammation of the digestive tract and can lead to abdominal pain, fatigue and weight loss.
With the record-setting win, Baker has earned a spot on the U.S. team for next month’s Pan Pacific championships in Japan and next year’s world championships.