Regan Smith, 17, 'shocked' to shatter Missy Franklin's 200m backstroke world record

It doesn’t seem that long ago Missy Franklin swam her way into American hearts during the 2012 London Olympics. But it was and now another teenager, American Regan Smith, is lapping her way into the record books.

Smith shatters 200m backstroke record

Smith shattered the 200m backstroke at the 2019 FINA World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea, on Friday night. Her time of 2:03.35 in the semifinal was .71 seconds faster than Franklin’s time of 2:04.06 and she stayed under the world record pace at every 50m split except the second.

The 17-year-old Smith will have another chance at lowering the record during the finals. She also holds the world junior record in the event at 2:06.43 and shaved three seconds off her prelim time of 2:06.01 at worlds.

She posted on Instagram after the semifinal:

I’m shocked and I don’t know what to say, but I do want to thank my friends who believed I could. One more for team USA tomorrow!

Smith, a native of Lakeville, Minnesota, committed to the Stanford swim team three weeks ago.

Franklin ‘honored’ to have Smith break record

Franklin was also 17 when she set the mark at the London Olympics. Her time beat Zimbabwe’s Kirsty Coventry’s time by .75 seconds. Coventry held the record for three years.

Franklin’s victory in 2012 was the first time an American won the 200m backstroke in 40 years. She noted the new holder in a series of tweets Friday morning.

Franklin is a five-time Olympic gold medalist, but no longer holds any world record marks. Her team 4x100 medley relay records on the short and long course were broken by American teams in 2015 and 2017.

Franklin, 24, won gold in the 100m backstroke, 200m backstroke, 4x200m free relay and 4x100m medley relay in London, adding a bronze in the 4x100 free relay. She added a gold as part of the 4x200m free relay team at the 2016 Rio Olympics and retired from the sport in December 2018.

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Missy Franklin at the Rio Games
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Missy Franklin at the Rio Games
Rio Olympics - Swimming training - Olympic Aquatics Stadium - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 04/08/2016. Missy Franklin (USA) of USA during training REUTERS/Dominic Ebenbichler FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.
Missy Franklin swims a 1.55:79 in preliminaries for the women 200 meter freestyle the during the USA Swimming Nationals at William Woollett Jr. Aquatics Complex. Franklin qualified for this evening's finals August 7, 2014. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports/File photo
2016 Rio Olympics - Swimming - Preliminary - Women's 200m Backstroke - Heats - Olympic Aquatics Stadium - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 11/08/2016. Missy Franklin (USA) of USA competes REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.
2016 Rio Olympics - Swimming - Preliminary - Women's 200m Freestyle - Heats - Olympic Aquatics Stadium - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 08/08/2016. Missy Franklin (USA) of USA reacts. REUTERS/Michael Dalder FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.
2016 Rio Olympics - Swimming - Preliminary - Women's 200m Freestyle - Heats - Olympic Aquatics Stadium - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 08/08/2016. Missy Franklin (USA) of USA competes. REUTERS/Dominic Ebenbichler FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 11: Missy Franklin (top) of the United States is consoled by teammate Maya Dirado during the women's 200-meter backstroke semifinal at Rio 2016 on Thursday, August 11, 2016. Franklin, the world record holder in the event and the defending Olympic gold medalist, failed to make the finals. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 11: Missy Franklin of the United States prepares to take the water for the women's 200-meter backstroke semifinal at Rio 2016 on Thursday, August 11, 2016. Franklin, the world record holder in the event and the defending Olympic gold medalist, failed to make the finals. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 11: Missy Franklin of the United States embraces Madeline Dirado of the United States in the second Semifinal of the Women's 200m Backstroke on Day 6 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium on August 11, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
U.S. swimmer Missy Franklin buries her face in the water after a poor finish in the women's 200m Backstroke at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Thursday, Aug. 11, 2016. (Mark Reis/Colorado Springs Gazette/TNS via Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 11: Missy Franklin (right) of the United States is consoled by teammate Maya Dirado during the women's 200-meter backstroke semifinal at Rio 2016 on Thursday, August 11, 2016. Franklin, the world record holder in the event and the defending Olympic gold medalist, failed to make the finals. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 11: Missy Franklin of the United States looks on prior to the second Semifinal of the Women's 200m Backstroke on Day 6 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium on August 11, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 11: Missy Franklin (right) of the United States is consoled by teammate Maya Dirado during the women's 200-meter backstroke semifinal at Rio 2016 on Thursday, August 11, 2016. Franklin, the world record holder in the event and the defending Olympic gold medalist, failed to make the finals. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 11: Missy Franklin checks her time after a women's 200-meter backstroke eliminator heat at Rio 2016 on Wednesday, August 10, 2016. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 08: Missy Franklin of United state competes in the first Semifinal of the Women's 200m Freestyle on Day 3 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium on August 8, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Amin Mohammad Jamali/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 10: U.S.A. swimmers (from left) Katie Ledecky, Madeline Dirado, Leah Smith and Allison Schmitt hold an American flag after accepting their gold medals for winning the women's 4x 200-meter freestyle relay final at Rio 2016 on Wednesday, August 10, 2016. The United States edged out Australia (silver) and Canada (bronze). Missy Franklin was not added to the foursome after she struggled during an individual freestyle semifinal. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 11: Missy Franklin of the United States competes in the Women's 200m Backstroke heat on Day 6 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium on August 11, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
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Record-breaking 2019 world championships

World records fell throughout the week during the championships, including two previously held by Michael Phelps.

Hungarian 19-year-old Kristof Milak took out Phelps’ signature 200m butterfly record by .78 seconds. He set it in 2009 at the world championships.

American Caeleb Dressel set the 100m fly record earlier Friday in the semifinal, breaking Phelps’ mark by .32 seconds. It was also from 2009. Dressel also set an American record in his 100m freestyle victory.

And fellow American Simone Manuel, who spoke to Yahoo Sports about preparing for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, set an American record in the 100m freestyle. She defended her title with a time of 52.04 seconds out of lane 1.

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