Seebohm’s epic battle in pool ends in gold at world champs
EMILY Seebohm has fought her way back from the brink to win Australia’s first gold medal at the world swimming championships in Budapest.
Seebohm, 25, was in fourth place when she made the last turn in the 200m backstroke but turned in a barnstorming last lap to snatch the gold medal from Hungarian favourite Katinka Hosszu.
One year after her Rio Olympic campaign was ruined by a battle with endometriosis, Seebohm charged back to the top of the world, setting a personal best time and national record of 2min5.68sec, as she won her second consecutive world title in this event.
Hosszu finished a close second in 2:05.85 with American Kathleen Baker third (2:06.48). Australia nearly had a second medal in the event as Kaylee McKeown, 16, set a world junior record of 2:06.76 to finish fourth on her debut at this level.
When Seebohm realised she had won, she put her hand to her face and cried.
“It was such a fast field … and I was going to be proud of myself whether I won or came last because getting back into the pool after Rio was really hard,” she said.