GWANGJU, South Korea — Minnesota teen Regan Smith broke the world record in the women's 200-meter backstroke Friday at the world swimming championships.
The 17-year-old resident of Lakeville won her semifinal heat in 2 minutes, 3.35 seconds. That erased the old mark of 2:04.06 set by Missy Franklin at the 2012 London Olympics.
Smith lowered her own junior world record in the morning preliminaries, finishing in 2:06.01.
In the semifinals, she finished 3.22 seconds ahead of Kylie Masse of Canada, who was the second-fastest qualifier.
The final in the 200-meter backstroke is Saturday night.
Franklin, one of the most decorated women's swimmers in history, was more than gracious after watching Smith shatter her record. "I couldn’t be more honored to have my 200 back World Record broken by @reganesmith4, one of the sweetest and hardest working athletes I’ve ever known," Franklin tweeted.