Nova 106.9’s Susie O’Neill wins gold and breaks world record at the World Aquatic Masters in Japan

Nova 106.9

The race marks her first international competition since the Sydney Olympics in 2000.

On Monday, August 7, Nova 106.9’s Susie O’Neill made her anticipated return to competitive swimming competing at the World Aquatics Masters Championships in Japan, marking her first international competition race since the Sydney Olympics in 2000.

She won gold in the individual 50m butterfly race in the women’s 50-54 age group and broke the world record with a time of 29.08.

The previous best time in the 50-54 age group in the 50m butterfly was by American Erika Braun, achieving 29.14 for the 50-54 age group from last October.

Her return to the pool follows an on-air discussion in May when Susie agreed to compete at the World Masters in only the 50m mixed relay, with her fellow radio co-hosts, Ash Bradnam and David “Luttsy” Lutteral, and Nova listener, school teacher Kylie Fletcher.

This had come about following her on-air pondering about how she should celebrate an upcoming milestone birthday (turning 50 on 2 August) and her co-hosts Ash Bradnam and David “Luttsy” Lutteral, convincing her to celebrate by competing in an international competitive swim meet. 

Susie’s decision to also do the individual 50m butterfly race was a result of her participating in the Masters’ time trials at Chandler Brisbane Aquatic Centre on 18 May 2023. Susie swam in the 50m butterfly 50-54 age group race to qualify to compete in the relay – and she subsequently broke the world record in short course (as the pool was a 25m pool) achieving a time of 28.95.

It was her first butterfly competition race since the Sydney Olympics in 2000. Susie won gold in the 200m butterfly at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and silver at the 2000 Olympics. However, she won the 200m freestyle at the Sydney Olympics.

This week, Mediaweek caught up with O’Neill and discussed what it’s been like returning to the pool alongside her radio colleagues.

Read more: Why Susie O’Neill and the Nova 106.9 team are making a splash in Fukuoka

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