In-form McKeown smashes short course 200m backstroke record

FILE PHOTO: Swimming - 18th FINA World Swimming Championships - Women's 100m Backstroke Semi-Finals - Nambu University Municipal Aquatics Center, Gwangju, South Korea - July 22, 2019. Kaylee McKeown of Australia competes. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Tokyo Olympic hopeful Kaylee McKeown has confirmed her rich vein of form by claiming a 200 metres backstroke short course world record at the virtual Australian national championships in Brisbane.

The teenager clocked one minute 58.94 seconds on Friday to take nearly half a second off Hungarian Katinka Hosszu's 2014 mark (1:59.23).

"Short course is something we don't get to do very often, so I was excited to see what I could put up after some solid training this year," said 19-year-old McKeown."I headed over to my team mates and my coach and they said, 'You just got a world-record!', and I was like, 'What?'. I didn't actually know till a few minutes later."

Australia's national short course swimming championships were moved to a virtual platform this year because of the pandemic, with swimmers competing simultaneously in pools in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Hobart.

In long course meets, McKeown won gold in the 50m, silver in the 100m and bronze in the 200m backstroke at the 2018 Youth Olympics before claiming a senior world championship silver in the 200m in Gwangju last year.

She swam the seventh-fastest 200m (2:05.83) and ninth-fastest 100m (58.62) of all time in January before the COVID-19 pandemic put her season on hold.

She returned to improve her personal bests in the 100m to 58.11 and the 200m to 2:04.49 to take the Australian records in Brisbane earlier this month.

The health crisis also forced the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics by 12 months, but that has not diminished McKeown's determination to earn a place at the biggest swimming meet of them all.

"In Australia, we have some of the top women in the world racing in my events, so it's tough," she told the Olympic website last month. "But being able to go to the Olympic Games is what I've been dreaming of."

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney; Editing by William Mallard)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 18
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3

Did you find this article insightful?


Next In Swimming

Britain's Peaty handed ticket to Tokyo Olympics
Keng Liat’s Olympics debut at 15 set the stage for historic achievements
Dog-meat tweeting judge in Sun doping case had doubtful impartiality: Swiss court
Swimming: Former Olympic champion Keller part of U.S. Capitol siege - reports
No splash in the pool as age group meet called off
MS to kickstart 2021 season with age-group championships
Martin misses Xmas with family, but work comes first
Swimming: Sun's doping ban referred back to CAS after appeal
Cindy to don latest swimsuit worn by Dressel and Schooling
Athletics: Reputation will not protect athletes from doping ban, says Coe

Stories You'll Enjoy