Olympics-McKeown breaks Australian all-comers record in 50 metres backstroke

FILE PHOTO: Fukuoka 2023 World Aquatics Championships - Swimming - Marine Messe Fukuoka Hall A, Fukuoka, Japan - July 30, 2023 Australia's Kaylee McKeown in action during the women's 4 x 100m medley relay final REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo

(Reuters) - Kaylee McKeown continued her excellent form, swimming the fifth fastest 50 metres backstroke of all time to win the Australian Open Championships on Friday, where Ariarne Titmus also impressed.

The 22-year-old had already set Australian records in both the 200 and 400 metres individual medleys in the last two days, and swam 27.07 seconds in the 50 metre backstroke to set a new all-comers record, the fastest time ever recorded in Australia.

McKeown, the reigning Olympic 100 and 200m backstroke champion, broke the world record in the same event in Budapest last year with a time of 26.86 seconds.

Mollie O'Callaghan set a personal best of 27.16, matching McKeown's previous all-comers record, to take the silver medal, having won gold in the 100 metres freestyle and backstroke at the event.

Titmus, world record holder and Olympic champion, impressed when winning the 400 metres freestyle in a time of 3:59.13, the best time in the world this season, and the Australian's first sub-four minute performance of the season.

(Reporting by Trevor Stynes; Editing by Toby Davis)

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