Australia’s Emma McKeon makes history, leaves Tokyo with record seven gold medals - GulfToday

Australia’s Emma McKeon makes history, leaves Tokyo with record seven gold medals


An overview shows Emma McKeon, Chelsea Hodges, Kaylee McKeown and Cate Campbell celebrate winning to take gold in the final at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre on Sunday. AFP

Gulf Today Report

Australia's Emma McKeon became the first female swimmer to win seven medals at a single Olympic Games on Sunday after completing the sprint double with victory in the 50m freestyle and then winning another gold in the women's 4x100 medley relay.

Australia won nine, their most swimming golds at a Games, and Britain left with four golds as part of a record haul of eight total medals.

Emma McKeon, who has pocketed four golds in Tokyo, swam the butterfly leg as part of Australia's 'Awesome Foursome' in the medley relay, with Cate Campbell's superb final leg pushing the United States into silver.

That saw McKeon join Michael Phelps, Mark Spitz and Matt Biondi as the only swimmers to win seven medals at a Games. Russian gymnast Maria Gorokhovskaya, in 1952, is the only woman to have won seven in any other sport.

EmmaMcKeon-goldmedal-750x450Emma McKeon of Australia with her gold medal. Reuters

Phelps holds the record in swimming with eight medals won in both Athens in 2004 and Beijing four years later.

"I look at the athletes who have come before me and been so impressed with what they have done and been inspired by what they have done, but I’ve never really looked at the stats of medal counts," McKeon said. "It is an honour because I know I’ve worked so hard for it."

Team mate Campbell was full of praise for McKeon's performances in Tokyo.

EmmaMcKeon-celebration-750x450 Members of Team Australia celebrate after race. Reuters

"Full credit to Emma ... I think that we just need to acknowledge what an incredible job she has done,” Campbell said.

“She walks away from these Games with four gold medals now and I honestly could not be happier for her. She is such an important part of this team and I think that needs to be recognised."

McKeon outsprinted the field in the 50m freestyle, with Swede Sarah Sjoestroem taking silver and Rio 50m champion Pernille Blume of Denmark bronze, and was then quickly back in the pool for the medley relay.

EmmaMcKeon-750x450Australian gold medallists celebrate after the final of the women's 4x100m medley relay swimming event. AFP

The Australians were second all the way to the final turn when Campbell pulled away from Abbey Weitzeil to secure the ninth gold medal for the country in the Tokyo pool — eight of which have come from the women's squad.

Related articles