Australia's McKeown swims second-fastest 200m backstroke in history - GulfToday

Australia's McKeown swims second-fastest 200m backstroke in history


Kaylee McKeown reacts following the women's 200m backstroke final during the Australian Swimming Trials at the Brisbane Aquatic Centre on Thursday. AFP

Kaylee McKeown swam the second-fastest 200m backstroke of all-time on Thursday while Ariarne Titmus laid down an Olympic marker in the 800m freestyle a day after smashing the 200m world record.

Rio Olympic champion and Tokyo silver medallist Kyle Chalmers was also firing on day four of the Australian trials in Brisbane, ensuring he will again contest the 100m freestyle in Paris this summer.

The 22-year-old McKeown, the reigning Olympic champion and world record holder, surged to the wall in 2mins 03.30secs to reinforce her status as the overwhelming favourite at the July-August Games. Her time was just a fingertip outside the world leading 2:03.14 she set last year.

“The first half of this meet I’ve been quite nervous, so I really just wanted to enjoy tonight,” said McKeown, adding that she was not aware of the crowd roaring her on. “I was in my own little world, but I’ve got a ticket to Paris.”

Such was her dominance that she finished four seconds clear of second-placed Jaclyn Barclay — just 17 — who also qualified. Veteran Emily Seebohm, Swimming just months after having a baby, failed in her attempt to make a fifth Olympics, finishing fifth.

McKeown has now booked three individual events in Paris. She swam the second-fastest 100m back of all-time on Tuesday, with her 57.41 just shy of her own world-record 57.33.

That came a day after she posted the quickest 200m medley since the 2016 Olympics, another event where she will be a serious medal contender.

Agence France-Presse

Related articles