Emma McKeon makes more history, Australian relay team set world record

Home Sports Emma McKeon makes more history, Australian relay team set world record
Emma McKeon makes more history, Australian relay team set world record

Emma McKeon secured the sprint double at the FINA World Shortcourse Swimming Championships on Saturday night, adding to her 100m freestyle victory with gold in the 50m event.

The 28-year-old led at the 25-metre mark before pulling even further ahead in the return lap to claim a dominant win.

Poland’s Katarzyna Wasick and Great Britain’s Anna Hopkin rounded out the podium. 

McKeon’s time of 23.04 seconds saw her set a new championship record, whilst simultaneously breaking the Oceanic record previously held by fellow Australian Cate Campbell (23.19).

MORE: Aussie young gun denied gold in controversial circumstances

Speaking to media post-race, the Wollongong-born swimmer shared that she even surprised herself winning the sprint double crown.

“I still don’t actually call myself a 50m freestyle specialist – I prefer the 100,” McKeon said post-race.

“But I just knew that I had to kill that start and probably one of my strengths is my start so I knew if I got that I could be in contention.

[Wasick] in lane four definitely had a much faster PB going in so I knew I really had to be on my game.”

McKeon was also in action earlier in the meet when she joined forces with Chelsea Hodges, Madi Wilson and Mollie O’Callaghan in the women’s 4x50m medley relay.

Despite her freestyle success, McKeon swam the butterfly leg, with Wilson handed the responsibility of anchoring the team in the freestyle leg.

The decision ultimately paid off with the Australians picking up the gold with a time of 1:42.35 – just 0.06 seconds ahead of the USA. 

The home nation also set a new world record, beating the previous record – which was set by the USA in 2018 – by 0.03 seconds.

Sweden finished third in a race that came down to a thrilling final lap.

Whilst Wilson was threatened in the final stages, the 28-year-old left enough in the tank to hold off the challengers.

“The medley spot is usually saved for the No.1 freestyler in the country,” Wilson said.

“Obviously, Emma [McKeon] is amazing at so many different strokes so that was my first time anchoring the relay and I definitely felt the pressure.

“But I couldn’t be more happy [sic] with how it turned out.”

MORE: Kyle Chalmers continues Australia’s golden run in the pool

In other results, Australia’s men’s medley relay team picked the bronze medal in the 4x50m event.

Notably, Isaac Cooper featured just one day after being denied gold in controversial circumstances.

Kyle Chalmers also continued his busy meet on Saturday night, finishing seventh in the men’s 50m freestyle.

That event was won by Cayman Islands swimmer Jordan Crooks, who secured his country its first-ever medal at the world championships.

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