Kaylee McKeown clocked the fourth fastest time in the women’s 200m backstroke of all time on Friday, while Emma McKeon swam the fastest 100m freestyle of the year as the Australian duo accelerated preparations for the Tokyo Olympics.
McKeown, 19, broke his own Commonwealth and Australian record by touching in 2:04.31sec at the Sydney Open, the first time in the world in the past 18 months.
It was a wake-up call for US world record holder Regan Smith, who has the fastest time in history (2: 03.35) set in 2019.
Smith also holds the second fastest ahead of 2012 Olympic champion Missy Franklin, with McKeown now ranking fourth and fifth.
“I just trusted myself a little more in the first 100m today to come out a little faster, which hurt a lot in the back-end, but I had a really good time so I’m happy, ”she told reporters. .
“It’s always our plan to put as much pressure as possible in these competitions to get as much practice as possible in the race. “
The Australian Olympic Trials will be held in Adelaide next month, with McKeown’s main challenger, three-time Olympian Emily Seebohm, touching the second Friday in 2: 07.06.
McKeon, who was part of Australia’s gold medalist 4x100m relay team at the Rio 2016 Olympics, was also on fire, upsetting sprint star Cate Campbell to win the women’s 100m.
Her 52.29 was the world’s best for 2021 and placed her in the top six fastest of all time, led by Swedish world record holder Sarah Sjostrom, 51.71.
“It gives me confidence in running in the morning and I’m just a lot stronger and I’ve done a lot of work in the gym. This is where I think I made some big gains, ”McKeon said.
“And every time I race with Cate and find myself up against the best in the world, it just adds to my confidence and it’s just good racing practice. “
The finals in Sydney are held in the morning, mimicking the Japanese schedule, where rounds will also be held in the evening.
© 2021 AFP