Kaylee McKeown Continues her Brisbane Record Breaking Blitz with a 200m Backstroke time of 2:04.49 !

IN THE FAST LANE: Kaylee McKeown has continued her backstroking blitz in Brisbane. Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (Swimming Australia).

Kaylee McKeown Continues her Brisbane Record Breaking Blitz with a 200m Backstroke time of 2:04.49 !

Rising Aussie backstroke sensation Kaylee McKeown has continued her record breaking spree at the Brisbane Aquatic Centre today, clocking the fourth fastest time in history for 200m backstroke, stopping the clock in 2:04.49 at the Medal Shots Long Course Preparation Meet.

It follows hot on the heals of yesterday’s stunning Australian and Australian All-Comers 100m backstroke record of 58.11 from the 19-year-old from Redcliffe.

Today’s time, a 1.34sec personal best, makes McKeown (USC Spartans) on the Queensland Sunshine Coast, the third fastest swimmer ever over 200m backstroke.


GOB SMACKED IN GWANGJU: Kaylee McKeown (right) and Dolphins team mate Minna Atherton after their medal successes at last year’s world championships. Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (Swimming Australia)

She now sits behind US pair, current world record holder and reigning world champion Regan Smith on 2:03.35 (swum in the semi-final at the 2019 World Championships) and 2012 Olympic champion in London, Missy Franklin (2:04.06).

(Smith owns the two fastest times ever with her Gwangju gold medal winning time 2:03.69, clocked when she beat McKeown and Canada’s Kylie Masse in the final).

It also erases fellow Australian, Emily Seebohm’s Australian and Commonwealth record times of 2:05.68, swum when the triple Olympian won the 2017 world title in Budapest and Seebohm too will be encouraged by her short course form in the ISL in Budapest, showing why she is one of Australia’s best ever racers.

McKeown also took the Australian All-Comers record of 2:05.98, swum by Masse when she won the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in 2018 – a race that saw McKeown finish fourth.

Here is the breakdown: McKeown was out in 29.74, splitting 1:01.65 at the 100m mark and 1:33.46 at the 150 with her 50m splits looking like this: 29.74; 31.91; 31.81 and her impressive final lap of 31.03 – faster than her two middle 50s.

McKeown’s sizzling personal best of 58.11 saw her out in 28.70 and home in 29.41) – a time that would have won her every Olympic gold medal in history – and 0.41 faster than her previous best.

And all bar one of the Fina World Championships –only the 2017 title won by Masse in Budapest in 2017 (in a then world record time of 58.10 – so only by 0.01 – the barest of margins) has been won in a quicker time.

World record holder Smith 57.57 and previous world record holders Kathleen Baker (USA) 58.00 and two-time world champion and Commonwealth record holder, Masse are ahead of McKeown in what is very much a “live” leaderboard in the race to Tokyo.

And, only, if we can say that, 0.54secs outside Smith’s world record set at the 2019 World Championships in Gwangju when she led off the all-conquering US women’s medley relay – after not qualifying for an individual spot.

Baker’s time of 58 flat was swum to win the US Nationals in 2018.

McKeown’s striking form this weekend is also a personal triumph for USC Spartans head coach Chris Mooney who said after her 100m win that it was a swim to celebrate ” but there is still a long way to go.”

“Kaylee knows what the best in the world is doing and if we want to be the best in the world those skills needed to improve and they have improved but we’ve still got improvement in us,” said Mooney.

In what was a busy weekend for McKeown at a meet where there was just straight out timed finals the multi-talented youngster clocked a personal best time in the 400m freestyle in Saturday morning’s first session – where she negative split her personal best, clocking 4:10.67 (2:05.84 and 2:04.83).

She also added pbs in the 50m breaststroke – clocking the fastest time of the day in 32.31 and the 50m butterfly in 27.28

Can you see a couple of big drops coming in her medleys?

Mollie O’Callaghan and Mitch Larkin looking good

Meanwhile in other highlights,St Peters Western’s 16-year-old rising star Mollie O’Callaghan clocked the fastest time of the day in the 200m freestyle, clocking 1:58.74 with Rio Olympic 4×200 freestyle silver medallist and a member of Australia’s World Championship winning team last year Leah Neale (Chandler) 1:59.07; Rebecca Jacobson (Rackley Swim Team) 1:59.77 and Dalhas Rogers (USC Spartans) 2:00.40. O’Callaghan also looked impressive in her 100m backstroke, with a personal best time of 1:00.15 – the second fastest time of the day behind McKeown.

While 16-year-old Newmarket Racers butterfly ace Elizabeth Dekkers continued to impress in the 200m butterfly, clocking 2:10.24 – the fastest time of the day.

Mitch Larkin 1 - Delly Carr Collection

LARKIN ALL THE WAY : Australia’s premier backstroker caught in full power mode by Delly Carr. Photo Courtesy: (Swimming Australia).

In the men’s events dual Olympian and former world champion and Commonwealth Games golden boy Mitch Larkin took advantage of some back-to-back racing, clocking the fastest times in the 50m (26.11) 100m (54.03) and 200m backstroke (1:58.05), but Australia’s premier backstroker didn’t have things all his own way.


Chandler’s 19-year-old Ty Hartwell pushed hard to clock the second fastest time in the 100m backstroke (55.36) and in the 200m 1:58.41). Another one to watch is Bond’s 15-year-old Flynn Southam who clocked a 57.95 pb in the 100m backstroke.

The 100m butterfly saw Kawana 19-year-old Csonger Cellie pip Larkin in 54.30 to 54.97 with Csonger also wrapping up the 200m freestyle in 1:50.17, which saw Rackley’s 17-year-old MLC Flippers Squad member, distance specialist Sam Short touch in a pb of 1:51.26.

While Rackley’s Louis Townsend had a hit out in the 50m freestyle, clocking the fastest time of the day of 23.26, before joining his Rackley team mates and Bond University squad members in a Noosa training camp.

Meanwhile the 400m saw an appearance from Chandler’s Rio Olympian and Commonwealth Games champion Jack McLoughlin clock the fastest 400m of 3:51.72.


STYLE MASTER: Chandler’s breaststroke specialist Zac Stubblety-Cook in full cry. Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

The men’s breaststroke was certainly competitive with Tokyo Olympic hopeful and world championship finalist over 200m Zac Stubblety-Cook (Chandler) in impressive November form, clocking 1:00.06 from Rio Olympian Jake Packard (1:01.33) over 100m with Stubblety-Cook’s Chandler team mate Liam Hunter (1:02.15) while Packard reversed  the result over the 50m course taking the top time of 28.32 to Stubblety-Cook’s 28.44.



Meanwhile Australia’s swimmers will now prepare for a virtual Hancock Prospecting Australian Short Course event where athletes will compete over the weekend of 27-29 November for $130,000 in prizemoney.

Held as close to simultaneously as possible, the virtual competition – swum as four sessions of timed finals – will take place in Brisbane (Chandler), Sydney (SOPAC), Hobart (Hobart Aquatic Centre), Perth (Venues West) and Melbourne (MSAC subject to COVID restrictions).

While the Queensland State Long Course Championships will also attract big fields in December.


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