Emma McKeon Takes Down Cate Campbell in 100 Freestyle at Aussie Champs; Kyle Chalmers Clocks 48.04

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Emma McKeon Takes Down Cate Campbell in 100 Freestyle at Aussie Champs; Kyle Chalmers Clocks 48.04

On the first night of finals at the Australian Championships, Emma McKeon was missing from the final of the 200-meter freestyle. Despite qualifying as the top seed, thanks to a 1:55-mid clocking, McKeon opted to bypass the championship race in favor of conserving energy for a busy program.

The decision proved beneficial on Friday morning.

Recording a time of 52.49, McKeon claimed victory over a stacked field in the 100-meter freestyle. Taking the lead from the start, McKeon never yielded that position and got to the wall ahead of Cate Campbell, who touched second in 52.85. Campbell had gone 52.43 during Thursday night’s preliminaries, as Swimming Australia is mimicking the format that will be used at this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.

If all goes to plan at June’s Olympic Trials, McKeon will likely embrace a six-event schedule in Tokyo, with individual appearances in the 100 freestyle, 200 freestyle and 100 butterfly, along with duty on three Australian relays. The possibility of racing in the mixed medley relay, a new event on the Olympic schedule, also exists.

Behind McKeon and Campbell, three other women cracked the 54-second barrier, including Madison Wilson with a third-place time of 53.56. Bronte Campbell (53.80) and Mollie O’Callaghan (53.85) finished fourth and fifth, respectively.

While McKeon asserted herself in the women’s 100 free, reigning Olympic champion Kyle Chalmers dominated the field in the men’s version of the event. Coming off a win in the 200 freestyle, Chalmers won at half the distance in 48.04. Jack Cartwright was closest, placing second in 48.81.

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