Emma McKeon’s Short Course Butterfly Sizzlers Revealed At Gold Coast Relay Blitz

FLYING: Emma McKeon shows the style that makes her one of the fastest butterflies in the world.Photo Courtesy Delly Carr (Swimmingm Australia).

A fitter, strong and faster Emma McKeon has sent a strong message to her opponents after it was revealed today that the four-time Rio Olympic medallist had clocked her fastest ever butterfly relay splits during a Gold Coast Training Camp this week.

Emma McKeon Olympic rings

FOCUSED ON TOKYO: Emma McKeon at this weeks National Event Camp on the Gold Coast. Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (Swimming Australia).

When Swimming Australia’s sports science team delved into the relay times from this week’s Relay Blitz Short Course Meet at Bond University they discovered that McKeon had split 55.00 and 55.29 in two quick succession 100m butterfly swims in the 4x100m mixed and then 4x100m women’s medley relay – both swims faster than she’s ever swum in a relay before.

It is the eighth fastest short course relay split in history with only US trio Dana Vollmer (54.37), Kelsi Dahlia (Worrell) 54.79 and 54.89 and Madeline Banic (54.85), Denmark’s Jeanette Ottesen (54.88 and 54.99) and French woman Marie Wattel (54.98) swimming faster with a ‘fly start.

Other eye-catching times came from:

World record holder Cate Campbell who split 51.03 and 51.16 respectively in her freestyle anchors on the end of a 4x100m mixed and women’s medley relays and 23.16 in the 50m freestyle relay, followed by McKeon’s 23.45 and Madi Wilson’s 23.88 who also split 51.57 in her 100m freestyle anchor

Southport Olympic’s emerging breaststroker Chelsea Hodges with the fastest women’s 100m breaststroke splits of 1:04.17 as well as her 1:04.80.

Nunawading’s premier Australian butterflyer Matt Temple’s 100m butterfly split of 50.74 in the Mixed 4x100m medley relay.

And while the freestyle sprinters on the Dolphins National Event Camp were packing their bags and heading home for a well earned rest, Emma McKeon fronted up this morning for the butterfly camp.

The four-time World Championship relay gold medallist who could potentially swim seven events at the Tokyo Olympics (three individual and four relays) also spoke to the assembled media, who were unaware of exactly how fast Emma McKeon had swum in Tuesday’s meet.

The exhausted 26-year-old eluded to her times saying: ““(I was pleasantly surprised) especially after a week’s training camp as well; it was good that I could swim those kind of times and especially in the 100m butterfly, seeing I had not swum a stroke of ‘fly all week…it was all freestyle.

“It has given me a lot of confidence to know that I could switch on in the morning and at a meet that was sprung on us at the last minute…and to do it as part of a relay as well.

“But I’m in even better shape now than what I was this time last year; I’ve been doing a lot of gym work so my strength is up and I’m swimming times just as good as I was last year.

“I’m really happy where I’m at and it t makes me motivated and excited for the next few months.

“I’m used to having a big program and coach Michael Bohl’s programming is suited to that as well…it allows us to back up race after race.

”When quizzed about the depth in Australia’s relays, McKeon said: “Our relays are competitive every year; we’ve got a lot of competitive 100 and 200m freestylers and (youngster) Molly O’Callaghan as well is a good addition.

“Come the (Olympic Trials), everyone is going to be at their peak and I’m excited to see what everyone does.”

McKeon was also quick to support Cate Campbell’s earlier comments for injured Swedish Olympic champion Sarah Sjostrom.

“It was so disappointing for her; I’m really upset for Sarah…that’s not what anyone wants to go through at this time leading in to an Olympics,” said McKeon, who has finished with silver and bronze behind Sjostrom (gold and silver) at the last two World Championships.

“But she’s a really tough athlete and a really tough person; I know that she will recover well and she’ll be there.”

Bohl has also revealed it will be highly unlikely his squad, including Emma McKeon will now swim at the Victorian State Championships next week, given recent Hotel Quarantine COVID outbreaks and fresh border restrictions.

“We will have to settle for some Time Trials at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre and hopefully get the chance to race at the NSW State Championships in Sydney next month,” said Bohl.