FLASH! Kaylee McKeown Blasts World Record 57.45 in 100 Backstroke at Aussie Trials; Ariarne Titmus Scares Ledecky Record

Kaylee McKeown breaks Commonwealth and Australian Record, 100m BACKSTROKE Final, 2021 Sydney Open, Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre , May 15 2021. Photo by Delly Carr / SOPAC. Pic credit is mandatory for complimentary editorial usage. I thank you in advance.
Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr / SOPAC.

Kaylee McKeown Blasts WR 57.45 in 100 Backstroke at Aussie Trials: Ariarne Titmus Scares Ledecky Record

As the United States Olympic Trials await their start in a few hours, a world-record warning shot was fired Down Under on Sunday when Kaylee McKeown, riding a hot streak for several months, broke the world record in the 100-meter backstroke at the Australian Olympic Trials in Adelaide. Consider the effort the first salvo in what should be a week of back-and-forth shots by the Americans and Aussies.

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The 20-year-old McKeown, fueled by a sensational turn, clocked a mark of 57.45, which bettered the former world record of 57.57. The previous standard was set by American Regan Smith on the front of the United States 400 medley relay at the 2019 World Championships in Gwangju. That relay also set a world record.

In the leadup to the Aussie Trials, McKeown just missed the world record with a 57.63 marker at the Sydney Open, so her assault on Smith’s record was expected. McKeown, whose father passed way less than a year ago, was out in 28.10 and came home in 29.35. The difference-maker was her turn, as she blasted off the wall and surfaced ahead of world-record pace.

Lost in McKeown’s excellence was Emily Seebohm going 58.59 to nail down her fourth bid to the Olympic Games.

In other action, Ariarne Titmus scared Katie Ledecky’s world record in the 400 freestyle when she established a Commonwealth standard of 3:56.90. That time was not far off the 3:56.46 that Ledecky posted to win gold in the event at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. Titmus was under world-record pace for the majority of the race.

In the men’s 200 freestyle, Australia put together a formidable 800 freestyle relay for this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo when four men touched in under 1:46, headlined by Kyle Chalmers in 1:45.48. He was joined as an individual Olympic qualifier by Elijah Winnington, who checked in at 1:45.55. They were followed by Thomas Neill (1:45.70), Alexander Graham (1:45.71), Zac Incerti (1:46.18) and Mack Horton (1:46.33).

More to come…

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