Kaylee McKeown Just Misses Regan Smith’s World Record in 100 Backstroke


Kaylee McKeown Just Misses Regan Smith’s World Record in 100 Backstroke

The Australian Olympic Trials might be a month away, but Kaylee McKeown is clearly ready for a summer of swift swimming.

Racing at the Sydney Open on Saturday morning, McKeown just missed the world record in the 100-meter backstroke when she covered her two laps in 57.63. That time is the second-fastest in history, and was just shy of the world record of 57.57, set in 2019 by Regan Smith. When Smith set that standard, it was on the leadoff leg of the United States’ gold-medal winning 400 medley relay at the World Championships.

All-Time Rankings Women’s 100 Back:

  1. 57.57, Regan Smith, USA, 2019
  2. 57.63, Kaylee McKeown, AUS, 2021
  3. 58.00, Kathleen Baker, USA, 2018
  4. 58.10, Kylie Masse, CAN, 2017
  5. 58.12, Gemma Spofforth, GBR, 2009

After going 58.14 in the evening prelims on Friday night, McKeown proved morning finals are just fine with her, as she went out in 28.24 and came home in 29.39 for her Australian and Commonwealth record. McKeown and Smith appear headed for a major showdown at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, provided both women take care of their responsibilities at their respective Olympic Trials.

For McKeown, the time was her second sizzling backstroke effort in as many days, as she was 2:04.31 in the 200 backstroke. McKeown is also expected to be a medal contender in the 200 individual medley in Tokyo, and looks to be a co-headliner for the Dolphins, along with Emma McKeon.

“It felt like I was holding a lot more water than last night (in the heat) so we decided to take it out a bit easier and see what I could bring it home in… I was actually really impressed with that race backing up,” McKeown said. “When I touched the wall, I looked over at my coach Chris Mooney and he wasn’t looking at me…and I thought what? And he was (actually) hand shaking all the other coaches and of course he came down and of course he’s happy with me as well.

“It was so close but I have to have something to chase and (world record holder) Regan Smith is still the No. 1 girl at the moment and then I’ve got a lot of girls chasing me here like Emily Seebohm and Minna Atherton and other girls coming out left, right and centre and there is still a month to go (to our Trials).

“Who knows what can happen in that time…? And between now and then I’ll keep doing what I’m doing and keep training hard.”

More to come…

1 comment

  1. avatar
    James Stokes

    These girls are flying..I used to swim backstroke in the Wagga baths..when I was about 16.my times probably would have been double of these girls..I.m now 85.and swimming better than then .but I would need super dope water wings to get anywhere near their times..they are so fantastic.I wish them well.

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