World Championships, Day Five Women’s Finals: Emma McKeon Flies To Fourth Gold In The Fun 50 Free And A New Championship Record of 23.04

FOUR TIMES A CHAMPION: Emma McKeon takes her gold medal tally to four with a slashing victory in the 50m freestyle. Photo Courtesy Wade Brennan (Speedo International).

A Special Thanks to Deep Blue Media for providing the images from this meet

Deep Blue Media

Australian swimming’s “flying fish” Emma McKeon has smashed the Championship record with a stunning time of 23.04 to win the 50 metres freestyle – a time just 0.11 outside the world record – winning her second gold medal of the night and fourth gold medal of the Championships.

The Olympic champion was off the blocks like a shot out of a gun and was never headed, turning at the 25 metre mark in 11.17, powering off the wall to score a slashing victory over pre-race favourite, Poland’s four-time Olympian Kasia Wasick (23.55) and Great Britain’s Anna Hopkin (23.68).

McKeon, who refuses to call herself a 50m freestyle specialist, had no idea what the Championship record was but certainly knew the world record of 22.93, set by The Netherlands Olympic champion Ranomi Kromowidjojo in 2017 – surprised at just how close she got.

Day 5 Results

Live Results

The 27-year-old rarely shows a great deal of emotion but she touched the wall and thrust her arm in the air to acknowledge the crowd in a spontaneous celebration at the World Championships.

“I still don’t call myself a 50m freestyle specialist, I prefer the 100 free but I knew I had to kill that start – it’s probably one of my strengths that start- I knew if I got that I could control it and I knew Katarzyna would be hard to hold off and I really had to be on my game,” said McKeon (on Channel 9) noting she trains for the 200m, rates the 100m as her pet event and the 50 as her fun event.

“I didn’t know what the Championship record was – I knew the world record was 22.93 which is unbelievable and I didn’t think I’d come that close to it really.”

McKeon is the first Australian since Libby Trickett in 2006 to win the 50m freestyle and joins an elite club of four sprinters who have achieved the 50-100m double (three of them did it twice): China’s Le Jingyi (1993 and 1995), Sweden’s Therese Alshammar (2000 and 2002), Trickett (2006) and Kromowidjojo (2010 and 2018).

The Gold Coaster, who trains under super coach Michael Bohl at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre, has already posted four gold in the 50 and 100m freestyle and the 4x100m freestyle and 4x50m medley (swimming butterfly) both in WR time as well as silver medals in the 4x50m freestyle and 4x50m Mixed Freestyle with the chance to make it five gold and seven medals in the 4x100m medley relay.