World Championships: Kaylee McKeown Times Finish To Perfection To Win 200 Back; Bacon & White Get USA 2-3

Kaylee McKeown -- Photo Courtesy: Andrea Staccioli / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

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World Championships: Kaylee McKeown Times Finish To Perfection To Win 200 Back; Bacon & White Get USA 2-3

Kaylee McKeown added the world 200 back crown to her Olympic gold as she timed her sprint finish to perfection in Budapest.

Phoebe Bacon was 0.33 ahead of the Australian coming out of the final turn but McKeown drew alongside the American before going past her with 10m to go and stopped the clock at 2:05.08.

Bacon was second in 2:05.12 with USA teammate Rhyan White third in 2:06.96.

Watching on and presenting the medals to the trio was Krisztina Egerszegi, winner of four Olympic backstroke titles and whose 1991 world record of 2:06.62 would have secured her bronze, 31 years later.

It was McKeown’s third medal of Budapest 2022 but her first gold following silvers in the 200IM and 4x100m mixed medley relay.

McKeown went through 50 in 29.59 ahead of Bacon (29.68) and Kylie Masse (29.69) only for the American to move to the head of the field on the second 50 and turn in 1:00.87, 0.64 ahead of the Australian in second with White moving up to third.

Bacon was half a body-length ahead and was still in pole at the final turn only for McKeown to close the gap, draw level and then go past for victory.

McKeown enjoyed a glittering Tokyo Olympics where she won the 100-200 backstroke double among four medals.

Following the Games, she returned home to news that coach Chris Mooney would be switching to Bond University and would be leaving the University of Sunshine Coast (USC Spartans) programme.

She eventually decided upon joining Michael Bohl and his Griffith University squad.

McKeown paid tribute to Bohl, saying:

“I wasn’t expecting to be here at the start of the year so to come out with two individual podium swims is amazing.

“It’s a real testament to Michael Bohl being able to pick me up in six months’ time and try to figure me out as an athlete – some things like that take five, six years and he has done that in six months.

“So I am really excited to see what happens in two years’ time.”

Bacon had to wait until day six to swim and at times she felt as though she was straining at the leash, saying:

“Watching the meet, watching all my friends basically get medals, swim fast and do well so it was difficult to contain my excitement.

“But I knew that my swim was coming and I just had to be patient with myself and trust my training  and all, that it would come and I would swim well.”

White added:

“I’m so excited to race here because this is my first long-course podium.

“I’m a little bit more excited today than before, but it’s fine, I’m happy with the bronze medal.”

2022-06-24 (3)

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1 month ago

That was exciting. Bacon had the better turn but it was going 1-2-1-2-1-2 at the very end. Nailbiter

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