Kaylee McKeown claims Australia’s first-ever gold medal in women’s 200m backstroke

Australian swimmer Kaylee McKeown has won her second gold medal of the Tokyo Olympics with victory in the women's 200-metres backstroke.

Australia's Kaylee McKeown has won the women's 200-metres backstroke to collect her second gold medal of the Tokyo Olympics.

Australia's Kaylee McKeown has won the women's 200-metres backstroke to collect her second gold medal of the Tokyo Olympics. Source: AP

Australia's Kaylee McKeown has won the women's 200-metres backstroke to collect her second gold medal of the Tokyo Olympics.

McKeown's victory in Saturday's final, where compatriot Emily Seebohm won bronze, follows her 100m backstroke win.

The 20-year-old's triumph gives Australia a 10th gold medal of the Tokyo Games.

And the victory puts the swim team, with seven golds, on the cusp of equalling Australia's most successful Olympics at the pool, the eight golds won in the 1956 Melbourne Games.

In the medal race, McKeown lurked behind Canadian Kyle Masse for the initial three laps.

McKeown was 0.80 seconds behind at the halfway stage and then turned for the last lap 0.69 seconds shy of Masse.

But the Australian timed her surge to perfection, reeling in Masse over the final 15 metres to become the seventh woman to complete the 100m-200m backstroke gold double at an Olympics.

McKeown won in two minutes 04.68 seconds from Masse (2:05.42) And Seebohm clocked 2:06.17 to add a cherished bronze to her one gold and two silver career medals.

Seebohm captured a medal at each of her four Olympics, joining Leisel Jones and Cate Campbell as the only Australian swimmers to achieve that feat.

"It's pretty unbelievable," she said.

"I didn't think I would get this again.

"Just so grateful ... hold it so close to my heart because these teams are the time of my life.

"To get that one here, to make four Olympics and medal at every one is something I would not have thought of as a little girl.

"I just wanted to go to an Olympics and medals were not an option then."


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Published 31 July 2021 at 1:51pm, updated 31 July 2021 at 1:59pm
Source: AAP - SBS

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