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Aussie sensation Kaylee McKeown, 20, wins GOLD in the 100m backstroke at the Tokyo Games

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Aussie sensation Kaylee McKeown, 20, wins GOLD in the 100m backstroke at the Tokyo Games – smashing the Olympic record and holding the bragging rights over her bronze medallist sister

  • Kaylee McKeown has won her first ever gold medal in women’s 100m backstroke
  • The 20-year-old smashed the world record in Aussie Olympic trials last month 

Aussie swimming prodigy Kaylee McKeown has won her first ever gold medal, flying home to win the women’s 100m backstroke.

The 20-year-old, who smashed the world record in June at the Australian Swimming Trials, added Olympic champion to that title, continuing the Aussie girls’ success in the pool.

Canada’s Kylie Masse held a strong lead heading into the 50m turn and was 0.19 seconds ahead of McKeown’s world record time but the young Aussie stormed home to take gold. 

Compatriot Emily Seebohm finished fifth in her fourth Olympic Games.  

Aussie swimming prodigy Kaylee McKeown has won her first ever gold medal, flying home to win the women's 100m backstroke

Aussie swimming prodigy Kaylee McKeown has won her first ever gold medal, flying home to win the women’s 100m backstroke

Canada's Kylie Masse held a strong lead heading into the 50m turn and was 0.19 seconds ahead of McKeown's world record time but the young Aussie stormed home to take gold

Canada’s Kylie Masse held a strong lead heading into the 50m turn and was 0.19 seconds ahead of McKeown’s world record time but the young Aussie stormed home to take gold 

McKeown’s family including her gold medal-winning former Olympian sister Taylor were watching on from Australia, overcome by emotion when being interviewed immediately following Kaylee’s win.

Her father Sholto passed away after a battle with cancer in August last year, with his daughter getting a tattoo as tribute saying ‘you are always with me’ on her foot. 

‘I use it every day that I wake up,’ McKeown said of her dad last month.

‘I know it’s a privilege to be on this earth and walk and talk.’ 

The Olympic record was broken in four consecutive races in the 100m backstroke heats, with Canada’s Kylie Masse, USA’s Regan Smith and McKeown all shattering the record. Smith would then break it again in her semi-final to qualify fastest.

McKeown admitted to feeling the pressure in the event so far in the Games, particularly following her world record last month. 

‘I think I put the pressure on myself to be honest,’ McKeown said following her semi.

‘I like the nerves – it means you’re about to do something special and you care about what you’re doing. So as long as I’ve got those nerves, I’m happy.’ 

The gold is Australia’s third at the Tokyo Games so far, including Ariarne Titmus’ stunning win over Katie Ledecky in the 400m freestyle and the women’s 4x100m relay triumph. 

McKeown is set to heavily feature in the remaining events, with medal prospects in the 200m backstroke, 200m individual medley, 4×100 medley relay and 4x100m mixed medley relay. 

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