The Australian men managed to nab 3 relay medals at the recently concluded 2018 Pan Pacific Championships, including a silver medal in the men’s 4x200m freestyle relay, but they did so without one its longstanding members, David McKeon.
As reported back in June, 26-year-old Olympic medalist McKeon withdrew from the Australian Pan Pacs Trials to focus on healing his shoulder injury, one which had been impacting his career for some time. In his announcement, McKeon said then, “due to ongoing right shoulder issues since October last year, I have chosen to sit out of Pan Pac trials to concentrate on my rehab.”
The 2014 Commonwealth Games bronze medalist did more than just simply rest, however, as his social media revealed he underwent shoulder surgery just yesterday, August 13th. “Last night I underwent surgery on my shoulder, as it had been impacting my everyday life and swimming for some time now. I am looking forward to the future and thankful for the ongoing support of people around me,” read McKeon’s Twitter post.
Last night I underwent surgery on my shoulder, as it had been impacting my everyday life and swimming for some time now. I am looking forward to the future and thankful for the ongoing support of people around me . #TeamAUS #Tokyo2020 @AUSOlympicTeam @SpeedoAus @au_tla pic.twitter.com/PZIrz9ZoQj
— David McKeon (@DavoMcKeon) August 14, 2018
Tokyo 2020 is less than 2 years away at this point, so it’s difficult to predict whether McKeon will be properly healed and ready to fight for his right to represent Australia once again at an Olympics or World Championships.
In his stead most recently at the Pan Pacs, the Australian foursome of Clyde Lewis (1:46.54), Kyle Chalmers (1:46.73), Alexander Graham (1:45.91) and Jack Cartwright (1:45.52) combined to clock a solid men’s 4x200m freestyle time of 7:04.70 to snag silver. That mark painstakingly fell just .34 shy of the Americans, who wound up with the gold in a winning effort of 7:04.36.
However, even if McKeon were healthy at the time of Pan Pacs Trials, it’s hard to say whether he would have mustered the time necessary to gain a spot on the men’s 4x200m free relay. At last year’s World Championships, the veteran raced in the prelims of the event, but registered a split of just 1:46.72. That wasn’t enough to garner a spot in the final, although the Aussies finished off the podium in 4th overall.