Kaylee McKeown

View Current photo via Courtesy of Jack Spitser

Kaylee McKeown is a competitive swimmer who represents Australia. She is a 3x Olympic champion from the 2020 Games in Tokyo.

2017 Australian National Swimming Championships

McKeown stunned everyone to finish second to Emily Seebohm in the 200m backstroke to earn a spot on the World Championship team alongside sister Taylor McKeown. Surging to the wall on the final 50m, McKeown posted a 2:08.98 to finish under the World Championship qualifying time standard guaranteeing her spot on the team.

2017 World Championships

McKeown fourth in the 200m backstroke, just behind bronze medalist, Kathleen Baker of the US. McKeon’s time of 2:06.76 set a new World Junior Record.

2019 World Championships

McKeown came back at the 2019 world champs to win her first worlds medal, touching for 2nd in the 200 back in a time of 2:06.26.

Late 2020 Queensland Meets

After much of the 2020 season was cancelled due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, Mckeown finally got the chance to get back into the pool and race, which she took full advantage of.

Her first eye-opening meet was the 2020 Queensland Medal Shots meet, where she recorded a 2:04.49, making her the #3 performer in the event all-time behind world record holder Regan Smith and Missy Franklin.

Next was the Queensland Virtual Championships, which were short course. McKeown threw down a slew of PBs, including a world record in the 200 back (1:58.94), a 200 IM that made her the 2nd fastest performer ever (2:03.68), and a best in the 100 back as well (55.68).

She capped the 2020 year at the Queensland Championships (LCM), where she swam the 2nd fastest 100 back ever (57.93), a 4:32.73 in the 400 IM making her the 2nd fastest Aussie ever, an All-Comers record of 2:08.23 in the 200 IM, and a solid 2:05.16 in the 200 back. She also went PBs in the 100 free and 100 breast at this meet.

2020 Swammy Awards

For her stellar performances in Queensland in both scm and lcm, Kaylee earned the 2020 Swammys for Oceania Female Swimmer of the Year and Female Swimmer of the Year.

2021 Australian Olympic Trials

Swimming in the final of the women’s 100 backstroke at the 2021 Australian Olympic Trials, 19-year-old Kaylee McKeown broke the World Record of 57.57 set by Regan Smith at 2019 World Championships in Gwangju. McKeown cracked a 57.45 to take .12 off Smith’s mark. McKeown was out in 28.10 and back in 29.35, beating her previous PB of 57.63 from a month ago in Sydney.

2020 Olympic Games

McKeown started her first Olympics by backing up her world record in the 100 back. She broke the Olympic record out of prelims (57.88) then moved through semis as the 3rd seed into the final. In the final heat, McKeown touched first at 57.47, getting the Olympic record back and notching the 2nd fastest swim ever in the event.

McKeown was back in the 200 backstroke, moving through prelims and semis and swimming a strong race in the final, using her back half speed to pass the field in the last 100 to touch 1st at 2:04.68, making it a clean sweep for Kaylee in the Olympic backstrokes. Later in the session, McKeown anchored Australia’s mixed medley relay, helping the team touch for 3rd and earning a bronze.

McKeown finished her Olympic program with the medley relay, anchoring in 58.01 to help Australia secure gold, earning McKeown her 4th medal of the Games.

2022 World Championships

On day 1 in Budapest, McKeown had a routine schedule, swimming prelims/semis of the 200 IM and qualifying for the fina. On day 2, she turned many more heads when she scratched the 100 back prelims, with Australia head coach Rohan Taylor later saying that she would swim the 100 back at the Commonwealth Games later in the summer and she was focusing on the 200 IM in Budapest. The decision seemed to pay off for McKeown as she earned silver in the 200 IM, clocking a 2:08.57 for 2nd behind American Alex Walsh.

McKeown was back mixed 400 medley relay, where she led off Australia in 58.66 en route to a 2nd place finish, earning silver. In the 200 back final on day 7, Mckeown used a burst in the final 15 meters to pass USA’s Phoebe Bacon to the wall, winning her first world title in 2:05.08.

International Medals

Place Event Year Meet
Gold 100 Back 2020 Olympic Games
Gold 200 Back 2020 Olympic Games
Gold 400 Medley Relay 2020 Olympic Games
Bronze 400 Mixed Medley Relay 2020 Olympic Games
Silver 400 Mixed Medley Relay 2017 World Championships
Silver 200 Back 2019 World Championships
Silver 400 Medley Relay 2019 World Championships
Gold 200 Back 2022 World Championships
Silver 200 I.M. 2022 World Championships
Silver 400 Mixed Medley Relay 2022 World Championships

Best Times

Course Event Time Date Meet
lcm 50 Back 27.16 05/16/21 2021 Sydney Open
Sydney, Australia
lcm 100 Back 57.45 06/13/21 2021 Australian Olympic Trials
Adelaide, Australia
lcm 200 Back 2:04.28 06/14/21 2021 Australian Olympic Trials
Adelaide, Australia
lcm 200 IM 2:08.19 06/14/21 2021 Australian Olympic Trials
Adelaide, Australia
lcm 400 IM 4:32.73 12/13/20 2020 Queensland Championships
Brisbane, Queensland
scm 100 Back 55.68 11/29/20 2020 Swimming Australia Virtual Champs
Brisbane, Queensland
scm 200 Back 1:58.94 11/27/20 2020 Swimming Australia Virtual Champs
Brisbane, Queensland
scm 200 IM 2:03.68 11/28/20 2020 Swimming Australia Virtual Champs
Brisbane, Queensland
Kaylee McKeown Emily Seebohm (photo: Jack Spitser) Kaylee McKeown (photo: Jack Spitser) Kaylee McKeown (photo: Jack Spitser) Kaylee McKeown (photo: Jack Spitser) Kaylee McKeown (photo: Jack Spitser) Kaylee McKeown (photo: Jack Spitser) Kaylee McKeown (photo: Jack Spitser)