23-year-old Emma McKeon was one of the few Australian heroes at last year’s World Championships and she hopes to put the team on her back once again on her home turf at the Commonwealth Games coming just over a week from now.
The multi-Olympic medalist earned a Games berth in 7 events while competing at her nation’s Trials, showing her versatility in the 100m freestyle, 100m butterfly, 200m butterfly, 200m freestyle. She would also be tapped for all 3 of the green and gold’s relays to make her one busy Queenslander during the Games next month.
If McKeon kept all 7 of her events, this is how her schedule would pan out:
Day 1 – Thursday, April 5th – AM – 200 free, 100 fly, 4×100 free relay; PM – 200 free final, 100 fly semi-final, 4×100 free relay final
Day 2 – Friday, April 6th – 100 fly finals
Day 3 – Saturday, April 7th – 4 x 200 free relay prelims & final
Day 4 – Sunday, April 8th – 100 free, prelims & semi-final
Day 5 – Monday, April 9th – 100 free final, 200 fly prelims & final
Day 6 – Tuesday, April 10th – 4 x 100 medley relay
On Day 5, McKeon would have less than 20 minutes to go from her 100m freestyle final, assuming she qualified, to her 200m butterfly final, after already competing across 4 days. In light of the tight line-up of events, McKeon’s coach, storied Aussie leader Michael Bohl, says the duo has decided to forego the 100m freestyle.
“To be at her very best, Emma can’t do everything so this decision is not only for her but also for Australia,” Bohl said when talking to SBS.
“It was my recommendation and Emma has gone with it even though she is disappointed there wasn’t a way to swim everything.
“Look at it … there’s a 200m ‘fly final, a few minutes getting out of the water, extra minutes doing poolside media and a run to the marshalling area for the freestyle final.” (SBS)
At the Australian Commonwealth Trials, it was Western Australian Brianna Throssell who threw down a surprise personal best to garner 4th place behind McKeon and the Campbell sisters, Cate and Bronte. With 3 athletes being selected across most events for the Games, Olympian Throssell may have gotten the nod to enter the 100m free individual race in addition to her 4×100 relay appearance.
However, Throssell is also a 200m butterfly specialist, having finaled at the 2016 Olympic Games. As such, she would have the same tight timeframe dilemma as McKeon.
Does that put 5th place swimmer from the Trials, World Championships standout sprinter Shayna Jackson in the slot? We’ll wait for a official announcement from Swimming Australia.