Commonwealth Countdown: Emma McKeon Drops 100 Freestyle

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.

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5 years ago

Where are the psych sheets @?

5 years ago

Is there really the depth in ANY of the events at CG to warrant the extra round of semi-finals ?? I’m struggling to see any.

Time to revert to heats and fastest 8 through to finals; those who aren’t quick enough or who thought they’d “cruise” and get caught out can watch from the bleachers.

In McKeon’s case, this is probably the best move. The W100fr podium looks most likely a 2 x CAN/1 x AUS (C1, Oleksiak, Ruck in any order) so a medal would there would be an ask versus a fairly shallow 200fly field.

Reply to  commonwombat
5 years ago

Considering some events have huge depth (100/200bk, 100/200free, & 100fly/Relays), I think in totality it is important for semi-finals as it also prepares them other international meets where semi-finals are a reality.

I personally view CWG’s as being an important international stepping stone to the Olympics and the training of balancing individual prelims/semis/finals and relays is invaluable with 2020 quickly approaching.

5 years ago

Maybe Emma can swim the lead off in the relay to put up a time. Maybe she can do another sub 53. She seems to be taking the 200 fly pretty seriously.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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