Olympic Champion Emma McKeon Hits First Sub-51 SCM 100 Freestyle


For the first time ever, Australian swimmer Emma McKeon swam sub-51 seconds in the 100 SCM freestyle. Her personal best time of 50.96 earned her the gold in the FINA World Cup series. 

McKeon most recently swam the 100 SCM freestyle in Match 8 of the International Swimming League season, swimming a time of 51.05. McKeon’s World Cup performance is the fastest time for the event this season, beating her own performance from the ISL regular season. Her previous best time is from Match 9 of the 2019 ISL season, when she swam a time of 51.02.

McKeon is now in the top eight of all-time 100 SCM freestyle performances and the fifth-fastest performer ever. The top honor is held by Cate Campbell, who swam the event at the 2017 Hancock Prospecting Short Course Championships in a time of 50.25. That same year, Sarah Sjostrom swam the second-fastest time of 50.58 at the World Cup in Eindhoven.

All-Time Top Performers, Women’s SCM 100 Free:

  1. Cate Campbell (2017) – 50.25 
  2. Sarah Sjostrom (2017) – 50.58
  3. Siobhan Haughey (2020) – 50.94
  4. Ranomi Kromowidjojo (2017) – 50.95
  5. Emma McKeon (2021) – 50.96

At the World Cup, McKeon was a full second ahead of the second-place finisher, fellow Australian Madison Wilson, who was hospitalized in late September with COVID-19. Both Wilson and McKeon participate in the International Swimming League, which began after the Olympic Games and just finished up its regular season.

McKeon won gold after getting out-touched by teammate Holly Barratt in the 50 butterfly Saturday. On Day 1 of the World Cup, McKeon won gold in the 50 freestyle with a time of 23.56.

McKeon is coming off of a historic showing at the Tokyo Olympics. She took home seven medals, the most by any female swimmer at a single Games, including gold in both the 50 and 100 free.

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Ol' Longhorn
1 year ago

It’s crazy that there are two active swimmers from one country on this list. No American could do this even with a running start.

1 year ago

Beast mode. I think Campbell’s 50.2 is safe for now though. That’s another level.

Reply to  Zdhamme86
1 year ago

I doubt Emma is peaked for World Cup. She could probably beat that at her best.

Reply to  DDias
1 year ago

IF she specifically set herself, its not out of the question. Over this World Cup/ISL period; unlikely although she could drop her PB further, maybe down towards Sjostrom’s time.

1 year ago

Way to go Emma

Just give the trophy to the condors already
1 year ago

Campbell 50.2 is nuts


It’s crazy she can be so far ahead of everyone, and is not even known for her turns.

Reply to  Jackman
1 year ago

Yes, it like her winning the medley relay for Australia with her fast START! She is not known for that either.

Reply to  torchbearer
1 year ago

Her relay start is pretty good. It’s a bit easier to figure out a decent rolling start than it is a flat start, and you can be terrible at the latter yet great at the former. I’m not a coach, but I’d be of the convention that you’re almost “born” being a good flat starter, while “anyone” can get good at a relay takeoff. C1, Phelps, Peaty, and PVDH are good examples of this (I thought of Chalmers too, but I’d say his flat start was at least average relative to the pack in Tokyo).

Last edited 1 year ago by HJones
There's no doubt that he's tightening up
Reply to  Jackman
1 year ago

This is the same as the mystery that is Townley Haas.

Short course beast with subpar turns.


The man does only one dolphin kick and he somehow has a faster SCM 200 free than Lochte

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  BadShoulder
1 year ago

Lochte didn’t swim the 200 SCM free much when he got great at the 200 LCM free. Pretty sure when he was rocking the 1:44’s LCM he would’ve torched Townley’s best time at a WCs.

Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
1 year ago

I think some of this is because of how much SC swimming has progressed in the past decade, which wasn’t that thrown off due to the suit era. People are finding new ways to swim/train SC–nearly every event, especially the 200s, are being swum like a pure sprint. Convention would tell you there is no way Seto could go 1.4s faster in the 200 IM than Lochte, despite Lochte being 1.5s faster in LC and having underwaters in 2011 that made Phelps’s look average. But, if you look at the way Seto swims the 200 SC, it makes sense.