Kaylee McKeown Becomes 2nd Fastest Aussie Ever With 58.52 100 Back


Visiting Queenslander Kaylee McKeown showed up big-time on day 2 of the 2020 South Australia State Championships, with the 18-year-old throwing down the fastest 100m backstroke time of her career in 58.52.

Entering this meet McKeown’s personal best rested at the 59.10 she produced at the 2019 FINA World Aquatic Championships. There in Gwangju, she finished in 5th place, with fellow Aussie Minna Atherton taking silver in 58.85 behind winner Kylie Masse of Canada’s 58.60.

Flash forward to tonight at SA Aquatic & Leisure Centre and McKeown’s 58.52 would have beaten both those women to land atop the podium, composed of splits of 28.73/29.79.

In fact, McKeown’s effort now makes her the 2nd fastest Aussie swimmer in history, sitting only behind iconic Olympian Emily SeebohmSeebohm owns the national record in 58.23 from the 2012 Olympic Games in London where she snagged silver behind America’s Missy Franklin.

McKeown of the Sunshine Coast first broke the minute mark in 2018 at the Pan Pacific Championships where she placed 5th in 59.91. Along with Seebohm, Wilson, and Atherton, McKeown is now just the 4th Aussie female ever to dip under the 59-second threshold in the event.

Top 5 Aussie Females All-Time in 100 Back:
#1 58.23 Emily Seebohm 1992 London 28.07.12
#2 58.52 Kaylee McKeown 2001 Oakland Park
#4 58.60 Minna Atherton 2000 Gwangju 23.07.19
#3 58.75 Madison Wilson 1994 Kazan 04.08.15
#5 59.29 Belinda Hocking 1990 London 30.07.12

Worldwide all-time, McKeown now enters the top performers in slot #9, joining the top 10 exclusive club with teammate Seebohm. America’s Regan Smith remains the only female ever to get under 58 seconds, establishing the current World Record in 57.57 from Gwangju.

Time Swimmer Country Meet Swim Date Location
58 Kathleen Baker USA 2018 Summer Nationals 7/28/2018 Irvine
58.1 Kylie Masse CAN 7/25/2017 Budapest
58.12 Gemma Spofforth GBR 2009 World Champs 7/28/2009 Rome
58.18 Anastasia Fesikova RUS 2009 World Champs 7/29/2009 Rome
58.23 Emily Seebohm AUS 7/28/2012 London
58.33 Missy Franklin USA 2012 Olympic Games 7/28/2012 London
58.45 Katinka Hosszu HUN 2016 Olympic Games 8/8/2016 Rio
58.62 Kaylee McKeown AUS 2020 South Aussie States 1/19/2020 Oakland Park

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Casas 100 back gold in Tokyo

It’s only mid January and we already have three swimmers going 58.26, 58.52 & 58.86 respectively. The podium times in Rio were 58.45, 58.75 & 58.76. This is how the event has progressed in the past 4 years.


Incredible . Smith’s time ranks in the top 7 all time , just in January !!!

Old Man Chalmers

nothing’s a guarantee, but there’s a very good chance there’ll only be americans and australians on the backstroke podiums in tokyo

I guess it depends on how you define “very good chance.” Better chance than most races? Yes. But…Kylie Masse is still the 2-time defending World Champion.


I have a feeling that Kylie Masse it’s going to suffer the “Katie hoff situation” never winning an Olympic gold, hoff won both im between Olympics and ended the world championship favorite but come to the Olympics finished third and fourth in the im

Old Man Chalmers

inverse pvdh

That’s plausible. But winning gold and winning a medal are two different things. Have to believe that at this point, the most likely podium still includes Masse on it somewhere.


200 back she will get a podium , 100 is uncertain


i agree but that was so, so lucky. now we have Bacon, Smith, etc (truly etc) that could all dust Masse. i’m not even trying to be mean but Masse may get like 5th with one of her best times
edit: this is based on Masse’s stagnation of times since 2018


I’ll take Panziera to medal in the 200. She swam well and Worlds considering the circumstances she found herself in.

Old Man Chalmers

what happened to panziera? she went 2:05 before worlds then missed the podium in gwangju


She had cytomegalovirus over the summer. Back on track now. It was covered in an Italian language article on Swimswam too.




Out in 28.7 – She has developed her speed really inpressively in the last two years. Hopefully McKeown and Atherton can push eachother towards the 58s barrier.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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