Kaylee McKeown Blasts 57.63 100 Backstroke, 0.06 Off Smith’s World Record

2021 SYDNEY OPEN

Kaylee McKeown has been firing on all cylinders at the 2021 Sydney Open and has now posted the second-fastest long course 100 backstroke swim of all time in the form of a 57.63. The swim is a new Australian and Commonwealth record in the women’s 100 bacsktroke, improving upon her own marks of 57.93 from December 2020.

That swim for McKeown gets her within 0.06 seconds of Regan Smith‘s 2019 world record in the event of 57.57 and replaces her 57.93 as the #2 100 backstroke in history. McKeown is now the only woman to ever break 58 seconds more than once.

All-Time Women’s Long Course 100 Backstroke Performances

  1. Regan Smith – 57.57 (2019)
  2. Kaylee McKeown – 57.63 (2021)
  3. Kaylee McKeown – 57.93 (2020)
  4. Kathleen Baker – 58.00 (2018)
  5. Kylie Masse – 58.10 (2017)
  6. Kaylee McKeown – 58.11 (2020)
  7. Gemma Spofforth – 58.12 (2009)
  8. Kaylee McKeown – 58.14 (2021)
  9. Kylie Masse – 58.16 (2019)
  10. Regan Smith – 58.18 (2020)

McKeown now holds the 2nd, 3rd, 6th, and 8th fastest 100 backstroke performances of all time, including her 57.63 from the finals of the 2021 Sydney Open, as well as her 58.14 from the prelims.

Having swum a 57.93 in December 2020, McKeown was already the top rank woman in the world this year but has now pulled ahead even more. She now has a fairly wide margin ahead of the field and is 0.61 seconds ahead of second-ranked Kathleen Dawson who holds a 58.24.

2020-2021 LCM Women 100 Back

2Regan
Smith
USA57.6407/29
3Kylie
Masse
CAN57.7006/19
4Kathleen
Dawson
GBR58.0805/23
5Olivia
Smoliga
USA58.3105/15
View Top 26»

Emily Seebohm was also present in the women’s 100 backstroke final and posted a 59.06 for the silver medal while Jessica Unicomb notched a 1:01.95 for second place.

In This Story

96
Leave a Reply

Subscribe
Notify of
96 Comments
oldest
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
MX4x50relay
4 months ago

Sheeeeeesh

PFA
4 months ago

Truly Insane swim #1 performance so far this year and swim of the month so far.

Jonathan Charbroiled Steak
4 months ago

Nooooooo way!!!!

Swimmer
4 months ago

Ooooof

Bullfrog
4 months ago

Crazy thought: Australia currently only has one individual textile world record in LCM… Ian Thorpe’s 400m free from nearly 20 years ago!!!

Suit
Reply to  Bullfrog
4 months ago

Some would say that was the original SuperSuit swim.

Bullfrog
Reply to  Bullfrog
4 months ago

I think that Thorpe’s 2002 400m free record, which has lasted 19 years, is the longest lasting world record (done in a ‘textile’ suit) by a substantial amount!

swammr
Reply to  Bullfrog
4 months ago

How about Hackett’s 1500? Afaik, it survived the super suit era.

There's no doubt that he's tightening up
Reply to  swammr
4 months ago

Smashed with a hammer in 2011.

Last edited 4 months ago by There's no doubt that he's tightening up
HJones
Reply to  Bullfrog
4 months ago

For me, it’s hard to say that Thorpe’s swim in 2002 was “textile” considering he couldn’t wear that suit today. To me, that 3:41 he went in a brief in 1999 is more incredible.

Robbos
Reply to  HJones
4 months ago

Well considering anyone else wearing those suits hasn’t got records still standing shows Thorpe’s suit didn’t have the affect like those in 2008/2009 period.
So respect still goes to Thorpe’s swim 19 years ago.

Prettykitten
4 months ago

She’s going to win in Tokyo.

MX4x50relay
Reply to  Prettykitten
4 months ago

🧢🧢🧢

Commonwealths>Pan Pacs
Reply to  Prettykitten
4 months ago

Agreed.

He said what?
Reply to  Prettykitten
4 months ago

Whoa, hold on there. It’s great that her times are dropping, but she and Regan are the same age and Regan hasn’t tapered fully since 2019. Let’s hold off on the predictions until after both countries have their Trials heading into Tokyo. Then we can play the predictions game.

whever
Reply to  He said what?
4 months ago

It’s not like Australia already had their trials.

Robbos
Reply to  He said what?
4 months ago

Very excited about McKeown, being an Aussie, but I have to 100% agree with this comment, lets see what Smith can do at trials, she blew my mind at 2019 WC.

Prettykitten
Reply to  He said what?
4 months ago

I’m not hyped on Regan to be honest. She had 2 amazing swims in 2019 but since then she has lost half of the races she’s swam. I get that she hasn’t tapered but she doesn’t seem like she’s ever going to get back to that form. I do hope she proves me wrong though I have nothing against her but it seems like 2020 would have been her Olympics not 2021.

anonymous
Reply to  Prettykitten
4 months ago

if you followed her you would have known that she is a big taper swimmer

before those worlds times her season best was 2-3 seconds down in the 200
and 1.5 down in the 100

lets wait for the trials before making any predictions

John jay
Reply to  Prettykitten
4 months ago

When Regan goes 57 flat and 2.02 I will remind you of your analysis.

Texas Tap Water
Reply to  He said what?
4 months ago

McKeown hasn’t fully tapered since 2019 as well.

Paul
Reply to  Prettykitten
4 months ago

Regan was 17 in 2019. Now she can go 56.8-57.2

HJones
Reply to  Paul
4 months ago

Female swimmers don’t always get faster compared to their teenage years. See Missy Franklin, Ye Shiwen, etc. She still appears to be relatively thin and around the same build as she had in 2019 and different females mature differently with respect to much mass they gain, but once that strength to weigh ratio goes, it’s gone.

JKKH
4 months ago

I wonder what her splits were for both 100 and 200 back. It is looking more and more like she is going to win if not dominate both backstroke events at the Olympics considering she now has the speed and endurance to run down pretty much everyone in the last 50.

Gheko
4 months ago

Far too early to be hanging gold medals around peoples necks, People often surprise at the Olympics, but if the form book holds, she should be in the mix for medals!

Commonwealths>Pan Pacs
Reply to  Gheko
4 months ago

No one complains when people do it to the Americans. First Aussie people are touting as a favourite and everyone loses their minds.

Troyy
Reply to  Commonwealths>Pan Pacs
4 months ago

Gheko is Australian I think.

Gheko
Reply to  Troyy
4 months ago

Yes am Aussie!

Troyy
Reply to  Gheko
4 months ago

Good to be cautious with our recent history of medal favourites going in to the Olympics but I think Kaylee might be different.

swimfan210_
Reply to  Troyy
4 months ago

McKeown was 59.28/2:06.35 at 2019 Trials and 59.10/2:06.26 at Worlds, dropping small amounts in both. She can always swim fast and she just keeps getting better.

Robbos
Reply to  swimfan210_
4 months ago

This was not the trials!!!!

Idgaf
Reply to  Commonwealths>Pan Pacs
4 months ago

The difference was she demolished two word records not swam #2 and #3 all time. And to your point If Tokyo happened on time she would have won and dominated.

Commonwealths>Pan Pacs
Reply to  Idgaf
4 months ago

You don’t know this so I completely reject it. No one knows how Tokyo in 2020 would have gone, so don’t try.

Idc
Reply to  Commonwealths>Pan Pacs
4 months ago

She was 58.1 and 2:06.1 in March nobody was even close to her your in denial.

Commonwealths>Pan Pacs
Reply to  Idc
4 months ago

You can’t be in denial about something that never happened (the Olympics in 2020)

Corn Pop
Reply to  Commonwealths>Pan Pacs
4 months ago

Injuries hit Missy . Maybe not even from training , maybe stress on maturing bones. She could barely walk at Pan Pacs 14.

Last edited 4 months ago by Corn Pop
Commonwealths>Pan Pacs
Reply to  Commonwealths>Pan Pacs
4 months ago

😐

Samesame
Reply to  Commonwealths>Pan Pacs
4 months ago

I’m only seeing A-U-S when you type that .

Robbos
Reply to  Commonwealths>Pan Pacs
4 months ago

Well, this time our best swimmers are coming in as slight favs, we have learnt;
Chalmers 2nd favourite to defend his title behind Dressel in 100
Horton 2nd fav behind Raspy & maybe even Sun in the 400.
4×200 relay behind GB
Campbell 2nd fav behind Manuel in 50
Campbell & Mckeon 2nd fav behind Manuel in 100
Titmus & Mckeon 2nd fav behind Ledecky in 200
Titmus 2nd fav behind Ledecky in 400
Titmus 3rd fav behind Ledecky in 800
McKeown 2nd fav behind Smith in 100 Back
McKeown 2nd fav behind Smith in 200 Back
4X200 free 2nd fav behind US
Only 4 x100 Australia is fav, but only just on US & Canada.

We are learning.

Commonwealths>Pan Pacs
Reply to  Robbos
4 months ago

Australia about to play an UNO reverse card on USA swimming.

Drama King
Reply to  Robbos
4 months ago

Agreed with all of these except Horton in 400 free. Unfortunately he wont make the team.
So whoever the makes the team in 400 free will be 3rd favourite behind Rapsys, Detti or Sun.

commonwombat
Reply to  Drama King
4 months ago

Hhmmm, its possible as the M400free DOES look uber competitive for Trials but don’t be fully guided by what times you’ve seen from him so far. He’s one of those swimmers who is only ever fast when fully tapered. Outside of those periods, he invariably looks (select your adjective) awful ….. and so do his times.

Rob’s “read” on prospects is certainly defensible. My thoughts as follows:

  • Can’t help having a suspicion that the further 12 months may have just pushed C1 beyond her peak “window” as a major contender. Still likely to be a major relay asset (if not quite the sub51/51 low of before).
  • McKeon probably now the AUS contender at 100free and likely to be part
… Read more »

Matterson
Reply to  commonwombat
4 months ago

Always enjoy your commentary Commonwombat, thank you!

Nick
Reply to  commonwombat
4 months ago

I have to say, it’s hard to not use Kaylee for the MMR instead of Larkin. Looking at form: McKeown, Stubbety Cook, Mckeon, Chalmers looks a lot stronger than Larkin, Stubbety Cook, McKeon, C1. It’s hard because C1 always has monster relay splits, but I feel that the team is more reliable with Kaylee instead of Mitch.

Troyy
Reply to  Nick
4 months ago

I agree about Kaylee but if C1 is still doing 51 low splits it’d be bad to lose her so it might be better to have Chalmers or Temple on fly (hopefully they’ll do PBs at trials).

Drama King
Reply to  Nick
4 months ago

Its hard to see C1 doing a sub 51 split anymore. Its better to evaluate them from early Olympic performances.
But i believe that Chalmers can bring it home with sub 47 split.
Mckeown – 57.5
Wilson – 58.8
Mckeon – 56.0
Chalmers – 46.8 3.39.1

commonwombat
Reply to  Nick
4 months ago

No matter how quick she swims, even a new WR; the breaststroker is going to be diving in 4-5sec back and coping with the resultant “white water”. Given 100 breaststroke is not a strength for either AUS male or female; might I suggest this is a scenario best avoided. McKeon may be a conundrum given female fly back-up isn’t the strongest along with the potential scenario of her supplanting C1 as the “monster” freestyle leg.

Troyy
Reply to  commonwombat
4 months ago

Maybe if Chalmers or Temple drop time in the 100 fly Kaylee can lead off the MMR instead of Larkin.

McKeown Wilson Temple/Chalmers C1/McKeon

While not ideal the US have shown having a woman in the front half can work.

Robbos
Reply to  Robbos
4 months ago

Haha, I love it, you have no idea of Aussie psyches.

kevin
Reply to  Robbos
4 months ago

Australia favorite for gold 4 x 200 women Titmus mckeon throsell and wilson they wont be beaten

Robbos
Reply to  kevin
4 months ago

Yeah they will be very close to winning.

Idc
Reply to  Commonwealths>Pan Pacs
4 months ago

All these down votes are salty Australians in denial cause that’s the most accurate comment I’ve ever seen.