Kaylee McKeown Caps Perfect Backstroke Run with 9th World Cup Record in 200 Back (2:04.81)


Kaylee McKeown had already broken eight World Cup records in backstroke events over the past two weeks — including world records in the 50 back (26.86) and 100 back (57.33) this weekend — but the 22-year-old Australian somehow showed no signs of fatigue during her 200 back finale on Sunday in Budapest, Hungary.

McKeown’s winning time of 2:04.81 in the 200 back lowered her own World Cup standard from last weekend (2:06.02) by more than a second while also clinching the overall series crown and the $100,000 bonus that comes with it. It’s tied for the 15th-fastest swim ever, and she now owns nine of the 15 fastest performances of all time. She also earned an extra $50,000 from capturing three triple crowns and breaking two world records, which are worth $10,000 each.

McKeown went a perfect 9-for-9 breaking World Cup records in Berlin, Athens, and Budapest. She improved the meet record in the 200 back from 2:06.47 to 2:06.02 to 2:04.81 on the three stops of the series this year. In the end, she was only about a second and a half off of her own world record from March after flipping 0.01 seconds ahead of pace at the first turn.

McKeown’s Splits Comparison

WC record on Sunday World record from March
1st 50 29.33 29.34
2nd 50 32.06 (1:01.39) 31.39 (1:00.73)
3rd 50 31.98 (1:33.37) 31.11 (1:31.84)
4th 50 31.44 (2:04.81) 31.3 (2:03.14)


  • World Record: 2:03.14 — Kaylee McKeown, Australia (2023)
  • World Cup Record: 2:06.02 — Kaylee McKeown, Australia (2023)
  • World Junior Record: 2:03.35 — Regan Smith, United States (2019)


The battle for 2nd place was highly entertaining, with just a tenth of a second separating Anastasiya Shkurdai and Kylie Masse. The silver medal ultimately went to the Belarusian, competing as a neutral athlete, in a time of 2:09.67.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
5 months ago

It’s worth noting because Regan and her put the record so far out there that only Missy Franklin, Regan, and herself have swum faster than this (it is in fact equal to Kirsty Coventry’s old supersuited record).

This is now her 9th time getting under 2:05. Only 5 swimmers have done it at all, 2 of which only with supersuits. Regan’s done it 5 times and Missy Franklin did it twice.

I bring this up because it’s only 4 years ago that this time probably would’ve attracted a lot more attention than it seems to be now.

5 months ago

I’m just going to add more to the hype and whip out these numbers:

Ranked 1st 2023 in 3 events (most of any woman)

Ranked top 3 in 2023 in 5 events (most of any woman tied with McIntosh)

Ranked top 25 in 2023 in 8 events (most of any swimmer)

Lisa Simpson
5 months ago

Is this unprecedented (9 world cup record in 3 successive world cup legs)?

5 months ago

Finished the series with 9 World Cup records in her 9 backstroke races (and two world records to make it 3/3 backstroke events for the year). Won the series with 177.3 out of a possible 180, 11 points clear of her nearest competitor, and 186k USD in prize money. Her margin of victories (>2.5s over 100m in Athens) were crazy when you consider that Masse is a former world champion in the 50 and 100, the former was as recently as last year

Nick the biased Aussie
Reply to  Andy
5 months ago

She didn’t just dominate she destroyed the competition.

5 months ago


About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

Read More »