Kaylee McKeown Clocks World’s Second Fastest 400 IM For 2021-22 Season

2022 AUSTRALIAN SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS

On night two of Australian trials, Kaylee McKeown lit up the pool with a 4:31.74 400 IM to win the race by over five seconds. Her time is a new personal best, and is the second-fastest in the world this year, just behind 15-year-old Canadian phenom Summer McIntosh‘s 4:29.12 from March this year.

Although McKeown has qualified to swim this event at both World Championships and the Commonwealth games, she said in her post-race interview that she was unsure of whether she would swim this event at worlds, but doing so at Commonwealth games was a definite yes.

With McIntosh and McKeown’s performances, there are now two different swimmers this year who have gone faster than Yui Ohashi‘s time of 4:32.08 to win Olympic gold in 2021.

2021-2022 LCM Women 400 IM

SummerCAN
McIntosh
03/04
4:29.12
2Kaylee
McKeown
AUS4:31.7405/19
3Katie
Grimes
USA4:32.6706/25
4Katinka
Hosszu
HUN4:35.9505/29
5Emma
Weyant
USA4:36.0006/25
View Top 28»

At the 100 mark, McKeown was actually sitting in sixth place after the fly leg. Although she took the lead in the backstroke portion of the race, her best stroke, it was actually the breaststroke leg in which she dominated the race. This is a contrast from how McIntosh paced her race, where she opened with a very strong butterfly leg.

Since McIntosh and McKeown are both from Commonwealth countries, they will be primed for a showdown in at least the Commonwealth Games and potentially Worlds.

Take a look at their splits compared to each other:

Summer McIntosh, 2022 Canadian Trials Prep Event Kaylee McKeown, 2022 Australian Trials
Butterfly 1:00.78 1:04.19
Backstroke 1:09.16 1:08.36
Breaststroke 1:18.15 1:15.74
Freestyle 1:01.18 1:03.45
Total 4:29.12 4:31.74

Last season, McKeown swam a time of 4:32.73 in December 2020, but did not swim the 400 IM at Olympic trials. Her time ended up being fast enough to win Olympic silver in Tokyo.

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swimmer
1 month ago

will kaylee be at world champs?

Troyy
Reply to  swimmer
1 month ago

yes

jeff
Reply to  swimmer
1 month ago

whether she swims the 4IM is the question but she will be there

Yozhik
1 month ago

1:15.7 in breast leg that is what was the most impressive in this 4:31.74
Better than McIntosh and even Hosszu (1:16.11) in her world record race.
Was it possible because of actually slow first 200?

Smith-King-Huske-Curzan
1 month ago

Will Kaylee McKeown swim the women’s 400 meter individual medley at the 2022 FINA World Aquatics Championships?

Scuncan Dott
Reply to  Smith-King-Huske-Curzan
1 month ago

She said it was a maybe but she will definitely be swimming it at Commonwealth Games.

Blake pierogi
Reply to  Scuncan Dott
1 month ago

Only to get clowned on by summer

M d e
Reply to  Blake pierogi
1 month ago

Kaylee only went 1:08 on the back. She has more in the tank. Summer is amazing but write Kaylee off at own peril.

Notanyswimmer
1 month ago

Yet another case for why the number of events in swimming should be reduced. Way too much crossover between events – just overburdening the same few stars with a redundant workload. For example, in track, at best a sprinter might have some crossover in the hurdles or long jump, but even then it’s very difficult to medal in both. There is no need for swimming to have so many events.

Fean Darris
Reply to  Notanyswimmer
1 month ago

We must add the 800m medley, 4 x 50 free, 4 x 200 medley, 4 x 100 backstroke, 4 x 100 butter, 4 x 100 breast, and add 4 x 200 for all the non-freestyle strokes, then 400m version of all non-freestyle strokes.

commonwombat
Reply to  Notanyswimmer
1 month ago

No, just cut out the time wasting, schedule-clogging expenditure of effort called semi finals. Top 8 to finals, everyone else to watch from the sidelines is cut-throat but worked well enough in the 80s-90s. The reality is that only 1 medal winner from Tokyo came from outside the top 8 qualifiers from heats and only 1-2 finalists per event.

Admin
Reply to  commonwombat
1 month ago

I’m kind of okay with semifinals in the 50s and 100s.

I think they could drop them for the 200s, though.

commonwombat
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 month ago

Would be happy with them going for 200’s as a start but the question remains …. what constructive purpose do they stand, especially with the increased number of events since they were brought back ??
A “second throw of the dice” which statistics should bear out that does NOT play out with a positive outcome for most swimmers in the 9-16 bracket from heats.

If people complain about why swimmers don’t swim fuller programs at major events; then taking this step would be a significant positive step.

M d e
Reply to  commonwombat
1 month ago

I don’t get why people complain about people not swimming fuller programs, or single athletes winning too many medals and such nonsense. Who cares. International Semis are fast, i like fast swimming.

STRAIGHTBLACKLINE
Reply to  Notanyswimmer
1 month ago

I broadly agree. The crossovers are most apparent in the 400/800/1500FS, 100/200BS, 200/400IM. The best swimmers have to pick and choose their events because of the proliferation. But once events are added it’s amost impossible to reduce the program. I didn’t see the need to introduce another freestyle event for Tokyo(the 800 for men and the 1500 for women) or the mixed medley relay. As for the 50 metre form stroke events, there’s a place for them but not at the World championships(but we’re stuck with them) and certainly not at the Olympics.

Fean Darris
1 month ago

I would go ahead and consider Kaylee the favorite going into Commonwealths because we haven’t even seen the 4:29 in person nor was it ratified, and she hasn’t swum that since. Also, I think Kaylee is gonna drop more.

bob
Reply to  Fean Darris
1 month ago

such a clown take–so sorry that YOU didn’t get to see it in person

ScovaNotiaSwimmer
Reply to  Fean Darris
1 month ago

“She hasn’t swum that since” is the stupidest comment on this site in ages.

Oh, I’m so sorry that she hasn’t gone faster than the 3rd fastest time ever in the last 2 months.

What an underdog!

Fean Darris
Reply to  ScovaNotiaSwimmer
1 month ago

You should be thankful Fean Darris is doing you a favor casting her as the underdog

NJones
Reply to  Fean Darris
1 month ago

Yes because Canadians have an extensive history of fudging times that are world class at lower radar meets…. 🤫

Tracy Kosinski
Reply to  Fean Darris
1 month ago

Wanna bet, lol? I’d bet ya an actual 100 buckeroos.

Summer McIntosh may just get the WR here. She needs someone like Kaylee to push her. It’s so perfect I could cry – with joy.

M d e
Reply to  Tracy Kosinski
1 month ago

I think Kaylee is capable of winning. No way she splits 1:08 on the back at comm games.

jeff
Reply to  Fean Darris
1 month ago

speaking of that 4:29 anyway, is there no recorded video of it? obviously I believe it happened but I really wanna watch that race

STRAIGHTBLACKLINE
Reply to  Fean Darris
1 month ago

If it had happened in Hungary I might have been suspicious(remember the phantom meet in order to get qualifying times?) but it’s far-fetched to say the Canadians fudged it.

Scotty
1 month ago

Summer is still the favorite but Kaylee is a worry

swimfan27
1 month ago

Makes it seems obvious that Kaylee could go at LEAST a 2:24 200 breast, which is a very elite time itself.

Damn Autocorrect
Reply to  Yanyan Li
1 month ago

QLD state champs isn’t really a random meet – most of the top swimmers in Australia were there. Her 1.07 was 3rd, and 54.3 was 4th behind Emma McKeon (52.4), Mollie O and Meg Harris… not to mention she also went 57.9 100 back (her first time under 58), her previous 400 IM PB 4:32.7, 2:08.2 200 IM and 2:05.1 200 back.

Miss M
Reply to  Damn Autocorrect
1 month ago

I think she’s been quoted as saying her freestyle is hopeless.

Wouldn’t we all love to be as hopeless as a 54.3!

About Yanyan Li

Yanyan Li

Yanyan is from Madison, New Jersey and spent the majority of her life there. Although she wasn't the greatest competitive swimmer, she learned more about the sport of swimming through scoring countless dual meets, being a timer, and keeping track of her teammates' best times for three years as a …

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