Kaylee McKeown Crushes 2:05.83 200 Back Lifetime Best To Take Over World #1

2020 SOUTH AUSTRALIA STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS

18-year-old Kaylee McKeown already made a statement at these 2020 South Australia State Championships with a lifetime best time of 58.52 in the women’s 100m back. That performance on day 2 marked her first occasion ever under the 59-second threshold in the sprint.

But the Sunshine Coast athlete was far from finished, as McKeown logged another career quickest outing on day 3, this time in the 200m backstroke distance. The teen produced a monster 2:05.83 to take gold at the SA Aquatic & Leisure Centre, as well as now rank among the sport’s greats.

Composed of splits of 1:02.06/1:03.77, McKeown’s 2:05.83 effort marks the first time the teen has ever been under 2:06 in the event. Entering these Championships, the younger sister of Olympic finalist Taylor McKeown’s lifetime best rested at the 2:06.26 put up at the 2019 FINA Aquatic World Championships.

There in Gwangju, McKeown’s 2:06.26 included splits of 1:01.36/1:04.90 to give her the silver behind American Regan Smith. Smith snagged gold in the world’s 2nd fastest performance of all-time of 2:03.69. Smith had earlier taken down Missy Franklin’s World Record in the semi-finals, establishing the new standard at an other-worldly 2:03.35.

Speaking of Smith, the 17-year-old phenom also nailed a 2:05 time this week, hitting a mark of 2:05.94 at the Pro Swim Series in Knoxville. That checked-in with a new meet series record and, briefly, set the world rankings standard for the 2019/20 season.

With McKeown’s menacing 2:05.83, the teen from down under now takes over the world rankings top spot early on this year.

TOP 5 WORLD RANKINGS- WOMEN’S 200 BACK LCM (AS OF 1/20/20)

  1. Kaylee McKeown (AUS) – 2:05.83
  2. Regan Smith (USA)- 2:05.94, 1/19/2020
  3. Rio Shirai (JPN)- 2:07.87, 9/6/2019
  4. Isabelle Stadden (USA)- 2:08.16, 11/8/2019
  5. Taylor Ruck (CAN)- 2:08.21, 10/13/2019

Although Smith’s 2:03.35 World Record clearly puts the American in a league of her own, McKeown’s massive time drop at this January meet shows she is anything but backing down heading into the 2020 Olympic Games.

Her PB now makes McKeown the 2nd fastest Aussie of all-time, positioned only behind national record holder Emily Seebohm. Seebohm owns the Aussie NR at 2:05.61, a result she produced in 2017.

McKeown becomes just the 2nd woman from her nation to ever dip under the 2:06 threshold, making the Olympic hopeful the 7th fastest 200m backstroke performer in history.

All-Time Women’s 200m Backstroke Performers

Rank Time Name Nation Competition Date
1 2:03.35 Regan Smith USA 2019 World Champs 7/26/2019
2 2:04.06 Missy Franklin USA 2012 Olympic Games 7/28/2012
3 2:04.81 Kirsty Coventry ZIM 2009 World Champs 8/1/2009
4 2:04.94 Anastasia Fesikova RUS 2009 World Champs 8/1/2009
5 2:05.68 Emily Seebohm AUS 7/29/2017
6 2:05.72 Margherita Panziera ITA 2019 Italian Champs 4/2/2019
7 2:05.83 Kaylee McKeown AUS 2020 South Aussie States 1/20/2020
8 2:05.85 Katinka Hosszu HUN 7/29/2017

In This Story

36
Leave a Reply

Subscribe
Notify of
36 Comments
oldest
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Dee
1 year ago

Brilliant swimming. I’ve been waiting for female backstrokers to move to another level. Historically, womens 100bk & mens 100br have traded which record is faster on and off – Unless Peaty is *that* freakish, history would suggest we’ll see a woman well in to the 56s in the coming decade.

Reilly
Reply to  Dee
1 year ago

I think Peaty is that freakish. I think we should get 57 low, maybe 56 high, but I don’t think Smith (who seems most likely) will be much faster than that. I hope this comment looks dumb come August, however.

BairnOwl
1 year ago

Amazing. The women’s backstroke events will be exciting to watch in Tokyo. 🔥

Coach Mike 1952
Reply to  BairnOwl
1 year ago

Very!

Yozhik
Reply to  Coach Mike 1952
1 year ago

How can be exciting the race of swimmers who have 2.5 sec difference in personal best at 200 distance? Unless you expect Regan Smith to fail a la Cate Campbell in Rio.

Swammer
Reply to  Yozhik
1 year ago

LOL right, nobody is capable of dropping time, especially not the multitude of teenagers who could potentially be in that final.

Texas Tap Water
Reply to  Yozhik
1 year ago

You must be new in swimming.

Yozhik
Reply to  Texas Tap Water
1 year ago

You as many others just didn’t get used to the notion of how outstanding Regan Smith is. You still measure her talent by the scale where 58 in 100 and 2:05 in 200 are great swims for her. She was practicing at this meet.
Same was with Katie Ledecky. Only two years after London and 4 world records the general public and experts like you finally accepted the fact that she is a real deal.

Robbos
Reply to  Yozhik
1 year ago

No one is doubting Regan Smith’s ability, they are only doubting your ability to read McKeown’s potential improvement, both Smith & Mckeown swam 2.05s in January of the Olympic year, who knows where they will be in July/August later this, but the potential is there for a very good race. Smith is huge favourite & huge talent & has a couple of 2.03s already in her, can McKeown get there, no one knows, but a 2.05 in January for a teenager shows lots of potential.

Yozhik
Reply to  Robbos
1 year ago

Well, I didn’t follow Mckeown that closely to be able to estimate her performance in Tokyo. Can you? Or it is just your hopeful expectations of huge jump. Expectations that is the fuel that sport fan are living on. Good luck to you with that.
Yes, Regan Smith has never been even under 2:06 before breaking world record with 2:03. So why not to expect the same from Mckeeown? Right?
The particular race can be close because there can be many factors that affect it. But as of today I don’t see your girl to be even close to Smith in her abilities.

Robbos
Reply to  Yozhik
1 year ago

I’m sorry you don’t understand, no one is doubting Smith’s ability, she might even swim 2.01, who knows. However, you don’t have follow McKeown too closely, she was silver medalist behind Smith in the 200 back at WC, so straight away she is a contender, maybe not time, but to her as a swimmer. Mckeown, still a teenager, throws down a 2.05 in January of Olympic year (a PB), she is going to be swimming fast come July, this year.
Now is that fast enough to get close to Smith, I did not say that, but just backing what others are saying, it may NOW be an interesting race as McKeown has shown potential to challenge Smith.

Stan Crump
Reply to  BairnOwl
1 year ago

I think the trials women’s backstroke races are going to be in the “do not miss!” category. Talent, younger vs. older, swimmers who are tough mentally; it has it all!

Samesame
1 year ago

Keep chipping away Kaylee . Really excited for the next few years .

Verram
1 year ago

Trials will be interesting.. curious to see if seebohm and Atherton can keep pace in the 200m back

CRD
1 year ago

100 back podium in Tokyo is probably going to be 18&U at this rate..

nuotofan
Reply to  CRD
1 year ago

Regan Smith (2002), Kaylee McKeown (2001) and Phoebe Bacon (2002)? Possible (but at Olympics Kaylee McKeown will be 19 and, anyway,Minna Atherton swims too well and deserve that podium too.., and Kylie Masse? Great, great backstroker)

COVFEFE
Reply to  nuotofan
1 year ago

I think people sleep on the fact Masse was 58.2 last year, just seemed like her taper didn’t hit right in Gwangju (albeit still gold and second fastest time behind Regan).

Soundsfamiliar
1 year ago

Oh whatdya Know an Australian goes fast in January…

commonwombat
Reply to  Soundsfamiliar
1 year ago

Actually not as common as you think. Whilst the likes of C1 & Seebohm (until last year) have shown themselves to be quick in season, you don’t normally see too many internationally relevant times until, at earliest, Vic titles in mid Feb and moreso NSW titles in March which are where we have traditionally seen at least 2/3 of the major players look for serious hit-outs prior to Nationals but with the move of the selection meet to Jun, this may change. Maybe the advent of ISL is and will have an impact but maybe we are going to see a change in mentality from both AUS swimmers and coaches with regards to looking for more racing.

Samesame
Reply to  Soundsfamiliar
1 year ago

so in Beijing and Knoxville they are allowed to go fast but not Adelaide apparently . Oh … ok

Verram
Reply to  Samesame
1 year ago

its just another dig implying Aussies swim fast in season but not when it counts….

Corn Pop
Reply to  Verram
1 year ago

Rather than tnink this is quite fun virtual racing , they have to throw cr*p. Guess its better than droning likely opposition off the face of the earth.

IRO
1 year ago

Gold in Rio was just under 2:06; someone going 2:05 will probably be off the podium in Tokyo.

commonwombat
Reply to  IRO
1 year ago

Depends where in the 2.05s. If we start seeing 5-6, or more, swimmers swimming sub 2.06 going into Tokyo and someone else other than Smith below 2.05; then you may be right. At this point, I’d probably set it as needing 2.05mid or better for medals.

N P
1 year ago

The three team dual between USA, Australia, and Canada in the 4×100 medley is going to be thrilling. If Australia and Canada can figure out how to get a 1:05 mid (even high) breaststroke split, I think this is going to be a lot closer race than people think. It has the potential to be a runaway USA win, but if everyone shows up for Canada and Australia they can be right there.

njones
Reply to  N P
1 year ago

Disclaimer I am Canadian so nothing I’d like to see more then our girls take a serious run at the US. Half way thru last year’s world champs after Maggie’s 55 fly I thought it was possible as above, then Regan did her thing to put the US out of reach by the 200. If it was a 58 ‘only’ US backstroke then the above would be something. I think the Canadians have a real and better shot at upsetting apple cart in both Free relays. They were simply a 2018 form Taylor Ruck from being right in the mix last summer. If Kayla Sanchez keeps progressing as she has into 52 and 155 range then they’ve got a shot.

BairnOwl
Reply to  njones
1 year ago

This seems a bit optimistic to me. Ruck dropped a great split on the 4×100 free relay. She was off in the 4×200 free, but the team was also almost 3 seconds behind Australia at the end, so being in form wouldn’t have entirely made up the gap. I agree that if Sanchez can significantly improve her times then they’ve got a shot. I would personally bet on the Canadian relays more in the future after Tokyo since they’re so young, but hey, maybe they can bring it for Tokyo too.

Marley09
Reply to  N P
1 year ago

I’m not sure Canadian women have the depth of the supporting cast to rest all 4 women in the prelims of both freestyle relays and still qualify top 8. This is a huge advantage for USA/AUS. Hopefully o’croinin, wog, douthwright and others muscle their way into the olek-ruck-sanchez-smith party.

Troyy
Reply to  Marley09
1 year ago

Australia usually doesn’t rest all 4 swimmers either.

Corn Pop
Reply to  Troyy
1 year ago

Especially as in Gwangju they only had 11 girls on the team

commonwombat
Reply to  Troyy
1 year ago

AUS certainly won’t rest all of their peak quartet from relay heats; probably only those with other races during that heat session OR with heavy overall schedules. With this in mind, I can see McKeon being rested from both freestyle relay heats and if the 2nd flyer can ‘stand up” then potentially MMR & medley relay heats. C1 seems to like getting a swim out of the way early but this may need to be balanced against her schedule. She MAY swim 4×100 heats but would expect her to be rested for MMR & medley heats although much may depend on what times are swum by 4/5/6th place getters at Trials. Titmus would most likely be rested along with McKeon… Read more »

CAN33
Reply to  Marley09
1 year ago

CAN Overholt split 1:56.2 at Worlds last summer – might help with strategy

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Swim analyst, businesswoman.

Read More »