Kaylee McKeown Wins Australian Women’s 1st 100 Back Gold in OLY Record Fashion

2020 TOKYO SUMMER OLYMPIC GAMES

Kaylee McKeown has just won Australia’s first-ever Olympic gold medal in the women’s 100 backstroke with a 57.47 Olympic record. McKeown got within 0.02 seconds of her own 57.45 world record from earlier this year at Australian Trials. McKeown now holds the 2 fastest swims in the history event, along with 5 of the top 10 performances in history.

All-time Performances In The Women’s 100 Backstroke

  1. Kaylee McKeown – 57.45 (2021)
  2. Kaylee McKeown – 57.47 (2021)
  3. Regan Smith – 57.57 (2019)
  4. Kaylee McKeown – 57.63 (2021)
  5. Kylie Masse – 57.70 (2021)
  6. Kylie Masse – 57.72 (2021)
  7. Regan Smith – 57.86 (2021)
  8. Kaylee McKeown – 57.88 (2021)
  9. Regan Smith – 57.92 (2021)
  10. Kaylee McKeown – 57.93 (2020)

You’ll note that the only other women who appear with the top 10 are silver and bronze medalists Kylie Masse of Canada and Regan Smith of the United States. Both Masse and Smith are former world record holders in the event, having hit a 58.10 in 2017 and a 57.57 in 2019.

This swim is the 5th Olympic record to have fallen at Tokyo 2020, courtesy of those same 3 women. Kylie Masse was the first woman to do so, notching a 58.17 during prelims to take out Emily Seebohm‘s 58.23 mark from 2012. A heat later, Regan Smith brought it down to a 57.96, and Kaylee McKeown made it 3-for-3 with a 57.88 to wrap up prelims.

During the semi-finals, Regan Smith delivered the top time and a new Olympic record of 57.86 to advance first into semis. Her 3rd and final 100 backstroke swim at the Games brought with it one more Olympic record of 57.47.

Not only is this a historic swim for McKeown heat-wise, but it also marks the first time that a woman from her nation has topped the Olympic podium in the event. Australia’s first podium finish in the event was in 1932 when Bonnie Mealing took silver in Los Angles and 8 years later Judy-Joy Davies earned bronze. It wasn’t until 2012 when Australia reach the women’s 100 back podium again as Emily Seebohm delivered a silver medal swim in London.

Seebohm was also present in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic final and hit a 58.45 for 5th place, behind podium finishers McKeown, Masse, and Smith, along with 4th place finisher Rhyan White. Kathleen Dawson of Great Britain finished 6th in a 58.70 while Kira Toussaint (59.11) and Anastasia Gorbenko (59.53) rounded out the heat.

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DCSwim
1 month ago

In here before the “Regan’s peaked!!!” comments

Notanyswimmer
Reply to  DCSwim
1 month ago

She has and Stanford won’t help. She’s a great swimmer but unlike Masse, she’s no racer.

The White Whale
Reply to  Notanyswimmer
1 month ago

Yeah, maybe we ought to wait to see how her 2 fly goes.

M d e
Reply to  DCSwim
1 month ago

Wouldn’t be the first female swimmer to not improve past her late teens.

Old Man Chalmers
Reply to  M d e
1 month ago

and I was told 2 years ago that she was more of an egerzergi than a missy

Texas Tap Water
Reply to  DCSwim
1 month ago

Here before YOZHIK screams “Meehan is gonna ruin her!”

Harrison Garrison
1 month ago

Regan set the OLY record during the semis, not McKeown!

John
Reply to  Harrison Garrison
1 month ago

I thought the OR was broken 3 times in the heats by Masse, Smith and McKeown

jeff
Reply to  Harrison Garrison
1 month ago

why is this being downvoted lol it’s right

Texas Tap Water
Reply to  Harrison Garrison
1 month ago

Poor Regan. Broke OR twice. And BOTH were snatched away by McKeown.

Sub13
1 month ago

If she hadn’t already broken the world record a few weeks ago, she would have now. Great job Kaylee!

Piotr
1 month ago
Jake From State Farm
Reply to  Piotr
1 month ago

F**K, YEAH!

Dudeman
Reply to  Piotr
1 month ago

Nice to see some actual genuine reactions because I’m nearly 100% sure that is what most people are thinking when they win

Joel
1 month ago

4th paragraph reads incorrectly, …… Smith’s 3rd and final swim brought an OR of 57.47. Very poor wording. Kaylee broke the OR for the final time. Soooooo happy btw

Jason
1 month ago

Proud Aussie here, this swim didn’t disappoint. Would have liked to see Smith post a 57 too which she was more than capable of. That was a monster swim from Kaylee, she took the first 50 out harder than the semi, I think she learnt from that semi swim, she went out too slow. Bodes well for the 200 back.

Awsi Dooger
Reply to  Jason
1 month ago

Regan only swims 57 when she is relaxed. From the outset of that race it was obvious she was not relaxed. I think the near-disqualification in the semifinal caused Regan to be overly tentative at the outset. She needed to adopt a Michael Andrew philosophy of building a huge lead.

Oceanian
1 month ago

“8 years later Judy Joy Davies took bronze”

Nope – 16 years later

Texas Tap Water
1 month ago

Had she not dropped 200 IM, McKeown could have done a 1992 Kriztina Egerszegi (double backstroke and an IM golds)

Last edited 1 month ago by Texas Tap Water
Robbos
Reply to  Texas Tap Water
1 month ago

Shame!!!! I had money on her & Titmus on 5 golds & I always thought that the 100 Back & the 400 free was the hardest.

Awsi Dooger
Reply to  Texas Tap Water
1 month ago

Australia needs to hire D Wayne Lukas as consultant. His philosophy is you can’t win if you don’t enter. The past performances charts are so uncooperative anyway. Give yourself as many swings as possible.