McKeon Breaks Australian Medal Mark at World Championships


While the overall total medal counts for Australia were at a historic low at the 2017 FINA World Championships, Emma McKeon proved to be a bright spot. She became the first Australian woman to win six medals in a single World Championships and was one shy of Michael Klim’s overall record of seven medals, which he achieved in 1998.

McKeon finished her World Championships with four silver medals and two bronze medals, accounting for six of Australia’s ten total medals.

McKeon’s Medal-Winning Performances:

  • 200 free – silver
  • 100 fly – silver (Oceanic Record)
  • 400 free relay – silver
  • 800 free relay – bronze
  • 400 medley relay – bronze
  • 400 mixed medley relay – silver (Oceanic Record)

She collected her four silver medals in the 200 freestyle, where she tied American Katie Ledecky for the second place; the 100 butterfly, and as parts of Australia’s 4×100 freestyle relay and 4×100 mixed medley relay. She added two bronzes to her medal count as part of Australia’s 4×200 freestyle relay and 4×100 medley relay. McKeon also competed in the individual 100 freestyle, where she placed eighth.

McKeon did have the advantage of a mixed medley medal, which her predecessors would not have, given that it was just added to the lineup in 2015. The previous best was 5 done by Libby Trickett at the 2007 World Championships – all 5 of those medals were gold.

McKeon says that her strong performance gives her confidence going into next year, as she already has her eyes set on improving this year’s results in 2018. “I think now I’ll have a short break and get back in the pool, and inspired to make it a gold in the coming years, because that’s what I want to achieve,” McKeon said after the final day of swimming.

Although McKeon shined above the rest in this year’s World Championships, Australia only achieved one gold medal throughout the week and finished eight in the final medals table. That gold came on the penultimate day of the meet from Emily Seebohm in the women’s 200 backstroke. The result marked the first time that Australia has finished outside of the top five since 1986 and the overall total of ten medals was the lowest for Australia since 1991.


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6 years ago

This kind of record is quite pointless, giving a medal to the 3rd performer and not to the 4th is completely arbitrary, and former swimmers had less opportunities to win ledals too… (mixed relays, etc.).

Yet, of course, she is a great swimmer, unlucky to have her best events in races full of great swimmers: she swims against Sjostrom, Ledecky, Hosszu (well, everybody swims against Hosszu), Manuel, C1&C2, Pellegrini…

Reply to  Aigues
6 years ago

She could have won another medal had Australia fielded an actual team in mixed 4×100 free.

Reply to  SchoolingFTW
6 years ago

If they had, most likely they would not have medalled in W4XMED as both she and C2 were “running on empty” at the end of the meet. May’ve been worth using the best men given M4XMED was never a medal prospect but you don’t risk a medal chance in an Olympic relay for one that isn’t; esp when you haven’t got quality in depth. You may see AUS seriously contest that relay at next World’s …. IF they have all their top liners present and fit.

Eric Lahmy
6 years ago

You can beat a record of medals without winning one race.

Reply to  Eric Lahmy
6 years ago

Thought she was great, how many medals did you win again?

Reply to  Eric Lahmy
6 years ago

Grandstand Warrior.