McKeown Nears Lifetime Best In 200 IM To Rank #2 In The World This Season


Multi-Olympic champion Kaylee McKeown has already had a hugely successful New South Wales State Open Championships, crushing a new World Record in the 200m back and the top 100m backstroke time in the world this season.

But the 21-year-old stole the spotlight again on the final night of competition, clocking a near-lifetime best in the women’s 200m IM.

After establishing herself as the 2nd seeded swimmer out of the heats with a morning swim of 2:16.87, the Griffith swimmer scorched a result of 2:08.27 to wrangle up te gold. That marked the only time of the field to get under 2:10, with 19-year-old Jenna Forrester of St. Peters Western snagging silver in 2:10.32 while 17-year-old Isabella Boyd of Nunawading was well behind in 2:15.10 for bronze.

As for McKeown, her 2:08.27 performance here checks in as the 3rd quickest of her career, but just by a hair. Her lifetime best stands at the 2:08.19 she put up at the 2021 Australian Trials while she also posted a 2:08.23 at the 2020 Queensland Championships.

McKeown’s Trials time qualified her for the event for the 2020 Olympic Games, which were postponed to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, she wound up dropping the event in favor of focusing on her backstroke races.

McKeown’s splits for tonight’s 2:08.27 are as follows:

31.59 (59.73)
30.92 (1:08.54)

She now inserts herself among the season’s top performers worldwide in slot #2, sitting only behind newly-minted World Junior Record holder Summer McIntosh of Canada.

Of note, runner-up Forrester’s time of 2:10.32 marks a huge lifetime best for the teen. Entering this meet she’d been as quick as 2:13.80 from last year’s Australian National Championships. However, dropping well over 2 seconds here now renders the SPW swimmer the 3rd fastest in the world.

Forrester had already taken the 400m IM event here in 4:39.16, a time that ranks her 5th in the world this season in that longer IM event.

2022-2023 LCM Women 200 IM

2:06.89 WJR
View Top 26»

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
1 year ago

I think McKeown is now overdue for a breakthrough in the 200 IM as she’s sort of hovering around that 2.08.20 pb time .. I think the 2:07 territory is proving to be quite a barrier at this point

Reply to  Verram
1 year ago

Hmmm I don’t know about that. 2:08.2 while unrested doesn’t seem like 2:07 is a barrier

Awsi Dooger
1 year ago

I’m glad this event is somewhat isolated near the end of the program in Paris, so more top women might take a crack at it. I think the freestylers are mostly clear but McKeown would require qualifying on the same day/night of the 200 backstroke final.

Reply to  Awsi Dooger
1 year ago

I’m glad too a fully rested kckeown going up against doulass and Walsh while the they both break the Olympic record and she finish 3rd

Reply to  Swimfan
1 year ago

McKeown won’t be fully rested. He just said it has a conflict with the 200 back. McIntosh will be fully rested though.

I think already counting this as a gold for USA’s Paris tally is unwise.

Reply to  Sub13
1 year ago

The conflict is for the 2 IM semi. The 2 IM final will be her first swim of the day but will be followed not long after by the mixed medley which I hope Cooper will be able to swim.

Reply to  Troyy
1 year ago

What time do you think Cooper has to go to swim the MMR final?

Kaylee is reliable for a 58 low during a double. The options I see are 1. Kaylee/(ZSC/Yong)/Temple/McKeon
or 2. Cooper/(ZSC/Yong)/McKeon/(MOC?).

Assuming all participants are on form, Cooper would need be swimming pretty bloody fast to justify removing Temple from fly and McKeon from free.

Using best ever splits as a benchmark (not that I’m expecting these to be matched)

1. 57.45/58.67/50.26/51.35 = 3:37.73 (actual time in Tokyo for this quartet was 3:38.95)

2. 53.43/58.67/55.91/52.03 = 3:40.04

Even if we round Kaylee up to a 58.10 which gives a 3:38.38, Cooper would need to swim a 51.77 or better to justify swimming the final. Of course,… Read more »

Reply to  Sub13
1 year ago

Yes, but perhaps MOC will be splitting in the 51 range by Paris which would make an MMFF order more viable but only if Cooper keeps improving to 52 mid or so. I also don’t see Kaylee going 57.4 in the wash of male backstrokers and McKeon is clearly capable of faster than 55.9 given it’s slower than her flat start (assuming she gets back to her best from Paris). Then there’s the question mark of Temple who hasn’t yet shown he can repeat his Tokyo form after changing coaches.

Last edited 1 year ago by Troyy
Reply to  Sub13
1 year ago

As weird as it sounds I think it really depends on what other teams go with. If Kaylee is stuck swimming between Ceccon and Murphy/Armstrong she’s gonna have to fight too much chop to be able to pull a 57. FMMF only works for GBR because of Peaty. Without a fantastic breaststroke split (which Aus isn’t likely to get), I think MMFF is the better strategy, regardless of what aggregate times say

Hooked on Chlorine
Reply to  Swimfan
1 year ago

You know, it never hurts to post sober.

Reply to  Hooked on Chlorine
1 year ago

They’re sober, they’re just ugly inside

Reply to  Awsi Dooger
1 year ago

At least the double is only the 2 IM semi and the 2back final comes first.

Andy Johnson
1 year ago

All her times from this meet all show how really out of form she was at 2022 worlds

Reply to  Andy Johnson
1 year ago

She said from the start that last year was a “building year” and that she wouldn’t be swimming great times. I have to admit I was skeptical but after her times this year it seems like whatever she did last year definitely worked!

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

Read More »