More McKeon Magic: Aussie Drops 24.02 Olympic Record In 50 Free Heats


The on-fire Emma McKeon continued her impressive run of performances during the seventh and final preliminary session of Olympic swimming in Tokyo, lowering the Olympic Record in the women’s 50 freestyle.

McKeon was the class of the field in Heat 10, easily touching first in a time of 24.02 to lower the previous Olympic Record of 24.05 set by Dutchwoman Ranomi Kromowidjojo in 2012.

McKeon, 27, holds a personal best time of 23.93 in the event, set at the Australian Olympic Trials last month, which ranks her as the seventh-fastest performer of all-time.

Friday evening’s prelim swim registers as her second-fastest swim ever by a longshot, with a 24.25 from 2019 previously holding that distinction.

The Aussie heads up the field moving into the semi-finals by one tenth of a second, with defending Olympic champion Pernille Blume of Denmark sitting in the #2 slot at 24.12.

McKeon’s Australian teammate Cate Campbell, who holds the country’s National Record in 23.78, qualified third overall in 24.15, while world record holder Sarah Sjostrom (24.26) sits fourth.

McKeon also set a new Olympic Record in the 100 free heats (52.13), ultimately lowering it down to 51.96 in her gold medal victory on Friday morning (also an Australian Record, and the #2 swim in history).

McKeon also won gold on the women’s 400 free relay and added a pair of bronzes in the 100 fly and 800 free relay, giving her a total of four medals, and she’s got a shot to bring that tally up to seven by the end of the meet. That would require her and the Australians to earn a top-three finish in both the mixed and women’s 400 medley relays, along with McKeon getting on the podium in the 50 free.

A fifth podium finish for McKeon would tie the all-time record for medals by an Australian at a single Games, held jointly by Ian Thorpe and Shane Gould. Based on her form here, she’s in position to surpass them.

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2 years ago

I fear she’s getting a little greedy. The 50m ladies are, I suspect, a little anxious and aggrieved at her now moving into “their” turf. Might we see some knuckle-dusters and coshes in the call room before the semis ? LOL

There's no doubt that he's tightening up
Reply to  commonwombat
2 years ago

I mean, last time a versatile Aussie lady tried out the sprint free, we allegedly got spitting and elbows to the head in the ready room…

And two of the potential “suspects” from that occasion are still in the competition!


Whoa, what’s the story there? When did that happen?

Reply to  BairnOwl
2 years ago

Shanghai 2011. Alicia Coutts vs ???

Bobo Gigi
2 years ago

She’s on fire and looks unbeatable.
I fear that Pernille can only hope the silver.

Texas Tap Water
2 years ago

And she looked so easy.

2 years ago

Emma having a cracker of a meet. So proud of her. Would be amazing if she could keep it up but even if she doesn’t she’s done amazing

2 years ago

Hoping she swims the entire ISL season – go London!!

Reply to  CY~
2 years ago

I think that’s what London’s hoping. She was not far off overall MVP in ISL1 ….. in many ways I think that series was very good for her confidence and her approach to racing.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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