Within the type of McKeown, he breaks a brief distance document over 200 m again

© Reuters. Swimming – 18th FINA Swimming World Championship

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Hopeful Tokyo Olympic champion Kaylee McKeown has confirmed her bountiful form by setting a world record for the 200-meter backstroke over short distances at the Australian virtual national championships in Brisbane.

The teenager drove one minute 58.94 seconds on Friday to take off almost half a second from the 2014 mark by Hungarian Katinka Hosszu (1: 59.23).

“A short course is something we don’t have to do very often. So I was excited to see what I can take after solid training this year,” said 19-year-old McKeown. “I went to my teammates and my coach and they said, ‘You just got a world record!’ And I said, ‘What?’. I didn’t know until a few minutes later.”

The national short-distance swimming championships of Australia were moved to a virtual platform this year due to the pandemic. The swimmers competed simultaneously in pools in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Hobart.

At the 2018 Youth Olympics, McKeown won gold in 50 m, silver in 100 m and bronze in 200 m in the back at the 2018 Youth Olympics, before winning silver for seniors in Gwangju last year.

She swam the seventh fastest 200m (2: 05.83) and ninth fastest 100m (58.62) of all time in January before the COVID-19 pandemic put her season on hold.

She returned to improve her personal bests at 100m to 58.11 and 200m to 2: 04.49 and set the Australian records in Brisbane earlier this month.

The health crisis also forced the Tokyo Olympics to be postponed by 12 months, but that hasn’t diminished McKeown’s determination to secure a spot in the biggest swimming competition of all.

“In Australia we have some of the best women in the world attending my events, so it’s difficult,” she told the Olympic website last month. “But being able to leave the Olympics is what I dreamed of.”

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