McKeown sets 200-meter backstroke swimming world record

SYDNEY (AP) — Three-time Olympic champion Kaylee McKeown broke the world record in the 200-meter backstroke Friday at the New South Wales State Open swim championships.

McKeown finished in 2 minutes, 03.14 seconds, taking 0.21 seconds off American swimmer Regan Smith’s mark from the 2019 world championships in Gwangju, South Korea.

McKeown won the 100 and 200 backstroke golds at the Tokyo Olympics and was a member of Australia's winning 400-meter medley relay team.

The record came on the opening night of the New South Wales meet at the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre, site of the 2000 Olympic swimming events.

McKeown said she had lacked motivation to get back in the pool after her Tokyo success.

“After the Olympics I found it hard to get up behind the blocks again,” she said. ”(But) I’ve found a new love for the sport and it just goes to show that a happy swimmer is a fast swimmer. I haven’t necessarily changed anything in my program or training-wise. It’s just that I’m happier.”


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