Australia’s McKeown wins Olympic women’s 100m backstroke gold
Australia’s Kaylee McKeown set a new Olympic record to win the women’s 100m backstroke gold medal Tuesday, upsetting arch-rival Regan Smith.
“My legs were definitely hurting in the last 20,” said an ecstatic McKeown.
“I’m sure it would have been pretty noticeable on the TV but I trained for that and I knew that I had a really strong back end and a really good chance to be on the podium.”
Masse turned first at 50m with McKeown third, but the Australian powerfully brought it home.
McKeown had a tough lead-up to the Games, with her father dying last year from brain cancer.
But she used his memory as inspiration to swim a sensational race and smash Smith’s world record at the Australian trials last month.
“It’s not necessarily what I’ve been through,” she said. “Everyone has a journey of their own and it just so happens that mine’s been a really tough one.
“I wouldn’t have it any other way because I don’t think I’d be where I am today without all that happening.”
She is also targeting the 200m backstroke gold, having recently set the fourth-quickest time in history.