Rapid time, five words strike fear into Olympic champ's chasers

Rapid time, five words strike fear into Olympic champ's chasers

Kaylee McKeown struck fear into her international chasers with a rapid swim and five words at Australia’s Paris 2024 swimming trials on Tuesday night.

The three-time Olympic gold medallist took out the women’s 100m backstroke final with a time of 57.41 seconds at Brisbane Aquatic Centre.

She fell just 0.08 of a second short of her own 100m backstroke world record and blasted out the second-fastest time by a woman in history.

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But when asked moments after the race how she felt about the swim, she made it clear she was not satisfied.

“I’m a little bit disappointed,” a searingly honest McKeown told reporters.

“My training has shown otherwise.

Watch Australia’s Paris 2024 swimming trials on Nine and 9Now.

“But I booked myself another ticket to Paris so for me that’s just another chance to go faster.”

Kaylee McKeown and Mollie O'Callaghan embrace after the women's 100m backstroke final.

Kaylee McKeown and Mollie O’Callaghan embrace after the women’s 100m backstroke final. Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

McKeown and Mollie O’Callaghan both qualified for the Paris Games in the 100m backstroke.

O’Callaghan finished second and clocked 57.88, smashing Swimming Australia’s Olympic qualification time of 59.62, but said after the race she was yet to settle on her Paris 2024 program.

McKeown, the reigning Olympic champion in the 100m and 200m backstroke events, now owns the seven fastest 100m backstroke times ever recorded.

The 22-year-old’s closest rivals this year are the United States’ Regan Smith (57.64 seconds) and Canada’s Kylie Masse (57.94).

McKeown’s swim on Tuesday night followed Monday night’s victory in the 200m individual medley, in which the three-time Olympic gold medallist posted 2:06.63 to lower her own Australian record and snag her ticket to France.

“If you’re going to get up and do a 200m max effort you’re not going to come in the next day being refreshed, no matter what you do,” McKeown admitted.

“The Olympics is just like that; if all goes to plan I’ll have nine individual events, plus relays, so I’ve got to put myself in harm’s way here.”

O’Callaghan spoke to reporters at the same time and chimed in to give her Dolphins teammate a rap.

“She did amazing. Kaylee always does amazing,” O’Callaghan said with a smile.

“She’s very tough on herself. I think whatever she does is incredible, so she should be proud of herself regardless.”

Emily Seebohm didn’t qualify for the Paris Games in the 100m backstroke in her bid to make a fifth Olympic appearance, but the 32-year-old will get another shot in the 200m backstroke on Thursday night.

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