Kaylee McKeown breaks world record in 200m backstroke

Kaylee McKeown
Kaylee McKeown

Olympic champion Kaylee McKeown of Australia broke the 200m backstroke world record, taking the American women off the record books in the backstroke altogether.

McKeown clocked 2 minutes, 3.14 seconds at the New South Wales State Open Championships on Friday, shaving 21 hundredths off American Regan Smith‘s record from the 2019 World Championships.

“After the Olympics I found it hard to get up behind the blocks again,” the 21-year-old McKeown said, according to New South Wales Swimming. “I 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.”

In 2021, McKeown took the 100m back world record from Smith at Australia’s Olympic Trials, then swept the backstrokes at the Tokyo Games.

Last year, she won the 200m back at the world championships (long course and short course) and the Commonwealth Games. She didn’t race the 100m back at last year’s worlds, and Smith won it.

McKeown is the first non-American to own the women’s 200m back world record since Missy Franklin unseated Zimbabwe’s Kirsty Coventry at the 2012 Olympics.

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Kaylee McKeown breaks world record in 200m backstroke originally appeared on NBCSports.com