One of Australia’s top-ranked swimmers pulls out of Olympic event just days away from race
- Kaylee McKeown withdrew from the 200m medley event due to her schedule
- She was a gold medal favourite in the event due to her number one ranking
- McKeown remains a favourite in the 100m and 200m backstroke events
- The new star memorably dedicated a recent world record to her father
One of Australia’s biggest hopes in the pool at the Tokyo Olympic Games has pulled out of a race just days before it was due to take place.
Kaylee McKeown, who broke the world record in the 100m backstroke at the Australian Olympic selection trials in June, withdrew from the 200m individual medley due to a heavy schedule, according to Australia’s head swimming coach.
McKeown was considered a warm gold medal favourite in the event due to her world number one ranking, a ranking she also holds in the 100m and 200m backstroke events.
Kaylee McKeown after setting a world record in the 100m backstroke at Australia’s Olympic swimming trials in Adelaide on June 13
The 20-year-old swimming sensation was a gold medal favourite in three events at Tokyo until her last-minute withdrawal from the 200m individual medley event today
‘It’s a big call,’ Swimming Australia’s head coach Rohan Taylor said.
‘And I respect the decision. They’re going to focus on the backstrokes and the medley relay.’
The 20-year-old McKeown was the swimmer of the meet at the selection trials after her world record was followed by sizzling times in the 200m backstroke and the 200m individual medley.
In a tearful poolside interview in Adelaide, she memorably dedicated the world record to her father, Sholto, who died of brain cancer last year.
‘Dad was taken from us too soon by something so cruel…but the love, the memories and the laughter will forever be cherished in our hearts,’ she wrote at the time of his death.
McKeown will swim in the 100m event next Tuesday, July 27, the 200m event on Saturday, July 31, and the woman’s medley relay final on Sunday, August 1.
McKeown paid tribute to her father, who died of brain cancer last year, after setting her world record in Adelaide