The Tokyo Olympics 2020 will begin tomorrow as athletes are ready to showcase their talents to the sporting community. Swimming events start on July 24th as Australia and the USA are expected to dominate the pool events. However, team Australia dropped a bombshell regarding Kaylee McKeown who drops out of the 200-meter individual medley in Japan.
Notably, the Australian was in the headlines for breaking the world record in the 100-meter backstroke trials in Australia. However McKeown’s focus seems to be on the backstroke events this year.
Kaylee McKeown to go all-in for backstroke events in Tokyo
Despite being seeded on top, Kaylee’s withdrawal from the event comes as a surprise. The 20-year-old withdrew from the event to focus on the backstroke events instead. Australian head coach Rohan Taylor, confirmed the report while Kaylee looks set to win both the 100 and 200-meter backstroke events.
GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA – APRIL 17: Kaylee McKeown swims in the Womens 200m IM during the 2021 Australian Swimming Championships at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre on April 17, 2021 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)
She posted the best time in this year’s qualification for Tokyo. Coming into the event as the number one seeded swimmer for the individual medley, Kaylee posted a time of 2:08.19.
Ranked as a number one seed, it is a surprise that the best swimmer for this year’s event won’t compete. The second-seeded swimmer is the ‘Iron Lady’ from Hungary, Katinka Hosszu.
She is now once again, the outright favorite to win the event.
McKeown vs Smith proves to be an intriguing matchup
The Olympic trials saw her putting on an incredible performance which excited the audience of her potential. But, Regan Smith’s threat is noticeable while Kylie Masse is not far either. Since Smith won the 200-meter backstroke event in the World Championships in Gwangju, the race is wide open. Smith and McKeown’s matchup is a much-anticipated event in Tokyo.
Although Smith’s rise to prominence is noteworthy, McKeown setting the new world record proves that they will fight the event till the end.
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA – JUNE 14: Kaylee McKeown celebrates victory after winning the Women’s 200 Metre Backstroke event during the 2019 Australian World Championship Swimming Trials at Brisbane Aquatic Centre on June 14, 2019 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)
Kaylee McKeown shocked the audience in attendance during the trials as she set a time of 57.45 in the 100-meter backstroke event. In addition, she holds the top time for this year’s 200m backstroke event while setting a time of 2:04.28 this year.
The Tokyo Olympics 2020 proves to be a great watch this year because of the talents on display. Swimmers like Titmus and Kaylee are challenging the likes of Ledecky and Smith for dominance in the swimming pool. After withdrawing from the 200m individual medley, Kaylee McKeown looks set to continue her top form in Japan.