Thu, 05 Aug 2021

CANBERRA, June 13 (Xinhua) -- Australian teenager Kaylee McKeown has smashed the women's 100m backstroke world record, according to Swimming Australia.

McKeown, 19, swam the event in 57.45 seconds at the Australian Swimming Trials in South Australia on Sunday night, beating the previous record of 57.57.

She qualified for the event at the Tokyo Olympics alongside Emily Seebohm.

It comes about 10 months after McKeown's father, Sholto, died from brain cancer.

"Well, I guess with COVID and the passing of my dad in August last year, it's been a huge, huge build up to these trials and you know I have turned it into a bit of a hunger and motivation behind me," she said after the race, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

"I use it every day that I wake up, I know that it's a privilege to be on this Earth and walk and talk.

"So, you know to get up and do that tonight was not only for me but my family and my USC (University of the Sunshine Coast) club and all the support staff as well."

Seebohm, 29, will compete at her fourth Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Seebohm said she was motivated to qualify for the Games by her failure to make Australia's team for the 2019 World Championships.

"I knew this was going to be super tough to make this team and I really wanted to go to a fourth Olympics, you know, that was my dream when I started," Seebohm said.

Later on Sunday night, 20-year-old sensation Ariarne Titmus set an Australian record in the women's 400m freestyle.

Titmus swam a 3:56.90, only about half a second slower than the world record time of 3:56.46 set by Katie Ledecky at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

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