Australia’s Kaylee McKeown broke the women’s 50m backstroke world record on Friday to become the first person to simultaneously hold the 50m, 100m and 200m backstroke world records.
McKeown finished with a time of 26.86 seconds in the Duna Arena at the World Cup event in Budapest, Hungary, to beat the previous record of 26.98 seconds set by China’s Liu Xiang in 2018.
The world record is the 22-year-old’s third of the year and completes a hat trick of backstroke records for McKeown.
“I am obviously very, very happy,” McKeown said, per World Aquatics. “I never saw myself as a sprinter so it’s really nice to have that under my belt.
“Next year is going to be a really tough year so the more confidence I can build, the better.”
McKeown is the first Australian to hold the 50m backstroke world record since Sophie Edington set it in 2008. It makes up for some disappointment for McKeown after she missed out on the 50m backstroke world record by just 0.04 seconds last week in Athens.
It also continues the excellent season the Australian has had after winning backstroke gold medals in all three distances at the 2023 World Swimming Championships in Fukuoka, Japan, earlier this year.
The reigning Olympic champion over 100m and 200m, she will head into next year’s Olympic Games in Paris as the favorite for gold in all the three distances.
World Aquatics first started keeping track of 50m world records in 1997.
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