One of Australia’s top-ranked swimmers pulls out of the Olympic event just days before the race

One of Australia’s top-ranked swimmers pulls out of Olympic event just days away from race

  • Kaylee McKeown pulled out of the 200m medley due to her schedule
  • She was a gold medal favorite in the event due to her number one ranking
  • McKeown remains favorite in the 100m and 200m backstroke
  • The new star memorably dedicated a recent world record to her father

One of Australia’s biggest hopes in the pool of the Tokyo Olympics has pulled out of a race just days before it was set to take place.

Kaylee McKeown, who broke the world record in the 100m backstroke at the Australian Olympic selection events in June, withdrew from the 200m medley due to a grueling program, the Australian head swimming coach said.

McKeown was considered a favorite for a hot gold medal in the event due to her number one position in the world rankings, a position she also holds in the 100m and 200m backstroke.

Kaylee McKeown after setting a world record in the 100m backstroke at the Australia Olympic Swimming Trials on June 13 in Adelaide

The 20-year-old swimming sensation was a gold medal favorite in three events in Tokyo, until she withdrew from today's 200m medley event at the last minute.

The 20-year-old swimming sensation was a gold medal favorite in three events in Tokyo, until she withdrew from today’s 200m medley event at the last minute.

“It’s a big decision,” Swimming Australia head coach Rohan Taylor said.

“And I respect the decision. They’re going to focus on the backstrokes and the medley relay.’

20-year-old McKeown was the swimmer of the finish in the selection tests after her world record was followed by blistering times in the 200-meter backstroke and 200-meter individual medley.

In a tearful interview by the pool in Adelaide, she memorably dedicated the world record to her father, Sholto, who died of brain cancer last year.

“Daddy was taken from us too soon by something so cruel…but the love, the memories and the laughter will be cherished forever in our hearts,” she wrote on his passing.

McKeown will swim the 100 meters next Tuesday, July 27, the 200 meters on Saturday, July 31 and the final of the women’s medley on Sunday, August 1.

McKeown paid tribute to her father, who died of brain cancer last year, after setting her world record in Adelaide

McKeown paid tribute to her father, who died of brain cancer last year, after setting her world record in Adelaide

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