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Swimming: Dazed Australian McKeon wins women's Olympic 100m freestyle

Australian sprint star Emma McKeon blazed to the women's 100m freestyle Olympic gold medal in the second-fastest time ever on Friday (Jul 30).

Swimming: Dazed Australian McKeon wins women's Olympic 100m freestyle

Emma McKeon of Australia in action during the Tokyo Olympics women's 100m freestyle final at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre on Jul 30, 2021. (Photo: Reuters/Carl Recine)

TOKYO: Australian sprint star Emma McKeon blazed to the women's 100m freestyle Olympic gold medal in the second-fastest time ever on Friday (Jul 30).

The 27-year-old set a new Olympic record of 51.96 seconds ahead of Hong Kong's Siobhan Haughey, who timed 52.27 seconds, and fellow Australian Cate Campbell (52.52).

Only Swedish sprint star Sarah Sjostrom has ever gone faster, when she set the world record of 51.71 seconds at the Budapest World Championships in 2017. She finished sixth on Friday.

"Honestly I still can't believe i just won a gold medal," said an overwhelmed McKeon.

"I think it'll probably take a while to sink in, then the emotions will really come out. I knew that I've been working hard and I was the best-prepared."

Emma McKeon (right) and Cate Campbell of Australia celebrate after the Tokyo Olympics women's 100m freestyle final at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre on Jul 30, 2021. (Photo: Reuters/Stefan Wermuth)

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It was McKeon's fourth medal in Tokyo, having already clinched gold and bronze in relays and come third in the 100m butterfly, matching her four-medal tally from Rio.

The 27-year-old had signalled her intent in the Wednesday heats, lowering the Olympic record, with her time in the final making her and Sjostrom the only swimmers ever to breach 52 seconds.

"I've never actually won at Olympics or worlds individually, so to see that one next to my name," added McKeon.

"I didn't even look at my time, I just went for the place because that's what Olympics is about. It's getting your hand on the wall and you want that gold medal."

Haughey has been a revelation in Tokyo, with the silver medal going with the one she sensationally won behind Ariarne Titmus in the 200m final.

The title was vacant after American defending champion Simone Manuel failed to qualify for the Games at the United States trials in a shock result.

Catch the Olympics Games Tokyo 2020 LIVE with 14 dedicated channels on meWATCH. Sign in now at mewatch.sg/tokyo2020 and get into the action with Mediacorp, Singapore’s Olympics Network.

Source: AFP/kg

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