Emma McKeon has won two gold medals on night five of the FINA Melbourne 2022 World Championships (25m).
The first medal also came with a World Record, alongside her Australian Dolphin teammates Mollie O’Callaghan, Chelse Hodges and Madi Wilson in the Women’s 4x50m Medley Relay, in a time of 1:42.35.
It’s Australia’s third women’s relay World Record for the Championship, after also making history in the 4x100m Freestyle relay and 4x300m Freestyle relays earlier in the week.
McKeon backed up her relay gold with victory in the Women’s 50m Freestyle in a Championship Record of 23.04, adding to her 100m Freestyle gold from earlier in the week.
With four gold, Mckeon now matches Australia’s Lani Pallister’s with four World Titles from Melbourne, which gave a packed Melbourne Sports and Aquatics Centre plenty of cheer about.
“It feels awesome and especially to do it here in Melbourne in front of a home crowd and my family and friends… to do it in front of them is even more special.
“It was so loud [from the crowd] in the relay… I could definitely hear them, they got us to the wall. I didn’t expect a World Record, but I feel like the crowd really lifted us,” said McKeon.
In the Men’s 50m freestyle, a new star was born in Jordan Crooks was born, winning gold for his home country the Cayman Islands’, their very first World Championship medal.
“Cayman Islands is a very special place and I would not have wanted to grow up anywhere else. I am very grateful for everything they have done for me and I appreciate them a lot.
“I grew up swimming short course metres so this was like going back home.
“It’s awesome and it’s an honor to be in the same conversation with guys like Caeleb (Dressel), Ben (Proud), and Kyle (Chalmers).
“I hope it shows any little kid out there that may doubt themselves because they don’t have a specific resource that it is possible and that there is not a set way to do things and you can kinda carve your own path,” he said.
Italy also set a new World Record in the Men’s 4x50m Medley Relay of 1:29.72, with USA setting an American Record of 1:30.37 to claim silver. The Australian team of Isaac Cooper, Grayson Bell, Matt Temple and Kyle Chalmers won bronze with an Oceania Record of 1:30.81.
Italy’s Nicolo Martinenghi said: “It’s incredible to set a new world record. To do this with my teammates… we have a good team and a big team, we said that we have to do it for our nation and for our team
Rūta Meilutytė of Lithuania set a Women’s 50m Breaststroke World Record of 28.37 in tonight’s semi-finals, setting up an exciting final on Sunday evening.
Meilutytė said: “It’s just starting to sink in… I thought about being disqualified earlier in the meet. I always want to find a way to enjoy my swimming. I am so happy for this moment.”
Japanese fans were delighted to see Daiya Seto claim the gold in the Men’s 400m Individual Medley, followed by USA’s Carson Foster and South Africa’s Matthew Sates.
Seto said: “I was focused on this event. I swam the 200 IM and the 200 butterfly and the 200 breast, but the 400 IM is my favorite event. I never lose short course and next year I want to be the champion in the long course,” he said.
The Women’s 400m Individual Medley saw the USA’s Hali Flickinger claim her first gold medal, followed by Italy’s Sara Franceschi and Japan’s Waka Kobori.
Flickinger said: “I am really excited. Short course isn’t really my strength so to be able to put up a decent time, I’m really happy with it.”