McKeon not counting as Games record looms


Murray Wenzel / AAP News

Emma McKeon is on the cusp of Commonwealth Games history but insists she “hasn’t done the maths” as a record 10th and 11th gold beckon in Birmingham.

The champion swimmer collected a ninth Games title on night one of the program at the Sandwell Aquatic Centre on Friday, anchoring the mixed 4x100m freestyle relay to gold.

Two golds – the 100m butterfly and women’s 4x100m freestyle relay – are up for grabs on Saturday.

Victory there would push McKeon level and then past Ian Thorpe, Susie O’Neill and Leisel Jones, who are clinging to the Australian record of 10 Commonwealth Games titles.

A nine-event schedule in her first international meet since Tokyo’s Games last year means McKeon could leave Birmingham well clear of the legendary trio.

“No I haven’t done the maths,” she told reporters.

“I don’t read the news that you guys write; even in Tokyo (where she won a Games-high four gold and three bronze), it wasn’t something I set out to do.

“Here it’s just a stepping stone and I’m not looking at medal tallies.

“Incredible swimmers have done that in the past and they’re the ones that have inspired all of us.

“I’m not setting out to break any of that, just do my best and see what I’m capable of.”

McKeon took time off after Tokyo which she said was necessary for a mental reset ahead of the Paris 2024 Games.

And despite a heavy schedule that also includes 50m freestyle heats and semi-finals on Saturday, she said her goal was to enjoy the return.

“I haven’t raced in a long time, it’s getting back into the swing of it and I’m treating it as the first stepping stone back again on the way to Paris,” she said.

“It’s good to be back, feel those nerves again that I haven’t felt in a long time.

“This morning I was very nervous then this afternoon I was back to normal.”



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