Steve Larkin / AAP News
Photo: Delly Car
Swim star Emma McKeon has entered nine events at the looming Commonwealth Games as she sets her sights on golden Australian benchmarks.
Swim legends Ian Thorpe and Susie O’Neill share the Australian record for most gold medals – six – at a single Commonwealth Games.
But McKeon could better that high-water mark in her gruelling nine-event program at the Birmingham Games.
And she also could break the Australian record for most career golds at the Commonwealth Games.
McKeon has eight career golds – four each at the 2014 and 2018 editions – and the Australian record is 10, shared by Thorpe, O’Neill and Leisel Jones.
While McKeon’s plans could change ahead of the Games starting on July 28, she will contest four individual events in Birmingham: the 50m and 100m freestyle, and 50m and 100m butterfly.
McKeon also has been entered in five relays for Australia: the 4x100m freestyle, 4x200m freestyle, the mixed 4x100m freestyle, 4x100m medley and the mixed 4×100 medley.
The Wollongong-born ace collected four gold and three bronze medals at last year’s Tokyo Olympics.
But she opted to miss last month’s world championships in Budapest to focus on the Commonwealth Games, where 18-year-old Queenslander Mollie O’Callaghan won the 100m freestyle.
O’Callaghan has entered eight events at the Birmingham Games – four individual races (the 100m and 200m freestyle, and 50m and 100m backstroke) plus four relays.
Kaylee McKeown, a triple gold medallist at last year’s Olympics, has entered five individual events in Birmingham – the 50m, 100m and 200m backstroke, and the 200m and 400m individual medleys.
McKeown will also swim the women’s and mixed medley relays on a seven-event program while dual Olympic gold medallist Ariarne Titmus will race the 200m, 400m and 800m freestyles plus the 4x200m freestyle relay.
Kyle Chalmers, who swam butterfly only at last month’s world titles, has entered his pet 100m freestyle in Birmingham in addition to the 50m and 100m ‘fly events.