McKeown pays tribute to late father after winning backstroke gold in Tokyo
CANBERRA, July 27 -- Australian Kaylee McKeown paid tribute to her late father on Tuesday when she won the women's 100m backstroke gold medal at Tokyo 2020, reported Xinhua.
McKeown, 20, stormed home after turning in third to beat Canada's Kylie Masse and America's Regan Smith and claim gold in Tuesday morning's final.
Her time of 57.47 seconds was an Olympic record and only 0.02 seconds slower than the world record time she set at Australia's swimming trials in June.
"It's definitely something that people dream of. It's something I have dreamed of too," she told Australian television after the race. "To make it a reality is really amazing."
McKeown dedicated the win to her father, Sholto, who passed away from brain cancer in 2020.
"I hope you're proud and I'll keep doing you proud," she said.
The victory delivered McKeown her first career Olympic gold, and the third for both Australia and its swimmers at Tokyo.
Her older sister Taylor, who won an Olympic silver medal in Rio in 2016, praised Kaylee's work ethic after the Games were postponed by the pandemic.
"Kaylee's taken it in her stride, come back better, faster, fitter stronger than ever," she told local media 7NEWS.
"The hardship is done. This is the easy part now and she's up there really enjoying racing. This is an absolute testament to her and her hard work."
"You can ask anyone in her training group and anyone on the swim team - Kaylee's a hard worker, she'll push herself till she vomits and just an absolute animal. Good on her."