Kayleigh McCune delivers the ultimate ‘f*** you’ to swimming chiefs over golden days at historic world championships after controversial disqualification
Kaylee McKeown knew no such nerves before capturing Australia’s fifth gold medal at the world championships in Japan.
McCune’s victory in the 100m backstroke in Fukuoka on Tuesday night followed his disqualification from the semi-finals of the 200m individual medley.
After he protested against what he described as a ‘totally unfair’ ruling in the medley, McCune braced himself for the backstroke.
He succeeded, coming within 0.08 seconds of his world record, but only after overcoming an unusually strong nerve.
‘I was very, very nervous heading into it, probably more than I’ve ever been,’ McKeon said.
Kylie McCown won gold in the 100m breaststroke at the world championships in Japan
The Aussie superstar touched in 57.53 seconds, well outside his world record of 57.45 in Adelaide in 2021 and ahead of his great American rival Regan Smith.
‘For the last few hours I have been dealing with myself with what I have.
‘Nerve means you care about what you’re doing. When you train so hard for something, you want everything to come together at the right moment.’
McCune touched in 57.53 seconds, well outside his world record of 57.45 in Adelaide in 2021.
Also on Tuesday night, Australian pair Ariern Titmuss and Molly O’Callaghan booked their berths in the women’s 200m freestyle final.
Titmus, who reclaimed her 400m freestyle world record on Sunday night, clocked one minute 54.64 seconds to secure lane four in the medal race.
“I had to do the job tonight, pass, try to get the middle lane,” Titmus said.
‘I did what I had to do and I’m happy with it.’
Canada’s Summer McIntosh (1:54.67) was second fastest in Wednesday night’s final with O’Callaghan (1:54.91) third fastest.
Earlier, American Katie Ledecky’s legend rose again with another win in the women’s 1500m freestyle.
The win was Ledecky’s fifth world title in the event and 20th overall.
Ledecky logged the third-fastest time at 15:26.26 — she now holds the top 16 times in distance history.
Ariane Titmus booked her berth in the women’s 200m freestyle final with the fastest time
Italian Simona Quadarella (15:43.31) is a clear second, with Australia’s Lani Pallister holding on for third and in the bronze medal position with 100 meters to go.
But Pallister finished ahead of China’s Bingzhi Li and France’s Anastasia Kirpichnikova, with the Australian fifth in 15:49.17, 0.21 seconds off her personal best.
Australia’s Sam Williamson is in the running for a medal in the men’s 50m butterfly semi-final.
Williamson touched in 27.06 and finished eighth – a hundredth of a second ahead of ninth.