Australia’s Emma McKeon has swum a personal best on her way to a brave bronze medal in the 100-metres butterfly final at the Tokyo Olympics.
McKeon was aiming to become Australia’s first dual gold medallist of the Tokyo on Monday after scoring a win as part of the record-breaking 4×100-metre freestyle relay team on Sunday.
But it wasn’t to be. She swam a new national and Oceania record to be pipped for the silver medal by just 0.01sec.
Canada’s Margaret Macneil (55.59 seconds) set a Commonwealth record in taking the gold medal, with China’s Zhang Yufei in the silver spot.
After the race, she put no limits on her potential Tokyo Olympics medal haul.
“To do a PB in an Olympic final, I’m pretty happy,” McKeon said.
McKeon now has six Olympic medals, after winning four at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Her butterfly bronze comes as part of a gruelling program in Tokyo that could still reap the Wollongong-born allrounder more Olympic gold.
She’s a genuine chance in both the individual 50-metre and 100-metre freestyles, with more medal opportunities in three more relays.
Coached by the renowned Michael Bohl, McKeon was Australia’s most successful athlete at the 2016 Rio Olympics, with a freestyle relay gold, two other relay silvers and a bronze in the 200-metre freestyle.
Fellow swimmer Ariarne Titmus could also add to Australia’s Olympic haul later on day three at the pool.
The 20-year-old Titmus, in the 400-metre freestyle final, takes on American megastar Katie Ledecky, the world’s best female swimmer.
Australia’s men’s 4×100-metre freestyle relay team is eyeing a medal but appears off the gold pace set by Italy and the US.
- See Australia’s full medal tally here
Elsewhere in the Olympic city, world No.1 tennis star Ash Barty, who suffered a stunning opening-round singles loss on Sunday, must regroup for the doubles.
Barty and Storm Sanders play China’s Yifan Xu and Zhaoxuan Yang in a second-round fixture.
The Hockeyroos also play China after starting their campaign with a win over Spain.
Likewise, the Stingers will aim to build on a first-up win against Canada when they take on the Netherlands in women’s water polo.