Emma McKeon has equalled the Australian record for most Olympic medals as compatriot Kaylee McKeown polished off a rare golden double at the Tokyo Games.
McKeon’s bronze in Saturday’s mixed 4x100m medley is the ninth of a storied Olympic career – no Australian has won more.
Emerging star McKeown won gold in the 200m backstroke, adding to her 100m backstroke victory – she also collected mixed medley bronze.
And dual gold medallist Ariarne Titmus added a silver while veteran Emily Seebohm, at 29 the oldest member of Australia’s swim team, won a remarkable bronze to medal at four consecutive Olympics.
Their Saturday heroics lifted Australia’s swim team medal haul to seven golds, one shy of the nation’s best return at an Olympic pool, eight in Melbourne in 1956.
McKeon joins Ian Thorpe and Leisel Jones as Australians with nine career Olympic medals.
And the 27-year-old is expected to surpass them on Sunday when the gold medal favourite contests the 50m freestyle – she set an Olympic record in Saturday’s semi-final to be quickest qualifier for the dash.
Titmus finishes her first Olympics with an 800m freestyle silver behind American rival Katie Ledecky after her triumphs in the 200m and 400 freestyle.
And her teammate McKeown can add to her haul – two gold and a bronze – in Sunday’s 4x100m medley final.
The 20-year-old McKeown is the seventh female swimmer to claim the 100-200 backstroke Olympic double.
And her bronze medallist teammate Seebohm draped the gold around her neck before they both stood atop the podium for the celebratory anthem.
“Before we walked out, she was like ‘it would mean the world to me if I could put this medal around your neck’,” McKeown said.
“And I found that so sweet.
“Just a real testament to who she is as a person and as an athlete as well.
“It was quite emotional. She had some tears and so did I, but to have her next to me singing the Australian anthem is pretty special.”.
Seebohm, is just the third swimmer, with Cate Campbell and Leisel Jones, to medal at four Olympics.
“To make four Olympics and medal at every one is something I would not have thought of as a little girl,” she said.
Five consecutive finals remain on Sunday to close out Tokyo’s swim program.
And Australian swimmers are genuine shots in three of them, with McKeon and Cate Campbell in the 50m freestyle followed by men’s and women’s 4x100m medley relays.