Duo help put Aussies on top of world

Published 9:30am 31 July 2023

Duo help put Aussies on top of world
Words by Nick Crockford

Kaylee McKeown and Sam Short, whose swimming careers were shaped in the City of Moreton Bay, helped Australia top the World Championships medal table.

The Dolphins won 25 medals in Japan and topped the gold medal tally in Fukuoka with 13, equalling the nation's golden high-water mark of 2005 and 2001.

McKeown – born in Redcliffe and schooled at Caboolture - last night added to her three individual gold medals by helping Australia’s 4x100m medley relay team to silver.

Abbey Harkin, Emma McKeon, Kaylee McKeown and Mollie O'Callaghan clocked three minutes 53.37 seconds to finish behind the United States (3:52.08).

However, McKeown was named female swimmer of the year after her sweep of backstroke golds over 50m, 100m and 200m.

"I am happy with what I have done this week," the former Australian Crawl, Burpengary, swimmer said. 

"But I have teammates like Ariarne Titmus and Mollie O'Callaghan who have broken world records this week.

Duo help put Aussies on top of world
Kaylee McKeown in backstroke action last night. Picture Commonwealth Games Australia

"As proud as I am, I feel like I have should share that (award) with my teammates.

"I never thought in a million years I would be named swimmer of the year, but it's pretty cool."

Short, who was a member of Albany Creek Swim Club, finished third in the men's 1500m freestyle to complete his medal set in Fukuoka.

The 19-year-old won Australia's first gold a week ago in the 400m freestyle and took silver in the 800m freestyle.

In the 1500m medal race, he lead for 950m, but Tunisia's Ahmed Hafnaoui and American Bobby Finke reeled him in. Short was third in 14 minutes 37.28 seconds.

The Aussies won 13 gold, 7 silver and 5 bronze medals making this the second time since the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne that Australia has beaten the United States in the medal table at an elite international meet.

The last occasion was ironically also in Fukuoka at the 2001 edition of the World Championships.

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