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Emma McKeon
Emma McKeon.jpg
McKeon in 2016
Personal information
Born 24 May 1994 (1994-05-24) (age 27)
Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia
Height 180 cm
Weight 60 kg
Sport
Sport Swimming
Strokes Freestyle, butterfly
Club Griffith University
Coach Michael Bohl

Emma McKeon, OAM (born 24 May 1994) is an Australian competitive swimmer. With her total career haul of 11 medals, she is Australia's most successful Olympian, including one gold at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and four golds at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. With four gold and three bronze medals she was the most decorated athlete at the 2020 Summer Olympics, and is tied for the most medals won in a single Olympics by a woman. In addition McKeon has won one gold, at the World Aquatics Championships; and twelve medals, including eight gold, at the 2014 Glasgow and 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

She currently has five Olympic gold medals, the most in Australian history, tied with Ian Thorpe.

Personal life

McKeon was born on 24 May 1994 in Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia. She is the sister of David McKeon and the daughter of Ron McKeon, both of whom are also swimmers. She completed her secondary education in 2012 from The Illawarra Grammar School and then studied at Griffith University for a bachelor's degree in public health and health promotion with a major in nutrition. She is coached by Michael Bohl at Griffith University.

Swimming

McKeon competed at the 2010 Summer Youth Olympics held in Singapore. She won a gold medal in the girls' 4 × 100 metre medley relay; silver medals in the 100 metre freestyle and the mixed 4 × 100 metre freestyle relay; and bronze medals in the 50 metre freestyle, 200 metre freestyle, and mixed 4 × 100 metre medley relay.

Olympic Games

2012

She missed out on selection for the London 2012 Summer Olympics by placing 7th in the 100 m freestyle, 9th in the 100 m butterfly, 10th in the 200 m freestyle, and 13th in the 50 m freestyle.

2016

In April 2016 McKeon was selected as part of the Australian team for the 2016 Summer Olympics held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Her brother David was also selected meaning the pair were the first brother and sister to swim at an Olympic Games for Australia since John and Ilsa Konrads in 1960. At the 2016 Summer Olympics she led off the 4 × 100 metre freestyle relay that won a gold medal in a world record time of 3:30.65. McKeon also went on to win a pair of silvers as a part of the 4 × 200 metre freestyle and 4 × 100 metre medley relays. She was one of five Australian individual medallists in swimming in Rio, having won a bronze medal in the 200 metre freestyle with a time of 1:54.92. In the 100 metre butterfly, she finished 6th.

2021

At the 2020 Summer Olympics held in Tokyo, Japan, McKeon won four gold medals. She swam the third leg of the 4 × 100 metre freestyle relay for the Australian team, which won the gold medal in a world record time of 3:29.69. On the second last day of swimming, she also went to win the 100 metre freestyle in a time of 51.96 (an Olympic record and the second fastest time in history). On the last day, she won the 50 metre freestyle with another Olympic record time of 23.81 and swam the butterfly leg in the gold-medal winning team for the 4 × 100 metre medley relay.

McKeon also won three bronze medals: in the 100 metre butterfly (with a new Australian record of 55.72), the 4 × 200 metre freestyle relay, and the mixed 4 × 100 metre medley relay.

McKeon won seven medals in Tokyo, the most by any female swimmer at a single Games and the equal most by a female athlete at a single Games (tied with Soviet gymnast Maria Gorokhovskaya). Her total of five Olympic gold medals (across 2016 and 2020) is an Australian record (shared with Ian Thorpe).

World Championships

2013

In 2013, she won a silver medal in the 4 × 100 metre freestyle relay at the 15th FINA World Championships held in Barcelona, Spain. She also swam in the heats of the 4 × 100 metre medley relay and the 4 × 200 metre freestyle relay on the way to Australia winning silver medals in those events.

2015

In 2015, she competed at the 16th FINA World Championships held in Kazan, Russia. She won a gold medal in the 4 × 100 metre freestyle relay a bronze medal in the 4 × 100 metre medley relay, finished fourth in the 100 metre butterfly and placed seventh in the 200 metre freestyle.

2017

McKeon won four silver and two bronze medals at the 2017 World Swimming Championships. She competed in 100 m butterfly. In the heats she was third, with a time of 56.81. After that in the second semifinal, she finished second setting an Oceania record of 56.23. In the final she improved this time and finished second behind Sarah Sjöström with a record of Oceania time of 56.18. In 200 m freestyle she continued from the heats to the semifinals with the fourth fastest time at 1:56.61. Then in the semifinals she was second in her heat and second overall. In the final she proved her good form and she shared the silver medal with Katie Ledecky with a time of 1:55.15, remaining behind the one-time Olympic and dual World medalist in that discipline, Federica Pellegrini. Her third silver medal came from the 4×100 metre freestyle relay with Bronte Campbell, Brittany Elmslie and Shayna Jack, her team coming 0.29 seconds behind the USA. Her fourth silver medal resulted from the 4×100 m mixed medley with team mates Mitch Larkin, Daniel Cave and Bronte Campbell.

Commonwealth Games

2014

She was selected as part of the Australian squad for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, held in Glasgow, Scotland, where she won six medals, four golds and two bronze medals. On the first day of competition she won a gold medal in the 200 metre freestyle and then competed in the 4 × 100 metre freestyle relay with Bronte Campbell, Melanie Schlanger and Cate Campbell, who gold medalled and set a new world record time of 3:30.98. She won individual bronze medals in the 100 metre butterfly and then in the 100 metre freestyle, behind the Campbell sisters as Australia took all podium positions. McKeon won further gold medals in the 4 × 200 metre freestyle relay, where she set a Games record as part of team that also included Alicia Coutts, Brittany Elmslie and Bronte Barratt, and the 4 × 100 metre medley relay with Emily Seebohm, Lorna Tonks and Cate Campbell. Her six medals equalled a Commonwealth Games record for swimmers previously set by Ian Thorpe and Susie O'Neill.

2018

McKeon won the most number of medals in swimming at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, with four gold and two bronze medals; equalling her previous record, set at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, and shared with Ian Thorpe and Susie O'Neill.

International Swimming League (ISL)

McKeon is a member of the London Roar team, competing in Season 2 of the International Swimming League (ISL). The ISL is an annual professional swimming league featuring a team-based competition format with fast paced race sessions. 10 teams featuring the world’s best swimmers will compete for the ISL title in 2020.

Results in major championships

Meet 50 free 100 free 200 Free 100 fly 4×50 free 4×100 free 4×200 free 4×50 medley 4×100 medley 4×50 Mixed free 4×50 Mixed medley 4×100 Mixed free 4×100 Mixed medley
WC 2013 2 2 2
WC 2015 7th 4th 1 6th 3
OG 2016 3 6th 1 2 2
WC 2017 8th 2 2 2 3 3 2
WC 2019 4th DNS 3 1 1 2 2 1
OG 2021 1 1 3 1 3 1 3
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