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McKeon targets seven events at Gold Coast

by ZwemZa on February 8th, 2018
Emma McKeon has her eyes set on seven more medals at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. (AAP)

Emma McKeon has her eyes set on seven more medals at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. (AAP)

Australian swimming’s golden girl Emma McKeon may have seven medals in her sights at the Commonwealth Games after adding the 200m butterfly to her program.

She is already considered Australian swimming’s golden girl.

But a more confident Emma McKeon is eyeing off her biggest medal haul yet, at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

Any doubts over McKeon’s star quality were banished when she became the first Australian woman to claim six medals at a world swim titles last year.

However, the 23-year-old looks set to enter even more rare air by adding the 200m butterfly to her already packed Gold Coast program.

Coach Michael Bohl said McKeon would officially nominate for the event at the selection trials, starting on February 28.

That would give McKeon potentially seven events – including relays – to contest at the Gold Coast Games pool in April.

And she could potentially eclipse her six medal haul – including four gold – at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games four years ago.

However, Bohl said they wouldn’t make a final decision on racing until days before the 200m butterfly at trials due to its clash on the Commonwealth Games program with one of her pet events – the 100m freestyle.

Still, McKeon sounded keen to pursue the challenge.

McKeon said she wanted to make the most of a rare chance to contest the 200m butterfly which clashes with her main event the 200m freestyle on the world titles and Olympics programs.

“I would like to do it, I enjoy swimming it,” she told AAP.

“This is the only year I can do it because otherwise it overlaps with my 200m free, which is my main focus.

“It is more of a personal challenge for me than anything.”

Yet McKeon would be forgiven for feeling like she had nothing left to prove after her 2017 world titles heroics.

The once-shy McKeon came of age at the Budapest meet, claiming four silver and two bronze after going close to reeling in some of the world’s biggest names.

She just fell short of eclipsing Sweden’s Olympic champion and world record holder Sarah Sjostrom (100m butterfly) and tied for 200m freestyle silver with the great Katie Ledecky.

She was also Australia’s most decorated Rio Olympic swimmer with four medals.

However, McKeon doesn’t look like slowing down any time soon with the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in her long term sights.

“Each year I want to get faster and faster leading into Tokyo,” McKeon said.

“The world titles definitely made me a lot more confident on the international stage.

“After having done it the year before on the biggest stage there is (Rio), it gave me confidence with dealing with that feeling and not letting it affect me.”

Source: AAP
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