Australia’s Emma McKeon wins 100m freestyle gold

TOKYO, JAPAN - JULY 30: Emma McKeon of Team Australia reacts after winning a gold medal and breaking the olympic record in the Women's 100m Freestyle Final on day seven of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre on July 30, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
TOKYO, JAPAN - JULY 30: Emma McKeon of Team Australia reacts after winning a gold medal and breaking the olympic record in the Women's 100m Freestyle Final on day seven of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre on July 30, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Australian Emma McKeon breaks own Olympic record to claim 100m freestyle title and fourth medal of Tokyo 2020 Games

Australia’s Emma McKeon powered to the Olympic gold in the women's 100m freestyle.

Leading from start, McKeon touched the wall in an Olympic record time of 51.96, beating the previous marker she set in the heats.

McKeon finished 0.31 seconds ahead of Hong Kong, China's HAUGHEY Siobhan.

McKeon’s Australian team-mate Cate Campbell claimed bronze with a time of 52.52.

The win gave McKeon her first individual gold at an Olympics, and she became just the second person ever to swim under 52 seconds in the event.

McKeon is the third Australian swimmer to win a gold medal in the women's 100m freestyle at the Olympic Games, after Dawn Fraser (1956, 1960, 1964) and Jodie Henry (2004).

McKeon is from a family of swimmers. Her brother David competed at the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games, her father Ron swam at Olympic Games in 1980 and 1984.  

Her mother Susie [nee Woodhouse] raced at the 1982 Commonwealth Games, and her uncle Robert Woodhouse won a bronze medal in the 400m individual medley at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

The Australian swimmer has won four medals so far at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 - two gold and two bronze - and is on her way to becoming to becoming her country's most successful ever Olympian.

“I still can’t believe I’ve just won a gold medal,” said McKeon. “The emotions will really come out when I get back to Wollo (her hometown of Wollongong in New South Wales).

“I’ve never won an Olympics or worlds (world championships) individual title. That’s what the Olympics is all about, to be able to stand on top of that podium.”

The absence of world and joint Rio 2016 Olympic champion Simone Manuel opened the event up.

McKeon, Campbell and world record holder Sarah Sjostrom were the favourites going into the final.

But Canada’s Penny Oleksiak, who won gold alongside Manuel in Rio, finished fourth, while Sjostrom finished in fifth.

Meanwhile, Haughey came through to touch the wall in second place, making her the first athlete representing Hong Kong China to win two Olympic medals.

She also took silver in the women's 200m freestyle.

“This is crazy and surreal,” said Haughey, after winning her second silver medal in Tokyo. “The 200m freestyle is always my main event, so this is just a bonus.”

"My goal is just to go in and have fun and swim a best time and I did that, and I also got another silver medal.”