Australia set a new world record in the women’s 4x50m medley relay and kicked off Saturday’s short-course world swimming championships with another gold medal and a $37,000 check.
Emma McKeon, Chelsea Hodges, Madison Wilson and Mollie O’Callaghan faced stiff competition in every lane, including the U.S. team led by Lilly King, but they won the championship with a time of 1 minute 42.35 seconds – vs. Team USA leads by 0.06 seconds.
McKeon would later win the 50m freestyle, joining an elite group of international swimmers – including Libby Trickett, Le Jingyi, Therese Alshammar and Ranomi Kromowidjojo – who were all world champions in the 50m and 100m.
McKeon won five gold medals at these championships, including the women’s 50m and 100m freestyle, the 4x100m freestyle relay and the 4x50m medley relay.
Wilson said she had “the best time” in the medley relay, which was her first time as a regular on the team, while McKean swam the butterfly.
“I knew it was going to be tough to get a medal, so to win and then break the world record was the first time I was really, really surprised,” Wilson said.
“Obviously we have very successful freestyle swimmers in our country, so I rarely get sent to the finish line in the medley relay, but it was really exciting and an amazing experience.
“I do feel a lot of pressure because I know the three girls in front of me are going to do a fantastic job, so I want to make sure I can do my best for the team.”
O’Callaghan stormed the race with her backstroke leg to give the Nationals an early lead, while Hodges closed out the race with a breaststroke.