Kaylee McKeown secures 100m backstroke gold for Australia at Tokyo Olympics

The 20-year-old touched in 57.47sec, fractionally outside her own world record, with Canada's Kylie Masse, the Rio bronze medallist, second in 57.72 and American Smith third in 58.05.

Kaylee McKeown of Team Australia poses with the gold medal after winning the Women's 100m Backstroke Final on day four of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Australia's Kaylee McKeown set a new Olympic record to win the women's 100m backstroke gold medal on Tuesday, upsetting arch-rival Regan Smith.

The 20-year-old touched in 57.47sec, fractionally outside her own world record, with Canada's Kylie Masse, the Rio bronze medallist, second in 57.72 and American Smith third in 58.05.

"My legs were definitely hurting in the last 20," said an ecstatic McKeown.

"I'm sure it would have been pretty noticeable on the TV, but I trained for that, and I knew that I had a really strong back end and a really good chance to be on the podium."

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Masse turned first at 50m with McKeown third, but the Australian powerfully brought it home.

McKeown had a tough lead-up to the Games, with her father dying last year from brain cancer.

But she used his memory as inspiration to swim a sensational race and smash Smith's world record at the Australian trials last month.

"It's not necessarily what I've been through," she said. "Everyone has a journey of their own, and it just so happens that mine's been a really tough one.

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"I wouldn't have it any other way because I don't think I'd be where I am today without all that happening."

She is also targeting the 200m backstroke gold, having recently set the fourth quickest time in history.

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