McKeown vows to bounce back after world freestyle disqualification
McKeown was thrown out of the race in Fukuoka on Sunday night after judges ruled that she had made an illegal move as she transitioned from backstroke to breaststroke.
She was one of three swimmers to be disqualified from the same race, alongside Britain’s Katie Shanahan and Italy’s Sara Franceschi. McKeown qualified second-fastest in the 100m backstroke heats on Monday morning but she was still upset about what had happened the previous night.
“It’s sport, and that’s what happens in sport,” she said. “Unfortunately, some people get dealt the bad hand and I just got that bad hand. “It’s just a matter of trying to flip it into a positive and give them a big FU,” she added.
McKeown said she had “a bit of a cry” after watching the footage, and admitted that the incident was still playing on her mind. But she also said she “can’t really waste time” as she looks to make an impact in her other events in Fukuoka. “There’s Americans and Canadians coming left, right and centre,” she said.
“I’ve got to put my best foot forward and see where that gets me over the next two days.” McKeown is expected to duke it out with American Regan Smith for the 100 backstroke title, with the semi-finals to come on Monday evening.
Smith swam the fastest time in the heats, coming home in 58.47sec, followed by McKeown at 58.90 and American Katharine Berkoff at 59.04.