Emma McKeon to make history as part of world-first relay featuring para and able-bodied swimmers

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Emma McKeon to make history AGAIN as part of world-first integrated relay featuring para and able-bodied swimmers – and she wants to see the event at the Commonwealth Games

  • Olympic star Emma McKeon will compete in a world first relay with able-bodied and paralympic swimmers
  • The 28-year-old says the event would make a great fixture at the Comm Games
  • McKeon will dive off the blocks at this weekend’s Duel in the Pool in Sydney

Birmingham Commonwealth Games champion Emma McKeon is set to etch her name in the history books once again – competing in a world first integrated relay featuring the best para and able-bodied swimmers. 

Australia’s most successful Olympian will join forces with our Paralympic pool stars in a combined relay against the United States in the Duel in the Pool exhibition event held in Sydney this weekend. 

Ellie Cole, Zac Stubblety-Cook and Emma McKeon of Australia pose next to the United States Duel in the Pool swimming team - which takes place this weekend at Sydney Olympic park

Ellie Cole, Zac Stubblety-Cook and Emma McKeon of Australia pose next to the United States Duel in the Pool swimming team – which takes place this weekend at Sydney Olympic park

The Sydney based meet will include the unique race that will feature two able bodied and two para swimmers in a 4x50m event this weekend. 

McKeon, who has racked up 15 medals over the calendar year says she hopes to be apart of the landmark race.

‘I definitely hope to be a part of it, that’s definitely exciting, something that’s never been done before and it’d be very special to be a part of that,’ the 28-year-old said.

‘I know all of their relays got cancelled [in Birmingham] because they didn’t have enough entries, so that was a shame and hopefully it can be a part of it in the future.’

The multi-style star has 20 commonwealth games medals, six gold at Birmingham 2022 – equalling the record for most top gongs won in a games meet. 

McKeon holds up her gold medal after taking out the 50m butterfly final on day four at the 2022 Commonwealth games in Birmingham

McKeon holds up her gold medal after taking out the 50m butterfly final on day four at the 2022 Commonwealth games in Birmingham

The Duel program returns to Australia after a decade long break, with McKeon delaying her post-games recovery to compete in butterfly events. 

‘This will be something fun, so I think doing things like this keeps it fresh and exciting and being able to compete in a whole different way have two high-level teams competing against each other will be exciting and I’m looking forward to it,’ McKeon said. 

Paralympic swimming legend Ellie Cole, who amassed 17 medals throughout her career said the breakout event could become a cracking commonwealth games fixture. 

McKenzie Coan of the United States speaks to the media during a Duel in the Pool press conference

McKenzie Coan of the United States speaks to the media during a Duel in the Pool press conference

McKeon could also face up against 18-year-old gun Mollie O’Callaghan in the 100m freestyle event, who won commonwealth gold in a major upset with a 52.63 time after being behind Shayna Jack and McKeon at the turn. 

The Wollongong local stunned the sporting world at Tokyo 2020, securing seven medals to become the most decorated Australian Olympian.

McKeon’s celebrity flame Cody Simpson will also compete in the weekend program, marking a successful return to the pool after putting his pop-star front on hold.

McKeon in action for the women's 4x100m medley at day six of the Commonwealth games in Birmingham

McKeon in action for the women’s 4x100m medley at day six of the Commonwealth games in Birmingham

Simpson finished fifth in the men’s 100m butterfly at Birmingham and is now eyeing off the freestyle relay events to stake his claim for the Paris 2024 team. 

Post the Duel program, McKeon will take part in the national short course champs next week to qualify for the world titles in Melbourne later this year. 

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