TALENTED: Kaylee McKeown of Australia competes in the Women's 200m Individual Medley during the 2017 Australian Swimming Championships at the Sleeman Sports Complex in April in Brisbane.
TALENTED: Kaylee McKeown of Australia competes in the Women's 200m Individual Medley during the 2017 Australian Swimming Championships at the Sleeman Sports Complex in April in Brisbane. Quinn Rooney

Teenager urged to relish world championships experience

SWIMMING: Kaylee McKeown burst on to the Australian swim scene in April and now the talented teenager is ready to test herself against the globe's best.

The University of the Sunshine Coast athlete will compete in the women's 200m backstroke in Hungary and she can race with relative freedom at the world championships, according to coach Chris Mooney.

"We're not putting too much pressure on her," he said.

"She's capable of anything but I don't want her to feel as though she's expected to do anything more than gain experience and enjoy the journey. She's got a big future ahead of her but I don't want her to be in too much of a rush to get there."

The meet starts on Friday night but her pet event won't be contested until July 28.

Kaylee raised eyebrows at the national trials at Brisbane three months ago, when she finished second in 2min09.98sec, behind Emily Seebohm (2:07.03).

The 16-year-old has since taken things a step further.

"She's trained very well and her skills have improved...she's got that dogged will of wanting to be the best she can," Mooney said. "We've got that proud tradition of Olympic champions and it's her turn to carry the baton forward eventually, so that's sort of starting now."

The Pacific Lutheran College student is at Budapest with sister Taylor McKeown and Leah Neale, club-mates who claimed medals at Rio. Mooney is working hard with the trio.

"It really is about getting those (training and racing) processes in place now and to keep rehearsing," he said. "The more we can get them right today and tomorrow and next year and the year after, then the better chance of us getting it right when it really counts in 2020."


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