McKeown can bounce back in medley relay final: Wright
SWIMMING: Two-time Olympic gold medallist Melanie Wright expects Sunshine Coaster Taylor McKeown to thrive in the women's medley relay final at Rio today, despite the Games debutant faltering badly in her breaststroke decider.
McKeown qualified fastest for the 200m showdown but finished a disappointing fifth, admitting that nerves got the better of her.
But Wright believes the 21-year-old can bounce
back from that experience
to help her team in the medley relay.
"There's a lot less pressure because you're out there with your friends, it's a lot more of a fun environment compared to an individual final when the pressure is just so unique,” she said.
"The Aussies have been found out a bit in that regard this week but I think in relays, we know how to do it, we have a pretty good history in them, everyone wants to be part of them
and they're a lot more fun
so I think Taylor will swim really well.
"She's going to have a ball and hopefully she can put a good split together and get the girls on the podium.”
Sunshine Coast product Brittany Elmslie, who has already won a gold medal in the 4x200m freestyle relay at Rio, could secure another medal as part of medley relay squad.
She swam alongside McKeown in the heats, when the team qualified fifth fastest for the final.
Elmlsie is unlikely to be selected for the final but if the Aussies finish in the top three, she would still collect a medal.
Noosa's Jake Packard is also pressing claims for a medley relay medal today, with the Australian men's squad
Packard helped the team earn its berth in the big race, when they clocked the fourth fastest time. He is likely to race in the final.
"He just missed the individual (100m) breast- stroke final so I think he's got unfinished business,” Wright said.
"He'll want to throw down a really good split in that relay,” she said.
"I am quietly confident both our medley relay teams can get on the podium which would be fantastic.”
Wright has 14 relay medals from major international meets but no individual gongs.
She had a good chance to nab one at the 2012 Olympics but missed out, so she can empathise with McKeown.
"I do feel for her,” she said.
"I know exactly what she's going through right now. I was in the same scenario in London.
"I put together an awesome semi-final and then the Olympic final comes along and it's like nothing you've ever experienced and you just make one or two tiny mistakes and that's it, it's
"To be completely honest, you don't get over it, you just learn to live with it and I'm sure she'll be better for it eventually.
"I'll be giving her a call when she gets home.”
The women's final is at 11.49am and the men's is at 12.04pm.