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Spartans swimmers named on Tokyo Games squads

18 Jun 2021

Outstanding performances by five USC Spartans swimmers at this week’s national trials in Adelaide have earned them places in the Australian teams headed for the Tokyo Games.

Kaylee McKeown, who broke a world record in the women’s 100m backstroke, will compete in that event at the Olympics to be held from 23 July to 8 August.

McKeown, 19, will also compete in the 200m backstroke, after she beat her own Commonwealth record in that race this week, and in the 200m individual medley.

Her Spartans coach Chris Mooney is in the Australian Olympics coaching team.

Katja Dedekind, Ben Hance, Keira Stephens and Ruby Storm were last night named on the team for the Paralympics, to be held from 24 August to 5 September.

All but 19-year-old Katja, a current USC Arts student, are Olympic debutants.

Katja, who took bronze in 100m backstroke at the 2016 Rio Paralympics, broke her own Australian record this week in the S13 (visually impaired) 50m freestyle multi-class final.

Ben, 20, Keira, 18, and Ruby, 17, are eager to show the world the results of their training by Spartans coach Nathan Doyle, named in the Australian Paralympics coaching team with head coach, USC Professor Brendan Burkett.

Keira, who moved from Hervey Bay to the Sunshine Coast this year, is studying Social and Human Services at USC.

Professor Burkett, Director of High Performance Sport at USC, said the whole University community was proud of the Spartans’ performances.

“From the world record set this week by Kaylee to the world record set by Ben in his 100m backstroke event earlier this year, the results are a real credit to the work these athletes have done over this campaign,” he said.

“Chris Mooney, Nathan Doyle and the support staff led by Dr Mark McKean have done a great job.

“We now move into staging and preparation camps here at USC then north to Townsville and Cairns before heading to Tokyo.

Spartans Paralympic swimmer Katja Dedekind at USC Pool in 2020

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