'Incredible': Aussie swimmers clinch best Olympics campaign ever

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·Sports Editor
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Cate Campbell, pictured here after securing Australia's ninth gold medal in the pool in Tokyo.
Cate Campbell secured Australia's ninth gold medal in the pool in Tokyo. Image: Getty

Cate Campbell has clinched Australia's most successful swimming campaign in Olympic Games history, securing our ninth gold medal in the pool in Tokyo.

Campbell produced an incredible anchor swim in the 4x100m medley relay to secure gold for Australia.

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The victory by Kaylee McKeown, Chelsea Hodges, Emma McKeon and Campbell makes Australia's Tokyo swim team the nation's most successful in Olympic history.

The ninth swimming gold medal surpassed the previous record of eight set at the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne.

They also won 21 medals overall - one more than the previous benchmark from the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

Australia won Sunday's medley relay in three minutes 51.60 seconds, with the United States (3:51.73) taking the silver medal and Canada (3:52.60) the bronze.

It gave Campbell her second gold of the Games and fourth in her Olympic career.

The Australians were second behind the United States for the initial three legs, before Campbell produced a sizzling last freestyle leg of 52.11 seconds to overtake the Americans and held on in a desperate final five metres.

Her gold medal-clinching swim had fans around the country in awe.

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Emma McKeon makes incredible Olympic Games history

McKeon swum the butterfly leg in the medley relay, winning her fourth gold medal and seventh overall at the Tokyo Games.

In doing so, she became the first female swimmer and second in any sport to win seven medals at one Games.

She has now won 11 Olympic medals in her career, breaking the previous Australian record of nine held by Ian Thorpe and Leisel Jones.

McKeon also won gold in the 50m freestyle earlier on Sunday in an Olympic record of 23.81 seconds.

Cate Campbell, pictured here celebrating after Australia won the 4x100m medley relay.
Cate Campbell celebrates after Australia won the 4x100m medley relay. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Her career haul of five gold, two silver and four bronze eclipses swim greats Thorpe (five gold, three silver, one bronze) and Jones (three gold, five silver, one bronze).

She also joins Thorpe as the only Australians in history to win five gold medals.

Both Thorpe and Jones were gushing in their praise for McKeon in commentary.

"She has been dominant, she has been brilliant, she has been fantastic," Thorpe told Channel 7.

"It has been a pleasure to watch. She skips across the water in a way that we don't often see.

"She's quite slight in her physicality but the way that she's able to move through the water is impressive."

Jones said McKeon's technique was perfection.

"Just to see Emma McKeon lift, she holds so much water and pulls away from the pack, which just makes her unbeatable in an event in the sprint freestyle at the moment," she said.

"She executed that beautifully from start to finish."

The 27-year-old also became just the fourth female swimmer to complete the 50-100m freestyle golden double at an Olympics.

with AAP

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