'Pure class': Kaylee McKeown's incredible act for Aussie teammate

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·Sports Editor
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Kaylee McKeown, pictured here after she invited Emily Seebohm onto the top podium for the national anthem.
Kaylee McKeown invited Emily Seebohm onto the top podium for the national anthem. Image: Channel 7

If you thought Kaylee McKeown couldn't endear herself with the Australian public more than she already has, you thought wrong.

McKeown won the 200m backstroke final at the Tokyo Olympics on Saturday to collect her second gold medal of the Games.

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McKeown's victory in Saturday's final, where compatriot Emily Seebohm won bronze, follows her 100m backstroke win.

The 20-year-old's triumph gave Australia a 10th gold medal of the Tokyo Games and a seventh in the pool.

The victory puts the Australain swim team on the cusp of equalling their most successful Olympics in the pool ever - the eight golds won in the 1956 Melbourne Games.

And McKeown showed her absolute class in the post-race medal ceremony, asking compatriot Seebohm to stand on the top podium with her.

Seebohm was over the moon to win the bronze medal, but McKeown didn't want her standing by herself on the lower podium.

Kaylee McKeown and Emily Seebohm, pictured here on the podium during the medal ceremony.
Kaylee McKeown and Emily Seebohm pose on the podium during the medal ceremony. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

In beautiful scenes that captivated Australia, McKeown pulled Seebohm onto the gold medal podium where they celebrated with their medals together while the national anthem played.

"She deserved to be up there as much as I did," McKeown told Channel 7.

Aussie legend Ian Thorpe said in commentary: "I love that moment".

The remarkable scenes sent social media into meltdown, with fans and commentators praising the Aussie girls for their sportsmanship.

Kaylee McKeown's incredible come-from-behind win

McKeown lurked behind Canadian Kyle Masse for the initial three laps of Saturday's final.

The Aussie was 0.80 seconds behind at the halfway stage and then turned for the last lap 0.69 seconds shy of Masse.

But the Australian timed her surge to perfection, reeling in Masse over the final 15 metres to become the seventh woman to complete the 100m-200m backstroke gold double at an Olympics.

McKeown won in two minutes 04.68 seconds from Masse (2:05.42).

Seebohm, at her fourth Olympics, clocked 2:06.17 to add a cherished bronze to her two silver career medals.

β€œThat's so exciting for Emily Seebohm at her fourth Olympic Games to get back on the podium," said Leisel Jones in commentary.

"I think she's shocked herself to get a bronze medal, to beat out the two swimmers from the US, fourth and fifth – good job.”

with AAP

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