'Sad to see': Swimming Australia rocked by bombshell announcement

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Pictured here, Swimming Australia chief executive Alex Baumann.
Swimming Australia's chief executive Alex Baumann has quit his role for health reasons. Pic: AAP

Swimming Australia's (SA) chief executive Alex Baumann has dropped a bombshell in the wake of the nation's most successful Olympic campaign in the pool in Tokyo.

Baumann on Monday announced that has quit the job for health reasons just three months into his tenure.

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The SA chief was only appointed to the role in May this year but says recent undisclosed health issues prompted his sudden decision.

"As a two-time cancer survivor, I appreciate how important health and family are," he said in a statement on Monday.

"I recognise the timing is difficult but I know I must take this time for myself and my family now."

The shock call comes after Australia's swim team won nine gold medals in Tokyo, surpassing the nation's previous record of eight golds at Melbourne's 1956 Olympics.

The total of 20 medals in Tokyo, including three silver and eight bronze medals, equalled Australian swimming's record haul at the 2008 Beijing Games.

Baumann, a dual Olympic swimming gold medallist for Canada, had been performing a review of SA's operations amid a culture controversy that flared up during the lead-in to the Tokyo Games.

SA president Kieren Perkins said on Monday that an interim chief executive would be appointed to replace Baumann as soon as possible.

"Our next CEO will be tasked with leading Swimming Australia into the new era of swimming, with a focus on safe, elite performance and community engagement as we turn our attention to Paris 2024," Perkins said in a statement.

"We're sad to see Alex go. This is a great loss for our sport, but we understand his reasons."

Swimming Australia CEO departs after record Games

Australia's record-breaking campaign in the pool in Tokyo was highlighted by Emma McKeon's special slice of history.

The versatile McKeon swam into history with seven medals - no female Olympian has won more at a single Games.

McKeon's haul of four gold and three bronze took her Olympic career tally to 11 medals - no Australian has won more.

And her four golds is also an Australian record for the most at a single Olympics.

"It's overwhelming," said McKeon, an introverted 27-year-old from Wollongong who is now Australia's most successful Olympian.

Pictured here, Emma Mckeon poses with one of her gold medals from the Tokyo Games.
Emma Mckeon swam into the Australian record books after a sensational performance in Tokyo. Pic: Getty

While McKeon was the undoubted star, her teammates shone bright.

Twenty-year-old Kaylee McKeown collected three gold, becoming the seventh woman to complete the 100-200m backstroke double.

Another 20-year-old, Ariarne Titmus, was just the fourth woman to win both the 200-400m freestyles.

Titmus also took silver in the 800m freestyle and her duels over the shorter distances with American megastar Katie Ledecky entered into Olympic legend.

Australia's women's 4x100m freestyle relayers won gold for a third consecutive Olympics; the women's 4x100m medley also saluted.

Zac Stubblety-Cook, 22, was the sole Australian male to win gold although two compatriots went agonisingly close.

Kyle Chalmers was just 0.06 seconds from a successful defence of his 100m freestyle title - he won silver.

Jack McLoughlin's daring 400m freestyle tactics - set the pace and hold on - paid off until overtaken in the final metre by a Tunisian in lane eight - the Australian finished second by 0.16 seconds.

And veteran swimmers Cate Campbell and Emily Seebohm also achieved rare feats, with medals at their fourth consecutive Olympics.

Campbell departed Tokyo with two relay golds and a bronze behind McKeon in the 100m freestyle while Seebohm captured an emotional 200m backstroke bronze.

with AAP

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