She beat the 200m freestyle world record holder at the Sydney Olympic Park aquatic center, her compatriot Mollie O’Callaghan (58 sec 71), and now has the six fastest times in history over 100 m back.

McKeown, who is the first woman to hold world records in all three backstroke distances, will head to the Olympics as the hot favourite. Another Olympic champion, Ariarne Titmus, won the 400m freestyle title in 4’02”39, narrowly ahead of Lani Pallister (4’02”65) and by more than eight seconds Jamie Perkins, who is ranked third.

Like McKeown, Titmus will be the woman to beat in Paris as the reigning champion and world record holder. But the American Katie Ledecky and the young Canadian Summer McIntosh will be significant threats. Olympic bronze medalist Emma McKeon won the 100m butterfly in 57”37, but was relegated to second place tied with O’Callaghan in the 50m freestyle won by Bronte Campbell (24”64) . The New South Wales state championships, which conclude on Sunday, are an important step towards the Australian Olympic trials which will take place in June.