Emma McKeon chases own glory

SWIMMING

The promising career of Wollongong swimmer Emma McKeon is on the verge of taking one giant leap forward.

After starting 2014 in scintillating form, the 19-year-old is poised to etch her name among the country's elite in the pool.

In less than a fortnight, McKeon will compete at the Australian Championships in Brisbane - an event doubling as qualifying for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in July.

She has never made an Australian team individually. So making the Commonwealth Games would take her career to the next level.

"Both of my parents went to the Commonwealth Games representing Australia, so it would just be great for me to make the team as well in an individual spot with my brother [David]," McKeon said.

"It would be pretty special.

"We were both on the Australian team for Barcelona [World Championships], but it would be the first time we both made it individually if we made it."

If McKeon can emulate her efforts from the NSW Championships, she will be every chance of booking her ticket to Scotland.

The quietly spoken teen claimed gold in both the 100-metres and 200-metres freestyle earlier this month and set a time which would have placed her fourth at last year's World Championships over the longer distance.

At the national championships next month she will attempt to go lower again.

"I am hoping I can and I think I can as well," McKeon said.

"With tapering you can go that little bit quicker and do the races a little bit easier, so it makes those times you have done before a lot easier. Hopefully I will be able to go a lot faster."

The Australian titles will take place in the two McKeon siblings' new adopted state of Queensland.

Earlier this year, they moved away from the familiar surrounds of the South Coast, leaving coach and father Ron behind.

The pair have since trained under coach Vince Raleigh at Chandler, the venue of April's nationals.

"It is definitely different. I guess just getting used to a different coach because I had been training with my dad for most of my competitive swimming career," McKeon said.

"But I am enjoying it and getting used to it, so it's good.

"Both my coach Vince and dad have been communicating a lot leading into nationals because dad knows what we need, having had us for competition before."

McKeon will target individual positions on the Australian team for the 100m and 200m freestyle, as well as a spot on both relay teams.

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