David McKeon feels destiny calling from Glasgow

David McKeon celebrates winning the Men's 400 Metre Freestyle at the Australian Swimming Championships in April last year. Picture: GETTY IMAGES
David McKeon celebrates winning the Men's 400 Metre Freestyle at the Australian Swimming Championships in April last year. Picture: GETTY IMAGES


Keeping track of the medals already hanging in his family's Wollongong home has been hard for David McKeon.

But it seemed another stocktake loomed after McKeon admitted there was a "sense of destiny" about he and younger sister Emma adding to their household's impressive tally by following in their family's footsteps at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games pool.

McKeon's clan can lay claim to being Australian swimming's first family - a fact the three-time national 400m freestyle champion remarkably had only just fully realised.

Wandering around the family home, McKeon discovered mounted medals belonging to his father Ron, who won the 200m and 400m freestyle at the 1978 Commonwealth Games.

They were always there - McKeon simply hadn't grasped their importance.

His mother Susie Woodhouse was also no slouch, competing in the pool at the 1982 Brisbane Games.

Then there's his uncle Rob Woodhouse, a Commonwealth Games champion and Olympic medallist.

Yet McKeon admitted he had no idea about the full extent of his family's achievements until recently.

"I think there are a couple of medals at the rec room at home," said McKeon, who is in line to grab the Australian swim team's first Glasgow gold in the 400m.

"To tell you the truth, I only worked out what they were just a couple of years ago. I didn't really go into that room."

Perhaps a proposed team address by his uncle Rob at Glasgow will also help jog McKeon's memory.

But more special moments may loom for the McKeons in Scotland.

"I guess there is a sense of destiny, but I am not trying to think too much about it," he said of following in their parents' footsteps.

"I am just trying to enjoy the journey."

McKeon and his sister may have relocated to Brisbane this year but more spoils appear bound for the Wollongong family home's pool room after the Glasgow Games.

McKeon will back himself for the 200m-400m double, while Emma is set to become the team's next golden girl.

The 20-year-old Emma - ranked No 1 in the Commonwealth in 200m freestyle - is tipped to claim a record-equalling six gold at Glasgow.

They will vie for some of the initial medals on offer in the pool at Scotland after fittingly becoming the first to book their Glasgow ticket at the national titles.

McKeon admitted they had blossomed after being cut loose by tough-loving dad and ex-coach Ron.

"I learned a lot from my dad but it was time for me to move on and be coached by someone who could get stuck into me," McKeon said.

"Dad couldn't really get stuck into me I suppose, because at the end of the day we would have to go home together."



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