David McKeon’s PB is one of the fastest times in the world. Photo: Clive Rose/Getty Images
David McKeon’s PB is one of the fastest times in the world. Photo: Clive Rose/Getty Images

McKeon vows to go quicker

HE'S an Olympic finalist and Commonwealth Games medallist but David McKeon is adamant he hasn't yet tapped into his full potential.

McKeon heads into this week's Commonwealth Games trials at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre in two of Australia's most competitive events.

A 200m and 400m freestyle specialist, McKeon faces some of the toughest fields at this week's trials and while he enters the longer event as a silver medallist from Glasgow and Olympic finalist, he knows winning a spot at the Gold Coast Games won't come easily.

"A spot's never guaranteed for anyone," McKeon said.

"It's about doing your best on the day.

"The 200m is probably a bit more competitive than the 400m - there's a lot of people in that 200 freestyle, there's a few people that go 1:46, including myself, so it's exciting to see a few more of the younger boys move up and progress and push us older boys."

While Victorian Mack Horton grabbed the headlines after winning gold in the 400m freestyle in Rio, McKeon's effort to finish seventh in the final is also outstanding - although McKeon does not believe it will be his peak.

"I only started swimming (seriously) when I was 17, so I've got only seven or eight years of swimming behind me," he said.

"Everyone else racing in that field would have started when they were 12 years old, so it's like racing a 12-year-old against a 24-year-old.

The McKeon family (from left) Emma, David, Ron and Susie. Photo: Jane Dempster/The Australian
The McKeon family (from left) Emma, David, Ron and Susie. Photo: Jane Dempster/The Australian

"But I'm confident in my swimming at the moment, in the 400m and the 200m also and I'm just looking forward to resting up and getting a bit more speed so I can be competitive in that 200m (as well).

"My PB is one of the fastest times in the world, so it's good to have that confidence."

McKeon and sister Emma can seal a special place in history if they both make the team for the Gold Coast Games.

The pair both won spots at the Glasgow Games four years ago to emulate the efforts of parents Ron and Susie (nee Woodhouse), who both swam at the 1982 Games.

But swimming in Brisbane would complete a neat circle, with two generations of the family competing at Commonwealth Games within 100km of each other 36 years apart.

"It is pretty special," McKeon said.

"We did the whole Commonwealth Games thing back in Glasgow when all four of us had all been to the Commonwealth Games and also my uncle Rob (Woodhouse).

"But to do it again in Australia would be even more special.

"And to have all the family here - from both sides of the family - come and support us in the stands, we don't get that very often but it's going to be an exciting time."