Emma McKeon’s fly-in, fly-out program
EMMA McKeon is likely to add the 200m butterfly to her Commonwealth Games program in what could be her only chance to race the event internationally.
McKeon will line up in the event at the national swimming trials in three weeks' time but she and coach Michael Bohl are yet to make a final decision about whether to add the event to her program for the Gold Coast Games.
Taking on one of the most gruelling swim events would give McKeon a marathon seven-event program for the Games.
But the 23-year-old, who won a combined 10 medals at the last Olympics and world championships to be Australia's most successful swimmer of the past two years, is keen to tackle the challenge.
McKeon seems naturally suited to the 200m butterfly, with Olympic great and Atlanta 2004 gold medallist Susie O'Neill rating the event a natural fit for the Griffith University swimmer.
"I'm going to enter it for trials," McKeon said.
"That first day I've got the 200m free and 200m fly, so that's a bit of a challenge but I'm excited to give it a go. I hope it doesn't affect one or the other.
"Obviously the 200m free is my main focus because that's the event I'm doing every year.
"But I think the 200m fly is a nice challenge for me and it's just something different I'm not used to racing every year.
"I haven't really raced it internationally before and I haven't raced it tapered before, so it's just something where I can see where I'm at."
The 200m butterfly clashes with freestyle events on most international programs and the Gold Coast Games shapes as one of the few times McKeon could race it before streamlining her program heading into the Tokyo Olympics.
But she will not cull too many events, with constant racing helping manage her nerves over a week of competition.
"Budapest was a massive program," she said of last year's world championship campaign where she tackled seven events, winning six medals.
"I did well but it's still something that I need to work on, handling that big workload. Towards the end of the week it was hard.
"When you've got relays at the end of the week you really want to step up and race and give your best.
"I don't think (the 200m butterfly) is an event I can add to that big program but it's nice to give it a go (at smaller events)."
With Cate Campbell on a post-Olympic sabbatical, McKeon also swam the 100m freestyle in Budapest but she is unlikely to carry that workload in the future, concentrating mainly on the 200m freestyle and 100m butterfly - events in which she already challenges the best in the world.
"Last year I had the 100m free as well, so that's another three races that I added (through heats, semi-finals and finals)," she said.
"I wouldn't want to drop the 200m free or 100m fly, they're both main priorities for me."