Australia may currently be fifth on the Olympic medal tally, but we are making a solid case for a gold medal berth in the ancient sport of shit-talking.
Swimmer Taylor McKeown has now launched her own psychological campaign against Russia’s Yulia Efimova ahead of Friday’s 200M Breaststroke final clash.
And, like the ruthless verbal juggernaut that is Mack Horton, McKeown has taken particular umbrage at her opponent’s prior doping infractions.
Ahead of their aquatic biffo, 21-year-old McKeown – who emerged as the event’s fastest qualifier – said she’s “taken a lot of inspiration from [Horton’s] swims this week.
I was quite emotional after his win because I knew it was such a big win for clean sport and for Australia.”
That’s a point the young gun reiterated when she said “our country doesn’t look too kindly on people in that situation that have been caught, let alone twice…
I think it’s very important that people are aware that a clean sport is a good sport and there’s no room for cheats in our sport.”
The “cheating” McKeown speaks of / rags on the time Efimova tested positive for a banned steroid in 2013, before being pinged for meldonium (yes, meldonium of Maria Sharapova fame) usage in March this year.
The Aussie athlete’s comments follow similar sprays from the USA’s Lilly King; after some literal finger-wagging from Efimova after her 100M Breaststroke semi-final win, King did the same in her semi, saying “if that’s what she feels she needs to be able to compete, whatever… I’m here to compete clean for the US.”
Forget the green pool. We’ll be lucky if Rio finishes without one of ’em turning red.