McKeon wins Olympic 100m freestyle gold

Emma McKeon says her coveted individual gold is the sweetest of all as she swims to the edge of Australian Olympic history.

Australia's McKeon won gold and compatriot Cate Campbell bronze in Friday's 100-metres freestyle at the Tokyo Olympics.

It was McKeon's eighth Olympic career medal, but first individual gold.

"I've never won an Olympics or worlds (world championships) individual title," said McKeon, who clocked a winning time of 51.96 seconds - a new Olympic record. "That's what the Olympics is all about. To be able to stand on top of that podium.

"I still can't believe I have just won a gold medal."

McKeon joins Ariarne Titmus as dual gold medallists in Tokyo.

McKeon -- who also has two bronze -- is one shy of equalling the Australian record for most medals at a single Olympics.

Swim legends Ian Thorpe and Shane Gould are the only Australians with five medals at one Games.

And McKeon could still add two more golds, in the 50m freestyle and 4x100m mixed medley relay.

Should McKeon collect six medals in Tokyo, not only would it be a new Australian benchmark at a single Games.

She would also be the first Australian with a double-figure medal collection, surpassing Thorpe's nine -- five gold, three silver and a bronze -- in his fabled career.

The 100m podium was completed by Hong Kong's Siobhan Haughey (52.27 seconds) and Campbell (52.52).

Four-time Olympian Campbell now has three gold and three bronze career medals and is also a shot at the 50m freestyle.

Campbell's 100m bronze also goes some way to banishing the disappointment of her sixth in Rio when she entered as world record holder.

"I am so pleased with that performance and so pleased with that race and so proud of the week I've managed to put together," she said. "They were understandably quite a few demons knocking at the door when I woke up this morning.

"But I held them all at bay and performed when it counted to get another Olympic medal."

Campbell hailed McKeon's feat.

"She is one of the toughest competitors and trainers that I've ever encountered," she said. "She deserves everything that has come her way."