Olympics: Kate Douglass First, Katinka Hosszu Second in 200 IM Prelims

Jul 24, 2021; Tokyo, Japan; Katinka Hosszu (HUN) during the women's 400m individual medley heats during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Network
Photo Courtesy: Robert Hanashiro -- USA Today Sports

Olympics: Kate Douglass First, Katinka Hosszu Second in 200 IM Prelims

If the women’s 400 individual medley at the Tokyo Olympics taught us anything about Katinka Hosszu, it’s that the Iron Lady is not to be counted out yet.

At 32, she may not be the world-beater she used to be, the all-conquering power that can dominate just about anything she swims. But the way she battled in the 400 IM on the way to fifth place indicate she’s not to be easily dismissed in the 200 IM, one of the three events she won at the Rio Olympics.

Jul 26, 2021; Tokyo, Japan; Katie Douglass (USA) in the women's 200m individual medley heats during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Kate Douglass; Photo Courtesy: Robert Hanashiro/USA TODAY Sports

Tuesday night, she supplied a solid opening act in the shorter individual medley, taking the second seed out of prelims with a composed 2:09.70.

The prelims pace was set by Kate Douglass, who led the back at 2:09.16. It’s .16 quicker than the University of Virginia star was at the U.S. Olympic Trials. Her college and national teammate, Alex Walsh, is tied for the third seed in 2:09.94, a time that is level with Great Britain’s Abbie Wood.

“I was super happy,” Douglass said. “Doing a best time is not what I expected to do today, so that is awesome. I was able to do that knowing that I have more left in the tank for tomorrow.”

It could be an aid to Hosszu’s aspirations – as well as the emerging youngsters’ – that only two swimmers from the Rio final are back, due to retirements and failure to qualify. The other, Sydney Pickrem, is fighting an illness that forced her to scratch the 400 IM. She got stronger as the race went on Monday, even by her usual standards as a back-halfer, to finish third in her heat and sixth overall in 2:10.13. The top nine swimmers are separated by just 1.23 seconds.

Japan will have two representatives in the final. Yui Ohashi, the 400 IM champ, is the 11th seed in 2:10.77 after getting caught up in a slow prelims heat. Miho Teramura is 13th.

Women’s 200 individual medley

  • World Record: Katinka Hosszu, Hungary, 2:06.12 (2015)
  • Olympic record: Katinka Hosszu, Hungary, 2:06.58 (2016)
  1. Kate Douglass, United States, 2:09.16
  2. Katinka Hosszu, Hungary, 2:09.70
  3. Abbie Wood, Great Britain, 2:09.94
  4. Alex Walsh, United States, 2:09.94
  5. Maria Ugolkova, Switzerland, 2:10.04
  6. Sydney Pickrem, Canada, 2:10.13
  7. Anastasia Gorbenko, Israel, 2:10.21
  8. Yu Yiting, China, 2:10.22
  9. Alicia Wilson, Great Britain, 2:10.39
  10. Yui Ohashi, Japan, 2:10.77
  11. Cyrielle Duhamel, France, 2:11.11
  12. Miho Teramura, Japan, 2:11.21
  13. Ilaria Cusinato, Italy, 2:11.41
  14. Sara Franceschi, Italy, 2:11.47
  15. Seoyeong Kim, South Korea, 2:11.54
  16. Kristyna Horska, Czech Republic, 2:12.21

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