ZUMO Performance of the Week: Kathleen Baker Back on Track With 2:08 200 IM

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Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

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This week’s ZUMO Performance of the Week goes to Kathleen Baker of the United States for her 2:08.75 in the 200 IM at the Golden Tour in France. Baker secured a win over reigning Olympic champ and two-time reigning World champ Katinka Hosszu as the American demolished Hosszu by three seconds.

Baker had an incredible year in 2018, breaking the first world record of her career in the 100 backstroke and also winning a national title in the 200 back and 200 IM. She also started a professional career with Speedo and was at the top of her game. But in 2019, injuries got in the way for her and she was not the same. Baker had qualified to swim the 200 IM and the 100 and 200 back for the World Championships this past summer, and she elected to drop out of the 200 IM to just focus on the backstroke events.

She finished sixth in the Worlds final in the 100 backstroke and also was ninth in the 200 back, missing the final by two tenths.

Many had written Baker off heading into 2020 with a lot of focus on teenagers Regan Smith and Phoebe Bacon as well as 50 back World champ Olivia Smoliga. But Baker showed signs of rejuvenation this weekend in France with a 2:08 200 IM as well as a 2:07 in the 200 back, which was two seconds quicker than what she did at the World Championships.

She also handed Hosszu her second straight loss in the 200 IM as the Hungarian had not been beaten in that event since 2013, but has since taken a loss to Canada’s Sydney Pickrem and now to Kathleen Baker.

Baker now sits at the top of the world rankings for 2020 in the 200 IM ahead of Pickrem (2:09.26) and fellow American Madisyn Cox (2:09.88).

Congratulations to Kathleen Baker on winning the ZUMO Performance of the Week!

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Previous ZUMO Performances of the Week

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