Alex Walsh Clocks 2:07.13 200 IM, Becomes #5 Performer Of All-Time

2022 FINA WORLD AQUATICS CHAMPIONSHIPS

It looks like we just found our next biggest star in the women’s 200 IM.

In the finals of the 200 IM tonight, American swimmer Alex Walsh dominated the rest of the competition, swimming a time of 2:07.13 and winning by over a second. She now becomes the fifth fastest performer of all-time in this event, and the third-fastest performer in a textile suit behind Katinka Hosszu and Siobhan Marie O’Connor. Walsh also had the second-fastest performance by an American, with only Ariana Kukors‘s 2:06.15 supersuited swim from 2009 being quicker.

Walsh’s win snaps Hosszu’s streak of fourth straight 200 IM World Championship titles ranging from 2013 to 2019, marking the end of the Hosszu’s era of dominance in this event. In fact, Walsh’s race today was the fastest women’s 200 IM swum since 2019, when Hosszu went a time of 2:07.02.

All-Time Top Performers, Women’s 200 IM:

  1. Katinka Hosszu, Hungary – 2:06.12 (2015)
  2. Ariarne Kukors, United States – 2:06.15 (2009)
  3. Siobhan Marie O’Connor, Great Britain – 2:06.88 (2016)
  4. Stephanie Rice, Australia – 2:07.03 (2009)
  5. Alex Walsh, United States – 2:07.13 (2022)

Last year, at the Tokyo Olympic games, Walsh won the silver medal in a time of 2:08.65. She later improved on that mark at the 2022 U.S. World Championship trials, when she went 2:07.84 to break the U.S. Open record and become the fastest non-Hosszu performer in the event since Marie O’Connor in 2016. Today, she dropped 0.71 seconds off her trials time.

Splits Comparison: Alex Walsh vs. Alex Walsh vs. Alex Walsh vs. Katinka Hosszu:

Alex Walsh, 2021 Olympics Alex Walsh, 2022 U.S. Trials Alex Walsh, 2022 World Championships Katinka Hosszu, 2015 World Championships (World Record)
Fly 27.98 27.62 27.29 27.30
Back 32.68 32.61 32.06 31.64
Breast 37.04 36.85 36.84 36.70
Free 30.95 30.76 30.94 30.48
Total 2:08.65 2:07.84 2:07.13 2:06.12

From last year to this year, Walsh has seen the most improvement in the first 150 meters of her race. Her splits from the fly, back, and breast portion of the 200 IM have all improved by a significant amount since the Olympics, with her butterfly time dropping the 0.69 seconds- the most out of all the strokes. However, her final 50 has remained stagnant compared to the rest of her race, only improving 0.01 seconds from Tokyo. If she wants a shot at Hosszu’s world record, she will likely need to work on her freestyle more.

Either way, world record or not, Walsh’s swim is an incredible one for the history books, and a sign that a changing of the guards in the 200 IM has occurred.

In This Story

23
Leave a Reply

Subscribe
Notify of

23 Comments
newest
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Smith-King-Huske-Curzan
5 months ago
oxyswim
5 months ago

Every Olympic champion in the 200 IM has won the 400 IM as well dating back to the 1992 games. Time to add that to the schedule and see if she can keep that streak alive!

chris
5 months ago

phenomenal swim. She and Kate are on another level.

Justhereforfun
Reply to  chris
5 months ago

Kate? What does she have to do with this

LBSWIM
Reply to  chris
5 months ago

I believe the original poster was just saying they are both studs. Alex for what we saw today as one example. And Kate for what we saw at NCAAs and then making the team sprinting a 100 free and also a 200 breast. They are exciting to watch and their futures look promising.

cents
Reply to  chris
5 months ago

Kate prolly should focus more on breaststroke after ncaa. Alex is the one on another level and Hayes is def gonna get better.

Meow
5 months ago

Ariarne Titmus, but Ariana Kukors.

VFL
5 months ago

What other events can she realistically branch out to before Paris? Feel like her 400 IM has gold medal potential as well. She’s much better at the 200s of all 4 strokes than their respective 100s. Doesn’t have a weak leg.

Huge swim and love rooting for her. Just feels like such a versatile swimmer would/could have more swims!

PVK
Reply to  VFL
5 months ago

She’s kind of Lochte-esque in that way. A true 200 specialist. She’s got to have a great LCM 400 IM in her.

swimfan27
Reply to  VFL
5 months ago

I think 200 IM, 400 IM, 200 Breast, 200 Free

swimfan27
Reply to  VFL
5 months ago

Would love to see an LCM 200 fly from her as well. And early on in her career it seemed like 200 back was her bread and butter.

Smith-King-Huske-Curzan
Reply to  swimfan27
5 months ago

The semifinals of women’s 200 meter butterfly is scheduled during the same session as the final of the women’s 200 meter individual medley.

moonlight
Reply to  VFL
5 months ago

still puzzled why she didn’t try for the 400 IM LC. she won NCAAs by a large margin. i know the 400 IM “takes a lot of work” but I would think it’s beneficial to try it out at high level competitions and get in some reps before Paris.

Troyy
Reply to  VFL
5 months ago

She’ll have McIntosh to contend with in the 400 IM.

Smith-King-Huske-Curzan
Reply to  VFL
5 months ago

The W 400 IM definitely has potential.

Smith-King-Huske-Curzan
Reply to  VFL
5 months ago

The W 200 BR does not interfere with the W 200 IM or the W 400 IM at the Summer Olympics.

Last edited 5 months ago by Smith-King-Huske-Curzan
Mac
5 months ago

Outstanding!

HOOlove
5 months ago

Great technique from NAC & improved endurance from UVA = amazing performance from Walsh

So proud of her!!

Swimdad
Reply to  HOOlove
5 months ago

Yep – She lived in Greenwich CT and swam for Chelsea Piers in Stamford CT before they moved to Nashville. If I recall correctly, she set a few NAG records as a 12 year old while there.

Still and all some terrific swimming and clearly coaching building upon coaching as she’s moved through the system.

There's no doubt that he's tightening up
5 months ago

A shame that Siobhan Marie O’Connor struggled with health problems. She’s only about a year older than Ledecky.

Awsi Dooger

Yes, her absence is really felt. Plus there is so much inconsistency with the top Asians in this event. Consequently this race is now incredibly weak on the international level. Only 4 women broke 2:11 in a world championship final. That is ridiculous. Nobody who finished the final in 2017 or 2019 was anywhere near 2:11

Last edited 5 months ago by Awsi Dooger
Justhereforfun
Reply to  Awsi Dooger
5 months ago

To be fair, it took a 2:10.72 to make the final, which is comparable to 2017 (2:10.45) and 2019 (2:10.49) even though more than half the field swam slower in the finals

12 plus gold in budapest
Reply to  Awsi Dooger
5 months ago

O’Connor is different from Haughey

About Yanyan Li

Yanyan Li

Although Yanyan wasn't the greatest competitive swimmer, she learned more about the sport of swimming through scoring countless dual meets, being a timer, and keeping track of her teammates' best times for three years as a team manager. She eventually ventured into the realm of writing and joined SwimSwam in …

Read More »