2022 FINA WORLD AQUATICS CHAMPIONSHIPS
- June 18-25, 2022 (pool swimming)
- Budapest, Hungary
- Duna Arena
- LCM (50-meter format)
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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:
- Katinka Hosszu, Hungary – 2:06.12 (2015)
- Ariarne Kukors, United States – 2:06.15 (2009)
- Siobhan Marie O’Connor, Great Britain – 2:06.88 (2016)
- Stephanie Rice, Australia – 2:07.03 (2009)
- 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.
|Alex Walsh, 2021 Olympics||Alex Walsh, 2022 U.S. Trials||Alex Walsh, 2022 World Championships||Katinka Hosszu, 2015 World Championships (World Record)|
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.