arena Swim of the Week: Timothy Hodge Downs 14-Year-Old World Record In 200 IM SM9

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Disclaimer: Swim of the Week is not meant to be a conclusive selection of the best overall swim of the week, but rather one Featured Swim to be explored in deeper detail. The Swim of the Week is an opportunity to take a closer look at the context of one of the many fast swims this week, perhaps a swim that slipped through the cracks as others grabbed the headlines, or a race we didn’t get to examine as closely in the flood of weekly meets.

Australian swimmer Timothy Hodge has been on the verge of breaking through and winning a gold medal on the major international scene for three years now, and he finally got over the hump this week at the World Para Swimming Championships in Madeira.

Hodge, 21, represented Australia at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio when he was just 15, and then progressed up to winning a pair of bronzes in the men’s 100 backstroke S9 and the 200 IM SM9 at the 2019 Worlds in London.

Two years later at the Paralympics in Tokyo, Hodge won three medals—two silver and one bronze—all three of which would’ve been gold if Russia and Belarus weren’t competing (which is the case at this year’s Worlds).

It didn’t matter who was in the field on Monday in the men’s 200 IM SM9 in Madeira, Hodge would not be denied.

He stormed to the gold medal by more than two seconds in 2:13.43, breaking a 14-year-old world record in the process.

Hodge’s time lowered the previous mark of 2:13.60, set by fellow Aussie Matthew Cowdrey back at the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing.

Split Comparison

Cowdrey, 2008 Hodge, 2022
28.54 28.64
1:03.80 (35.26 1:01.94 (33.30)
1:42.22 (38.42) 1:41.24 (39.30)
2:13.60 (31.38) 2:13.43 (32.19)

Additionally, Hodge’s time was more than a second clear of the time Russia’s Andrei Kalina went to claim Paralympic gold last year (2:14.90).

Hodge was 2:15.42 to take second in Tokyo.

A native of Blacktown, New South Wales, Hodge also won gold on Australia’s mixed 400 medley relay, and on Friday, added a bronze medal in the men’s 100 backstroke S9 to his haul with a time of 1:01.38.

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About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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