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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.
|Cowdrey, 2008||Hodge, 2022|
|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)|
🚨 WORLD RECORD 🚨
🇦🇺 Timothy Hodge has broken a long-standing record in the Men’s 200m IM SM9 with a 2:13.43 🤩
— 7Sport (@7Sport) June 13, 2022
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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