Baker Busts Out Near-Lifetime Best 200 IM To Open FFN Golden Tour – Nice


American Olympic medalist Kathleen Baker already made her presence known here on day 1 of the FFN Golden Tour Camille Muffat meet in Nice, France, wrangling up two top seeds from the heats. The Team Elite star produced a morning 200m IM swim of 2:11.31 to land lane 4 in that event, followed by a solid 1:00.03 top mark in the 100m back just 2 events later.

Baker would wind up scratching the 100m back final, thereby forfeiting her morning monetary earnings, with the 22-year-old instead having designs on going full-throttle on the women’s 200m IM event.

Putting up splits of 27.90/31.53 (59.43)/37.17/32.15 (1:09.32), Baker stopped the clock at a time of 2:08.75 to take the 200m IM gold tonight in the 2nd best time of her career. This performance checks-in as just the 2nd sub-2:10 result ever for Baker, whose other occasion is represented by her 2:08.32 PB logged at the 2018 U.S. Summer Nationals.

Baker put on a show tonight in this race, beating the next-closest swimmer of Katinka Hosszu by almost 3 seconds. Reigning World Champion in this event, Hosszu touched in 2:11.72 for runner-up, while home nation swimmer Fantine Lessafre rounded out the top 3 200m IMers in 2:12.32.

For perspective, Baker’s 2:08.75 time tonight would have placed 4th in Gwangju last year. She is now the fastest American this season, overtaking Melanie Margalis’ time of 2:08.84 from U.S. Winter Nationals. Baker also becomes the 3rd fastest performer in the world this season.

2019-2020 LCM WOMEN 200 IM

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Team Elite squadmates Michael Chadwick and Kendyl Stewart were also in the pool tonight, with the former taking bronze in the 50m breast in 28.14. Winning that sprint event was Frenchman Theo Bussiere, who touched in 27.83, while Turkish athlete Emre Sakci also got under 28 seconds in 27.98.

Stewart topped the women’s 100m fly podium, producing a mark of 58.72. She led the leats in 59.01 before splitting 27.11/31.51 to produce 1 of just 2 sub-59 second outings. Behind her was Belarusian national record holder Anastasiya Shkurdai who posted 58.87, while Hosszu collected bronze in 59.45.

Hosszu had earlier raced the 50m free as well, winding up 8th in 25.87. It was Melanie Henique of France who got the job done for gold in the splash n’ dash, registering a winning time of 24.86.

Michelle Coleman of Sweden was next in line in 24.96 for silver, while Charlotte Bonnet notched bronze in 25.87.

Sans Baker in the 100m back final, Coleman took advantage of the absence and raced to the win in 1:01.03. Hosszu was in the water yet again, clocking 1:04.59 for a far-behind 8th place finish in the 1back event.

Additional Winners:

  • Alina Zmushka of Belarus took the women’s 50m breast in 31.44, followed by British-turned-Russian swimmer Tatiana Belonogoff who touched in 31.47. We’ll be publishing a separate post on Belonogoff’s federation change.
  • The men’s 400 IM saw Jeremy Desplanches of Switzerland do his thing for gold, producing a winning effort of 4:14.76.
  • Greece got on the board, courtesy of Apostolos Christou‘s winning effort of 54.08 in the 100m back. He led a trio of sub-55 men, which also included runner-up Yohann Ndoye Brouard of France (54.35) and his teammate Mewen Tomac (54.71).
  • Greece wrangled up another gold by way of Konstantinos Englezakis‘ victory in the 400 free. The 18-year-old logged 3:49.27 to edge out Tunisian Ayoub Hafnaoui‘s time of 3:49.90.
  • Israeli Yauhen Tsurkin won the men’s 50m fly in 23.74, out-touching Maxime Grousset by just .11.


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Ol’ Longhorn
2 years ago

Geez. I first read the title as “Baker’s Busts Out…”. Had to hide my eyes.

2 years ago

go Kathleen!

2 years ago

I would love to see Baker’s exact revenge on hosszu for the 200 Im in Tokyo ( hosszu beat Baker at the finish on the 100 back were Baker had the fastest prelims and semi finals time)

2 years ago

Rested? Shaved? Just asking.

Bobo Gigi
Reply to  Snarky
2 years ago

Of course she’s rested. I presume that’s her “rested meet” of winter season. She’s using that LCM meet as a test to see where she is right now.

2 years ago

I think Katinka’s results are someone skewed because from the looks inside the results, Hosszu swam every event this session
» 18h29 – 50 Brasse Dames Finale A
» 18h34 – 50 Nage Libre Dames Finale A
» 18h54 – 100 Papillon Dames Finale A
» 19h04 – 200 4 Nages Dames Finale A
» 19h11 – 100 Dos Dames Finale A
Does the timeline here indicate that each event began at the time indicated? If so that’s brutal to swim 5 events all within a 45 minute window

Reply to  moddiddle
2 years ago

plus the 1500 earlier in the day. It seems pretty pointless she didnt win much prize money by doing this.

Coach Mike 1952
Reply to  Taa
2 years ago

Could well be fast training swims, remember that some athletes due to scheduling, etc. use meets for training too.

Corn Pop
Reply to  Taa
2 years ago

Its one heck of a training swim tho. Its Beasty.

2 years ago

Queen thleen is back😇

Sunny Cal
Reply to  Swimmerj
2 years ago

The eyelashes are back!

2 years ago

Only thing though if you think about it the last 5 Olympics the ims have been swept by one person at each Olympics. As much as I would love to see Baker win she’s going up against history

Reply to  Swimfan
2 years ago

History: The Toughest Competitor

Loretta Race
Reply to  Coleman Hodges
2 years ago

Nah, it’s the clock.

Reply to  Swimfan
2 years ago

INB4 Kathleen Baker drops 4:30 400 IM at trials, splitting 1:04 on backstroke, allowing history to repeat itself once again.

Reply to  Swimfan
2 years ago

So Hosszu in 2016, Ye in 2012, Stephanie Rice in 2008, Yana Klochkova in 2004 and 2000?

PK Doesn't Like His Long Name
Reply to  N P
2 years ago

And Michelle Smith in 96.

Reply to  PK Doesn't Like His Long Name
2 years ago

I forgot about the 96 Olympics good catch

PK Doesn't Like His Long Name
2 years ago

This is an extremely encouraging sign, the first instance of good form after a lost 2019. Especially with a good taper, she could have a gold-medal winning time in her in this race-coming home 32.1 is way off the 31.2 she came home in in 2018, which could easily be a function of rest.

Reply to  PK Doesn't Like His Long Name
2 years ago

I didn’t think about this but you are right— Hosszu is beatable.

Sun's Syringe
2 years ago

I mean, that is quite evident considering Hosszu has now been beat two times recently.

Coach Mike 1952
2 years ago

Maya Dirado would definitely agree too!

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Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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