Justina Kozan Closes 200 IM in 29.75, Faster than All 2020 Olympic Finalists

2021 SPEEDO SUMMER CHAMPIONSHIPS – IRVINE

SATURDAY FINALS HEAT SHEET

Day 5 – Saturday, August 7

  • Women’s 1500 Freestyle
  • 200 Individual Medley
  • Men’s 800 Freestyle
  • 50 Freestyle
  • 4 x 100 Medley Relay

WOMEN’S 200 INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY — FINALS

PODIUM:

  1. Justina Kozan (MVN) – 2:11.96
  2. Teagan O’Dell (NOVA) – 2:12.53
  3. Campbell Stoll (EBSC) – 2:16.92

Mission Viejo 17-year-old Justina Kozan clocked a 2:11.96 to win the women’s 200 IM tonight in Irvine, marking her 4th title of the meet. Kozan’s time was not a personal best, but it was her fastest time as a 17-year-old, so it resulted in her landing at #12 all-time among 17-18 girls, and #10 all-time among 17-year-olds.

The bigger story, however, is the most recent in a long line for Kozan. That would be her absolutely incredible closing speed in the 200 IM. Kozan has made waves before for bringing 200 IMs home in under 30 seconds on freestyle, and she did it again tonight. Her free split tonight was 29.75, which was the fastest split in tonight’s field by nearly 2 seconds.

More impressively is how Kozan’s free split stacks up against the best in the world. For example, her 29.75 tonight was exactly 1 second faster than the fastest freestyle split in the final of the women’s 200 IM at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics a few weeks ago. 200 IM Gold medalist Yui Ohashi of Japan posted the fastest free split in the Olympic final, a 30.75.

Here are the free splits from all 8 of the women’s 200 IM Olympic finalists:

Now, onto Kozan’s swim as a whole tonight. Her time of 2:11.96 was just off her lifetime best of 2:11.55, which she swam at the 2019 World Junior Championships. Kozan’s swim tonight was her fastest since her lifetime best performance.

Here is a split comparison between Kozan’s personal best swim and her swim from tonight:

Splits 2019 World Jr Champs – Lifetime Best 2021 Speedo Summer Champs – FINALS
50m 28.24 29.18
100m 34.72 35.18
150m 38.62 37.85
200m 29.97 29.75
Final Time 2:11.55 2:11.96

Firstly, it’s notable that her free splits on both occasions were under 30 seconds. She was slower on fly and back tonight than she was in 2019, but she was also significantly faster on the breaststroke 50. Tonight, Kozan was 1.40 seconds slower on the first 100, but she came home 0.99 seconds faster on the 2nd 100 than her 2019 performance.

Here is the all-time top 12 for United States 17-18 girls in the LCM 200 IM:

Rank Time Swimmer Date
1 2:09.01 Alex Walsh 12/5/2019
2 2:10.02 Elizabeth Pelton 12/1/2011
3 2:10.05 Katie Hoff 8/1/2006
4 2:10.38 Torri Huske 6/15/2021
5 2:10.75 Elizabeth Beisel 8/2/2011
6 2:11.11 Dagny Knutson 7/7/2009
7 2:11.26 Meghan Small 7/18/2015
8 2:11.28 Caitlin Leverenz 6/29/2008
9 2:11.92 Maya DiRado 8/2/2011
10 2:11.96 Justina Kozan 8/7/2021

*Though Pickrem now represents Canada internationally, she is a dual citizen of the US and Canada.

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Tom Dean Boxall
2 months ago

And most importantly almost a full second quicker than MA!

Hswimmer
Reply to  Tom Dean Boxall
2 months ago

She’s closed in 29.1 before, so no surprise

Chineeese boy
Reply to  Tom Dean Boxall
2 months ago

MA is getting slaughtered everywhere lol

Awsi Dooger
Reply to  Chineeese boy
2 months ago

And I’m enjoying it immensely. In particular it was hilarious when Rowdy lashed out against the “haters.” Yeah, that will do it. Just think, swimmers like Walsh and Douglass who actually won individual medals were forced to return to college campuses with all those masks and vaccinations and debauchery.

Walter
Reply to  Awsi Dooger
2 months ago

And liberal indoctrination!

Smith-Jacoby-Huske-Weitzeil
Reply to  Chineeese boy
2 months ago

Michael Andrew turned pro at the age of 14.

Dudeman
Reply to  Smith-Jacoby-Huske-Weitzeil
2 months ago

We know, it’s been the main staple of his career for the last 7+ years

Snarky
Reply to  Tom Dean Boxall
2 months ago

Ouch. In so many ways.

Eouai
Reply to  Tom Dean Boxall
2 months ago

This was the comment I came looking for. Comments section does not disappoint! Here, take my upvote =)

Last edited 2 months ago by Eouai
College swimmer
2 months ago

Faster than Michael Andrew too.

swimfan
2 months ago

Faster than Michael Andrew too

Sam B
2 months ago

that’s what she needed to beat Teagan

Texas Tap Water
2 months ago

MAndrew has left the chat

Here Comes Lezak
2 months ago

Something something Michael Andrew etc.

Virtus
2 months ago

Swim swam knew what they were doing posting this article

Bobo Gigi
2 months ago

Her freestyle is impressive.
But it’s unfair to compare to olympics.
No semis. She cruised in prelims in 2.18.19, far from his best time, saving much energy for the final while in Tokyo they were in 2.10 and under in semis. And the slower you go before the freestyle leg the more likely you have to finish strong. If MA pushes less in his first 3 strokes he will go faster on freestyle. The other day I answered a comment asking if Bobby Finke’s last 50 was the fastest ever in a 1500 free race. I’ve made my researches and I’ve found that only Sun Yang had finished faster in London 2012 in 25.68. But Bobby Finke and… Read more »

swimfast
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
2 months ago

this would be true if MA didn’t literally always close in an incredibly slow freestyle. even in a timed final he would start sinking the last 10 meters.

it’s truly a lack of aerobic training and sustained pace work. all he might need is a good ol’ 10 x 100 IM on 1:30 (short course of course) holding 85%. that’s VO2 Max. that’s what really hits the spot for a 200 IMer

Last edited 2 months ago by swimfast
Yup
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
2 months ago

That, and 30.69 just flat stinks…..

Smith-Jacoby-Huske-Weitzeil
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
2 months ago

If Michael Andrew wants to avoid the criticism, drop the individual 200 meter events from his program. It’s a broken record in the men’s 200 meter individual medley for the last 50 meters:

Piano
Grand Piano
Steinway

Yup
Reply to  Smith-Jacoby-Huske-Weitzeil
2 months ago

at this point, MA should have already composed a concerto….

The Weez
Reply to  Smith-Jacoby-Huske-Weitzeil
2 months ago

It’s also arguably his best event…at least the event that he’s most likely to consistently medal in on the World stage (based on time). And if a world record is the ultimate goal, the 200 IM is his best shot.

Smith-Jacoby-Huske-Weitzeil
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
2 months ago

It’s getting to a point where a female swimmer will need to post a sub 2:09 to medal in the women’s 200 meter individual medley at a major international tournament (Summer Olympics, World Championships).

WhoGoesHere
Reply to  Smith-Jacoby-Huske-Weitzeil
2 months ago

‘12 and’16 Olympics had top 3 under 2:09

Canuswim
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
2 months ago

Totally agree! Great finish and freestyle leg (1/4) was world class, but other 3 stroke 50’s (3/4) need to come along to even semi-final at the international level.