Ray Looze: Lilly King Racing At “80% of Her Capability” At World Championships


Indiana University head coach Ray Looze all but confirmed that his star pupil Lilly King is dealing with the after-effects of COVID-19 at the 2022 World Championships in Budapest.

Speaking to the Indy Star on Tuesday, Looze said that King is competing at “80% of what her capability is,” coming off the two-time defending champion’s fourth-place finish in the women’s 100 breaststroke on Monday.

“She’s doing the best she can,” Looze said. “It doesn’t take a genius to kind of know what’s going on, given the world around us.”

Former U.S. Olympian Josh Davis had noted King was dealing with COVID in the lead-up to Worlds on the SwimSwam Watch Party during one of the finals sessions.

King, who owns the world record in the 100 breast in a time of 1:04.13, was fourth in the event in a time of 1:06.07, the slowest showing in a major individual final of her career.

The event was won by Italian Benedetta Pilato in 1:05.93, which was the slowest winning time for the event since 2005.

King’s teammate and Indiana training partner Annie Lazor was disqualified in the event’s semi-finals, leaving the U.S. off the podium in the women’s 100 breaststroke for just the second time since 2001 (also happened in 2015).

King had qualified for the final in eighth, meaning if Lazor’s DQ was overturned (there was a protest), she would’ve been bumped out.

King is also scheduled to race the 50 and 200 breaststroke later in the meet, the former of which she is the two-time defending world champion.

The 25-year-old did earn a gold medal on Tuesday night in the mixed 400 medley relay, as she swam the preliminary breaststroke leg for the American team that went on to win gold in the final in a time of 3:38.79.

Another Indiana University swimmer, Michael Brinegar, was forced to pull out of the open water 25km event at Worlds due to COVID-19.

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Breaststroker's dad
5 months ago

Get well soon, Lilly King. You will always be the GOAT of female breaststroke in our house!

robert kravutske
5 months ago

now now now people!!!!!!…..can we all just get along………stop the hate……we need love…..rodney king….

Awsi Dooger
5 months ago

It’s obvious she’s been sick. But it also should have been obvious the pandemic was not over. Sheer probability guaranteed that some athletes were going to contract Covid-19 in the late going and suffer leading up to world championships. There have been other examples in swimming along with track and field. That’s why I”m not sympathetic to anyone who gave up wearing a mask and assumed everything would be fine. Lilly previously had numerous Instagram pictures of herself wearing a mask. But none since Tokyo.

Fobby Binke
Reply to  Awsi Dooger
5 months ago

Didn’t many Americans (read: MAGA) believe Covid is a hoax invented by big pharma? 🤔

Irish Ringer
Reply to  Fobby Binke
5 months ago

No hoax, but not what it used to be severity wise. Not saying it wouldn’t impact performance though just as any illness would.

Reply to  Awsi Dooger
5 months ago

Isn’t she fully vaccinated? I would imagine that having a vaccination would afford one a significantly higher level of protection than a mask. It sounds like you are blaming someone for getting sick as if they caused it through carelessness.

Guimaraes Cayley
5 months ago

Not a fan. I wish she gets well. COVID takes a really heavy toll. I wouldn’t be able to swim.

5 months ago

if she was winning, we would never know she had covid.

Reply to  swimster
5 months ago

That’s right. Because she’d have fully recovered and there would be no need to talk about it. It seems pretty reasonable for one of the best in the world to offer a genuine reason if she’s off her best.

5 months ago

It would be really hard to compete knowing that something out of your control means that you can’t swim your best. People are affected by illness and injury every year but this year seems to be more than ever.

5 months ago

Oh shut up Ray Looze

Reply to  Swammer
5 months ago

Why because he stating a fact?

5 months ago

Her reign is over, 80% or 100%. Just my opinion

Reply to  zdhamme86
5 months ago

You might not be wrong, but it also might not have anything to do with her getting over covid this week.

Reply to  Meow
5 months ago

I’m American. I support Lilly even though I do not fully support her attitude. I just think her dominance is over.

Reply to  zdhamme86
5 months ago

Really? At 80%, she missed Gold by .14 seconds. Maybe at 82%, she wins.

Wanna Sprite?
Reply to  MarkB
5 months ago

Well the final was quite a bit slower than expected

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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