It took a world record performance to keep Lilly King from pulling off a stunning upset in the 200-meter breaststroke final in Tokyo on Friday morning.
King, who didn’t qualify for the 200-meter final in Rio in 2016, stormed out to the lead at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre and maintained it until right around the point of the final turn. But event favorite Tatjana Schoenmaker of South Africa tracked down King and won the final with a world record time of 2:18.95. It was the first world record swim in an individual event at the Tokyo Olympic Games.
The 200-meter was an event King was focused on in her preparation for Tokyo, and she was thrilled with her silver medal finish after missing the final altogether five years ago.
“This is what we’ve been working for and I’m so proud,” King said on the NBC broadcast after the race.
The medal was King’s first in the 200-meter in an international meet.
King was just under a second off the pace at 2.19.92, a personal best. The time is the 15th fastest time ever in the event and the second quickest time ever posted by an American swimmer. She was eight tenths under the world record pace at 100-meters.
IU post-graduate and fellow American Annie Lazor, who trained for the Olympics with King in Bloomington, claimed the bronze.
King claimed her second medal in Tokyo after a winning the bronze in the 100-meter breaststroke earlier in the week. She now has four career Olympic medals — two golds, a silver, and a bronze. She is the 17th swimmer in Olympic history to win medals in both breaststroke events in the Olympics and is the fifth American to accomplish the feat.
Through six days in Tokyo, the Hoosiers have collected eight total medals (two gold, four silver, two bronze). As a University, IU athletes have produced 112 total medals – 57 gold, 21 silver, and 34 bronze.
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