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Olympics

Can Lilly King Break Her 200 Breast Curse?

2021 U.S. OLYMPIC SWIMMING TRIALS

See all of our U.S. Olympic Trials previews & picks right here.

Girls’s 200 Breast

  • World Document: Rikke Moller Pedersen (DEN) – 2:19.11 (2013)
  • American Document: Rebecca Soni – 2:19.59 (2012)
  • US Open Document: Rebecca Soni (USA) – 2:20.38 (2009)
  • World Junior Document: Viktoriya Zeynep Gunes (TUR) – 2:19.64 (2015)
  • 2016 Olympic Champion: Rie Kaneto (JPN) – 2:20.30
  • 2016 US Olympic Trials Champion: Lilly King – 2:24.08
  • Wave I Lower: 2:33.29
  • Wave II Lower: 2:30.49

Okay, everyone knows that Lilly King can dash breaststroke. She is the defending Olympic champion within the 100 breast, two-time defending World champion in each the 50/100 breast, and never too point out the present 100 breast world record-holder. However what’s lacking from the record? The 200 breast. The one main worldwide medal King has earned within the 200 breast was on the 2018 Pan Pacs, the place she took silver to 2012 Olympian Micah Sumrall after profitable gold in her signature 100 breast occasion. Since Rebecca Soni‘s 2012 Olympic title, solely Sumrall has been capable of high a significant worldwide 200 breast remaining.

Earlier than Sumrall’s 2018 Pan Pacs title, she took bronze within the 2013 World occasion remaining and silver in 2015. On the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials, King (2:24.03) gained the 200 breast remaining alongside runner-up Molly Hannis (2:24.39) whereas Sumrall completed a devastating 4th place within the remaining, lacking out on returning to the Olympics after a valiant fifth place end in London. Whereas neither King nor Hannis superior to the Olympic remaining in Rio, King did stroll away along with her two Olympic golds from the 100 breast and 400 medley relay.

Because the US entered the 2017-2021 Olympic cycle, King appeared to be a severe 200 breast menace alongside her lethal 100 breast. On the 2017 U.S. Nationals in Indy, King nabbed the nationwide title at 2:21.83 within the 200 breast to qualify herself and Bethany Galat (2:22.03) for the 2017 World Championships. In Budapest, nonetheless, Galat took a shock silver medal end at 2:21.77 whereas King missed the rostrum by 0.18s at 2:22.11.

Quick ahead to the 2018 U.S. Nationals in Irvine, Sumrall took the nationwide title at 2:22.03 whereas Galat positioned second at 2:23.32. On the identical time, King positioned fifth at 2:25.31. Since King gained the 100 breast nationwide title, she was eligible to swim the 200 breast on the 2018 Pan Pacific Championships. On the 2018 Pan Pacs in Tokyo, Sumrall took the title over King 2:21.88 to 2:22.12.

In between the 2018-2019 season, up-and-coming comeback swimmer Annie Lazor put up a raving 2:20.77 on the 2019 Professional Swim Collection in Bloomington, besting King’s lifetime greatest. King owns a lifetime greatest of two:21.39 from the primary cease of the 2019 FINA Champions Collection, additionally held in Indy. On the 2019 World Championships in Gwangju, King seemed sharp through the occasion prelims, however wound up being disqualified for a mid-race infraction. As for 2018 nationwide champion Sumrall, the veteran was solely capable of handle eleventh within the semi-finals at 2:25.41.

Through the latter half of the 2019 worldwide championship season, Madisyn Cox gained the 2019 U.S. Nationwide title in a King/Sumrall-less discipline at 2:23.84, which might have gained the 2016 Trials remaining. On the 2019 Pan American Video games, the US went a 1-2 end with the efforts of Lazor’s Video games document of two:21.40 and Galat’s runner-up time of two:21.84.

The latest nationwide gathering (with all heavy contenders current), the 2019 U.S. Open, was the checkpoint coming into the then-2020 U.S. Olympic Trials meet. On the midway level of the ultimate, King had a slender edge on Emily Escobedo, till the sprinter slowed as Escobedo constructed a slight lead. Escobedo upset King in a U.S. Open meet document of two:22.00 whereas King settled for second at 2:22.63.

In the mean time, King is No. 1 on the US rankings for the 2020-2021 season at 2:21.82, which got here from the 2021 Professional Swim Collection, in Indy. Lazor sits in second at 2:22.23 whereas Escobedo is the one different sub-2:23 time at 2:22.81. Cox (2:25.48) and Sumrall (2:27.64) additionally rank throughout the high 8 instances this season heading into Trials.

Within the SCY pool, King went undefeated in each the 100-yard and 200-yard breast all 4 years on the Huge Ten and NCAA Championships. Likewise, with the Cali Condors, King went 9-1 in breast occasion wins throughout ISL season two. Alas, the Olympic pool is in lengthy course meters. The US ladies’s 200 breast has been in want of somebody to fill Soni’s sub-2:20 footwear since 2012, and King is actually greater than able to taking the position. The query is: can King translate her previous brief course racing successes into the main (inter)nationwide lengthy course competitors pool?

High 8 Picks:

Darkish Horse Menace: Lydia Jacoby (fifteenth seed, 2:27.39) — You most likely noticed this one coming, however this Alaskan teen goes to vary issues up within the breaststroke recreation, whether or not it’s the 100 or 200 breast. Getting into Omaha, Jacoby has a severe likelihood of qualifying for Olympics within the 100 breast. Nevertheless, if issues work in her favor or the opposite, she nonetheless may make some noise on this occasion. Jacoby’s stroke seems much like Aussie legend’s Leisel Jones, using a pure stroke to create deadly underwater propulsion with a shallow pull and low head/elbow positions. At PSS Mission Viejo, Jacoby break up 1:11.35 on her first 100 earlier than swimming 38.85/37.19 on the back-half. If Jacoby swam on the 2019 U.S. Open, she would have positioned fifth (beating Sumrall) and had the 4th-best ending 50 (Lazor 35.97, King 35.99, Escobedo 36.13). Swimming towards a aggressive discipline like within the 100, she may very effectively sustain with a 1:10 tempo earlier than she activates her constant ending velocity. Once more, Lydia Jacoby, keep in mind the title.

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