Virginia swimmers Kate Douglass and Alex Walsh will continue their journeys to find the podium at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics tonight. Both qualified for the semifinals in the 200-meter Individual Medley event with Douglass swimming a new personal best to qualify in the top spot. Walsh will go into tonight’s semifinals tied for third.
The two Hoos were in different heats, with Douglass going in Heat 2 and Walsh in the final and fourth heat. The 200-meter IM is 50 meters — one length of the pool — in each of butterfly, backstroke, breast stroke, and freestyle. It’s a challenging race, and future Cavalier Emma Weyant already brought home a silver medal in the 400-meter IM.
Douglass led at every turn in her heat, edging out Yu Yiting from China and the 400-meter IM gold medalist Yui Ohashi from Japan. Her time of 2:09.16 was the best of the day, with Katinka Hosszú finishing second with a time of 2:09.70. Hosszú finished first in Heat 4, with Walsh touching just behind her with a 2:09.94. Great Britain’s Abbie Wood swam the same time as Walsh as the winner of Heat 3.
Check out Douglass’s full race here:
There will be two semifinals tonight, with the first scheduled to start at 10:58pm on NBC. Walsh will swim the first semifinal, a field loaded with Hosszú and Ohashi. Douglass will follow in the second semi with Wood and Switzerland’s Maria Ugolkova. The second semifinal is slated for 11:05pm.
Although the field is stacked, there’s a good chance that either or both of the Wahoos could find the medal podium.
In other Virginia swimming action, Paige Madden finished 7th in the women’s 400-meter freestyle race. Australia’s Ariarne Titmus out-touched Katie Ledecky in a dramatic race that pitted two of the best swimmers in the world against each other. Madden isn’t finished yet as she will participate in the 4x200 relay later this week.