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Kate Douglass breaks American record in 200m breaststroke

Kate Douglass

KNOXVILLE, TENNESSEE - JANUARY 11: Kate Douglass looks on after winning the Women’s 100 Meter Freestyle Final on Day 2 of the TYR Pro Swim Series Knoxville at Allan Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center on January 11, 2024 in Knoxville, Tennessee. (Photo by Alex Slitz/Getty Images)

Ashley Green / Telegram & Gazette via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Kate Douglass broke a 12-year-old American record in the 200m breaststroke on the last day of a Tyr Pro Series stop in Knoxville, Tennessee, on Saturday night.

Douglass, arguably the world’s most versatile swimmer, clocked 2 minutes, 19.30 seconds. That bettered Rebecca Soni’s previous record of 2:19.59 in repeating as Olympic champion in 2012.

“An American Record was probably the goal for a little bit later in the season, but I definitely felt like I had the best time in me,” Douglass said, according to USA Swimming.

The 22-year-old Douglass took 1.92 seconds off her personal best and moved from No. 15 to No. 4 on the all-time fastest performer list, moving past Americans Annie Lazor, Lilly King and Soni.

SWIMMING: Full Results

Russian Yevgeniya Chikunova lowered the world record to 2:17.55 last April 21.

At last July’s world championships, Douglass won the 200m individual medley, took silver in the 200m breast and was fourth in the 100m freestyle.

Douglass is expected to race five individual events at next month’s world championships in Doha.

Also Saturday, Katie Ledecky won the 800m free in 8:14.97, adding to her total of the 50-plus fastest times in American history since she broke Janet Evans’ previous American record in her Olympic debut in 2012 at age 15.

In the 200m IM, Canadian Summer McIntosh, a two-time world champ in the 400m IM, outdueled Alex Walsh, the 2022 World champ in the 200m IM. McIntosh won in 2:07.16 over Walsh’s 2:07.63.

The 17-year-old McIntosh’s time was one hundredth faster than Douglass’ winning time at last July’s worlds. McIntosh didn’t swim the 200m IM at worlds, where the schedule had the 400m free final in the same session as the 200m IM semis.

At the Olympics, the 200m IM begins the day after the last of McIntosh’s primary events.

The Tyr Pro Series resumes March 6-9 in Westmont, Illinois.