Kate Douglass likely Olympics bound after 2nd place finish in qualifying final

Surges in final meters of 200 medley


Courtesy NBCOlympics.com

Kate Douglass touched second in the lane second from the left.

Pelham’s Kate Douglass will likely swim the 200-meter medley at the Tokyo Olympics, after surging past Madisyn Cox with only 15 meters to go in the last lap to take second place in the U.S. Olympic qualifying final Wednesday night.

Douglass, a PMHS graduate who swims for the University of Virginia, made her winning push in the freestyle lap, touching to record a time of 2:09.32, just .02 seconds behind her UVA teammate Alex Walsh. The two women hugged after the down-t0-the-wire finish.

A mere .04 seconds separated first- through third-place in the race.

The first place finisher automatically qualifies for the games, while the swimmer in second is “most likely” on the team. Since the 1980s, the top two swimmers in each event have qualified for the Olympics. But the second qualifying spot isn’t a straight guarantee, due to the math of 28 spots on the team, the number of events and the fact that some athletes qualify for multiple events.

Douglass placed second in the 200 medley semifinal race Tuesday night, also behind Walsh, with a time of 2:09.99.

She missed qualification for the the 100-meter butterfly by 0.13 seconds on Monday, but will swim again in qualifying Thursday in the 100 freestyle and Saturday in the 50 free.

The finishing order and times in the 200 medley final, according to NBCOlympics.com:

  1. Alex Walsh – 2:09.30
  2. Kate Douglass – 2:09.32
  3. Madisyn Cox – 2:09.34
  4. Torri Huske – 2:10.38
  5. Meghan Small – 2:11.65
  6. Melanie Margalis – 2:11.77
  7. Beata Nelson – 2:11.96
  8. Emma Barksdale – 2:13.35