World Swimming Championships: Spring Grove High School grad Hali Flickinger, a 25-year-old 2020 Olympic hopeful, took silver in the 200-meter butterfly at the FINA World Swimming Championships in Gwangju, South Korea, Thursday morning. It was the latest accomplishment in what has been a tremendous run the past two years for the 2016 Olympian.
However, Flickinger came up just short of the top prize.
The No. 1 seed entering Thursday morning’s final, Flickinger was neck and neck or slightly behind fellow American and No. 2 seed Katie Drabot for most of the race. But while Flickinger pulled ahead of Drabot in the final stretch, she was ultimately passed by Hungary’s Boglarka Kopas, who also came on strong during the final lap.
Kopas took gold with a time of 2 minutes, 6.78 seconds, while Flickinger took silver at 2 minutes, 6.95 seconds.
United States’ Hali Flickinger swims in the women’s 200m butterfly final at the World Swimming Championships in Gwangju, South Korea, Thursday, July 25, 2019.
While still a strong performance by Flickinger, her time in the final was slower than her times in the preliminary (2:05.96) and the semifinal (2:06.25). Drabot took third in 2:07.04
Regardless, Flickinger has still solidified herself as a contender for a medal in the 200 butterfly at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
She entered the World Championships with the top time in the world in the women’s 200-meter butterfly at 2:06.40, which she swam at the FINA Champions Swim Series in Indianapolis earlier this month.
A former competitor at the York YMCA and the University of Georgia, Flickinger took seventh in the 200 butterfly at the 2016 Olympics with a time of 2:07.71 seconds.
After taking time off from competing in 2017, Flickinger has been on a dominant run lately.
At the 2018 U.S. national swimming championships, Flickinger won her first national title with a time of 2:06.14. A day before that, she set a meet record in the preliminaries by swimming 2:05.87, the third-fastest time by an American woman in the event’s history.
Next on the world stage, Flickinger then took gold in the 200 butterfly at the 2018 Pan Pacific Championships in Tokyo with a time of 2:07.35.
The 25-year-old also currently has 2019’s 10th best time in the world in the 200-meter backstroke. She has met the qualifying standards for the U.S. Olympic Team trials in six events.
The 2020 Olympic Team trials for swimming are June 21 to June 28, 2020 in Omaha.
Gold medalist Boglarka Kapas of Hungary, center, stands with silver medalist Hali Flickinger, left, of the United States and her compatriot and bronze medalist Katie Drabot following the women’s 200m butterfly final at the 2019 World Swimming Championships