FUKUOKA, Japan – Virginia alum Kate Douglass and senior Alex Walsh took gold and silver in the women’s 200-meter IM on night two of the 2023 World Aquatic Championships in Fukuoka, Japan.
Douglass won her first career World Aquatics Championship gold medal with her win in the 200 IM on Tuesday. She surged to the lead ahead of teammate Alex Walsh in the final 50 meters to finish with a time of 2:07.17. Douglass already owned a bronze medal in the event at the 2020 Olympics and won three bronze medals at last year’s worlds.
The gold by Douglass was the first gold medal for Team USA at the 2023 World Championships.
Walsh finished just .80 behind Douglass for second, marking the first time that the US has had a 1-2 finish in the event at worlds since 1978. Walsh’s silver made her the first American swimmer to win gold or silver in her first three individual races at global championships (Olympics and worlds) since Katie Ledecky in 2012 and 2013.
Junior Gretchen Walsh competed in her first individual event at worlds, finishing eighth in the women’s 100-meter butterfly on Tuesday. Walsh clocked in with a time of 57.58.
UVA’s two medals on Tuesday added to their medal count that started with three silver medals on Monday. Douglass, G. Walsh and senior Maxine Parker won silver as part of the Team USA women’s 4×100-meter freestyle relay. Parker swam the third leg of the relay in prelims that qualified the US second heading into finals.
G. Walsh led off the relay with a split of 54.06 and Douglass anchored the relay with the fastest time of the finals in 27.18 as Team USA won silver with a time of 3:31.93.